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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Carleton men’s basketball stars take home MIAC awards

<ee members of the frontcourt for Carleton College men’s basketball team received a total of five awards as the MIAC handed out its postseason awards on Tuesday. Sophomore forward Kevin Grow was selected to the 2015-16 All-MIAC Team as well as the All-Defensive Team. The conference coaches tabbed junior forward Tianen Chen for both the Sixth Man-of-the-Year Award and All-MIAC Honorable Mention. Senior John Eckert was recognized as Carleton’s representative on the All-Sportsmanship team.

Grow followed up his spectacular rookie season with an equally impressive sophomore campaign as he impacted play at both ends of the court. He achieved double-figure scoring in 20 of 25 games played this season and notched 20 points on four occasions. He finished 13th among conference players in overall scoring at 14.0 points per contest and collected a conference-best 10.0 rebounds per game, accumulating 13 double-doubles during the year.

One of only three sophomores on the All-MIAC squad, Grow also paced conference players in total rebounds, defensive rebounds (7.6 per game), and blocks (2.3 per game). His 56.1 field-goal percentage ranked third in the MIAC and is tied for the 11th-highest figure in recorded team history. His 60 assists (2.4 per game) ranked second among MIAC post players and slotted him 15th overall in the conference. Grow is one of only five NCAA players—across Division I, II, and III—to average better than 10.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, and 2.0 assists per game this season.

Grow is the lone sophomore player voted to the conference’s five-person All-Defensive Team. This is the third consecutive season and the 13th time over the last 15 years that Carleton has been represented on the conference’s list of top defenders.

Grow totaled 57 blocked shots, the second-highest single-season figure in recorded team history and the most by a MIAC player in six seasons. Grow already ranks second in team annals with 111 career rejections. His 249 rebounds rank as the fifth-highest single season mark for Carleton men’s basketball and the most by a MIAC player in the regular season since 2011-12.

Chen joins Gerrick Monroe (1989-90), Paul Novotny (1997-98), and Caleb Rosenow (2010-11) as the lone Knights to win the MIAC’s Sixth-Man Award since the honor was created prior to the 1988-89 campaign. Chen started only two games this season but still finished sixth in the MIAC by scoring 15.5 points per game. In fact, he was the only player in the West Region to average better than 12.0 points per game while making fewer than 14 starts.

Chen surpassed 20 points on seven occasions and reached double figures in scoring in 20 of his 25 games. He notched his first career double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) against Macalester on Jan. 11, 2016. Another way to measure Chen’s potential for instant offense is that he paced all MIAC players in points per minute played this season. Chen was also second in the MIAC in both free throws made (116) and attempted (156). He finished sixth in the conference with 51 offensive rebounds on the year.

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the conference announced the 10th annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for men’s basketball. Members of the sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition. Carleton’s representative on the squad was Eckert, who averaged 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. His 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio led MIAC post players and ranked 16th overall in the MIAC.

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