Champion Statesmen claim Liberty League top Honors
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Hobart College seniors Richie Bonney and Joe Gibbons captured the Liberty League Men's Basketball Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards, respectively, in a vote of the league coaches. Statesmen Head Coach Mike Neer and his assistants shared the Coaching Staff of the Year award with the league's runner-up, Vassar.
Bonny and Gibbons both earned a spot on the All-Liberty League first team while junior Connor Rehbaum received honorable mention.
A unanimous choice for Player of the Year, Bonney has started all 27 games at forward and is averaging 19.9 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.2 spg, and 1.1 bpg. He's shooting .577 from the floor and .656 from the free throw line. Bonney has posted 20 double-doubles this year, including a season-high 31 points at Clarkson and a career-high matching 19 rebounds at Hartwick. He ranks among the national leaders in double-doubles (2nd), field goals made (5th, 213), total rebounds (9th, 303), rebounding average (11th), total points (22nd, 537), scoring average (43rd), and field goal percentage (43rd).
Bonney has started 83 of the 112 games he's played at Hobart. His 1,684 career points are second in school history, 17 behind Joe Corbett '03. Bonney's 659 field goals made are the most in school history, four more than Corbett's eclipsed standard. Bonney is third with 936 career rebounds, 31 behind No. 2 Carmen Genovese '70.
Bonney is the second Statesman in as many seasons to be voted the league's Player of the Year, joining 2012-13 honoree Stefan Thompson '13. Bonney is a three-time all-league selection, including back-to-back unanimous first team picks, and a 2012-13 NABC and D3hoops.com All-East second team honoree. He was the Liberty League Rookie of the Year in 2010-11.
Gibbons earned the award as the Liberty League's top defender for the second time in his career after winning it as a sophomore as well. The guard matched up against the league's premier perimeter scorers throughout the season. In Saturday's Liberty League Championship game, he harassed Vassar's top scorer into a 4-for-17 shooting performance. In addition to his defensive prowess, Gibbons averages 14.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, and 2.4 apg while shooting .526 from the floor, .455 from 3-point range, and .770 from the foul line. He scored a season-high 24 points against Nazareth and pulled down a season-high 11 rebounds against the Brewers in the conference title game. Gibbons was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Liberty League Tournament for the second year in a row.
Gibbons, who transferred to Hobart after his first-year at Rensselaer, is 20th in Hobart history with 1,055 career points. Including his rookie season, he has 1,256 points, 409 rebounds, 161 assists, 47 blocked shots, and 72 steals. Gibbons was named to the Liberty League All-Rookie team at RPI, garnered all-league honorable mention as a sophomore, and second team recognition as a junior.
Rehbaum is producing 14.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, and 2.1 apg. He's shooting .398 from the floor, .357 from beyond the 3-point arc, and .738 at the free throw line. Rehbaum is sixth in the Liberty League with 55 3-pointers this year, 11th on Hobart's single season list. He registered a season-high 29 points, including a season-high seven 3-pointers, and a season-high 10 rebounds in the season-opening win over Rochester. Rehbaum also notched a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds against Delaware Valley. He made a strong bid for a third double-double against RIT, finishing with 19 points and a season-high eight assists.
This is the first time Rehbaum has earned all-conference recognition. He has started 54 of the 79 games he's played at Hobart, accumulating 725 points, 337 rebounds, 110 assists, and 54 steals. Rehbaum's 110 career 3-pointers made rank him 10th on the all-time list.
In his third season in Geneva, Neer guided Hobart to its fourth consecutive Liberty League regular season championship with a 13-3 record and second straight conference tournament title thanks to overtime victories against Clarkson 78-69 and Vassar 75-74 (in 2OT). The Statesmen (21-6) will make their third straight NCAA Championship appearance on Friday, when they face the University of Scranton (24-3) at Brockport.
Formerly the head coach at the University of Rochester, Neer is 65-19 (.774) with the Statesmen and 628-345 (.645) overall. This is the second time in three years that he and assistants Russ Phillips, Dennis Pysnack, and Carl Wenzel have earned the league's Coaching Staff of the Year award.