This wasn’t the greatest of seasons for the service academy basketball teams. Air Force won only two games against conference opponents. Army and Navy finished with losing records, and both were bounced in the first round of the Patriot League tournament.
Despite the team struggles, there were plenty of outstanding performers at all three schools. So I wondered: Who were the best players out the three schools? Then I wondered: Has anybody ever put together an all-service academy team?
Well, yes. Scout.com does it regularly for football. But not for basketball, as far as I can see (and I really didn’t look too hard). So giddyup. Here’s the (maybe) first-ever All-Service Academy Basketball Team, along with other awards for the 2009-10 season, presented by your friends at After Action:
Player of the Year: Chris Harris, Navy
A no-brainer here. Harris led the Patriot League in scoring, steals and 3-pointers. He had five 30-point games and went off for 40 points in a win over eventual league champion Lehigh.
Coach of the Year: Zach Spiker, Army
Spiker nearly led Army to its first winning season since 1985, which is especially impressive because he wasn’t even on West Point’s staff two months before the season started. Army may have fallen apart down the stretch, but it still managed to beat Navy once and finish a respectable, if disappointing, 14-15 — the best record among the three service academies.
Rookie of the Year: Michael Lyons, Air Force
Lyons averaged 26 minutes per game for the Falcons, and he finished fifth on the squad in scoring (6.9) and rebounding (3.0).
All-After Action Team:
- Chris Harris, Navy (Sr.) First-team All-Patriot selection was the only service academy player to be named to his conference’s first or second team. Averaged 21.1 points per game.
- Jordan Sugars, Navy (So.) Averaged 15.8 points and eight rebounds per game, good enough to be fourth in Patriot in scoring and third in rounding. Got robbed not making second team All-Patriot.
- Cleveland Richard, Army (Sr.) Army’s leading scorer, Richard was the only Black Knight to start every game. Finished 10th in Patriot in scoring (12.6) and second in steals (1.7).
- Evan Washington, Air Force (Sr.) Was named All-MWC Honorable Mention, the only Falcon to earn all-league recognition. Led the Falcons in rebounding per game (4.7) and was second on the team in scoring (10.3).
- Grant Parker, Air Force (Sr.) Led Air Force in scoring with 12.7 points per game and was second on the squad in rebounding. Injuries cost him 10 games, but he came up big in the Falcons’ two MWC wins.
- O.J. Avworo, Navy (Jr.). Led Patriot League in assists per game (5.8), had three double-doubles and finished with 10 or more assists in six different games.