The William & Mary men’s basketball program racked up a league-high three All-Colonial Athletic Association selections and took home a major conference award in the process. This, as the CAA released its annual honors on Friday afternoon, voted on by the league’s head coaches, media relations directors and members of the media.
Sophomore forward Nathan Knight was named to the All-CAA Second Team, while senior David Cohn and sophomore Justin Pierce both received All-CAA Third Team accolades. Junior Paul Rowley took home the league’s top academic honor as the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and Knight garnered a spot on the conference’s all-defensive team.
The Tribe equaled Charleston for the league lead with three All-CAA selections. It marked the sixth consecutive season that W&M placed multiple players on the All-CAA teams. The three selections tied the school record set in 2015. The three honorees brought head coach Tony Shaver‘s total of All-CAA players to 23.
Rowley is the seventh Tribe player to be named the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the fourth in the last seven years. Knight was the eighth W&M athlete on the 13th occasion to be selected to the CAA All-Defensive Team.
The Tribe’s sixth man in 2017-18, Rowley is in his first year of law school after graduating magna cum laude in three years with a double major in computer science and finance. He was a CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 selection in February and was named Phi Beta Kappa in 2017. Rowley was the first men’s basketball player to be selected Phi Beta Kappa since 1912. He is one of only two active Division I players enrolled in law school, along with Pepperdine’s Kevin Hempy. Rowley, who appeared in 28 games this season, is averaging 5.8 points per contest, while ranking fourth in the CAA at 43.8 percent from 3-point range. He scored a career-high 16 points earlier this season in the Tribe’s 99-92 win over Elon.
Knight joined Thomas Roberts in 1991 and current Cleveland Cavalier Marcus Thornton in 2013 as the only W&M players to earn Second Team All-CAA honors as a sophomore. He ranked sixth in the CAA at 18.1 points per game and seventh at 7.1 rebounds per contest. The 6-10 forward is shooting 57.8 percent from the field, which ranks fifth in the CAA and 28th nationally, and 76 percent from the free throw line. Earlier this season, Knight was named to the Lou Henson Award Mid-Season Watch list given annually to the nation’s top Division I mid-major player. He recorded eight double-doubles on the year, including a trio of the 30-point, 10-rebound double-doubles. He tallied a career-high 31 points in W&M wins over Hampton, Marshall and Hofstra.
Defensively, Knight ranked second in the CAA and 41st nationally at two blocked shots per game. He became he first W&M player to record 100 career blocked shots in just two seasons. His 59 rejections this season rank fifth in Tribe history. Knight blocked eight shots in the win over Hofstra on Dec. 30, which rank fourth in program lore and is the top total in the CAA this season.
The catalyst for one of the nation’s top offenses, Cohn earned his first All-CAA honor of his career. He is averaging 14 points and a CAA-best 6.7 assists per contest. Cohn, who was named the CAA Player of the Week for the second time on Feb. 26 after tallying a career-high 30 points against Charleston, is the only player in the country with shooting percentages of 50 from the floor (51.8), 40 from 3-point range (41.7) and 90 at the free throw line (92.3). His free throw percentage would be a CAA record and ranks sixth nationally. Cohn also led the CAA in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5), while ranking second in steals (48). He reached career milestones of 1,000 points and 500 assists in the win over Charleston.
Pierce, who averaged 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest, garnered his first all-league honor after ranking among the CAA leaders in nine different categories. Over the last 10 games, he has been on a tear, averaging 21.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 57.4 percent from the floor and 47.2 percent from 3. He poured in a career-high 33 points, the second most by a Tribe sophomore in school history, vs. Delaware on Feb. 10, and tallied a 30-point, 12-rebound double-double vs. Elon on Feb. 1. Pierce owns seven double-doubles on the season and ranks the CAA leaders in offensive rebounds (2.1), defensive rebounds (6.7), assists (2.4), blocked shots (18), free throw shooting (79.6), 3-point percentage (43.3) and field goal percentage (51.5).
Hofstra’s Justin Wright-Foreman was selected as the CAA Player of the Year, while Northeastern head coach Bill Coen garnered the league’s coach of the year award. Joe Chealey and Grant Riller of Charleston, Northeastern’s Vasa Puscia and UNCW’s Devontae Cacock joined Wright-Foreman on the All-CAA First Team.
Along with Knight, the second team was comprised of Drexel’s Tramaine Isabell, Zane Martin of Towson, Elon’s Tyler Seibring and Jarrell Brantley of Charleston. Joining Cohn and Pierce on the third team were Delaware’s Ryan Daley, Stuckey Mosley of James Madison, Hofstra’s Rokas Gustys and Jordon Talley of UNCW. Bolden Brace of Northeastern, Seibring and Delaware’s Ryan Allen were the league’s sixth man of the year, rookie of the year and Dean Ehlers Leadership Award winners, respectively.
After completing the regular season at 18-11 overall and 11-7 in CAA play, the Tribe is the No. 4 seed in the 2018 CAA Championship, presented by Jersey Mike’s Subs, and plays No. 5 seed Towson at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. The CAA Tournament is set for March 3-6 at the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, S.C. The W&M-Towson game will be broadcast on CAA.TV, and Tribe fans can also catch the men’s basketball action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley and Charlie Woollum on the call.
The Tide 92.3 FM and 107.9 Bach FM are the flagship stations of the Tribe Radio Network and the audio is also available over the Web at TribeAthletics.com. For complete information and to get set for Charleston and the CAA Tournament, visit TribeAthletics.com/