Five members of the Mount Vernon Nazarene College men's basketball team were honored by the National Christian College Athletic Association East Region coaches on Friday afternoon.
Juniors Brad Hostasa and Todd Sands were selected to the NCCAA All-East Region First Team, while sophomore Adam Stevens was named to the Second Team. Junior Ehren Hull also received Honorable Mention, and head coach Scott Flemming was named the Region Coach of the Year.
Hostasa, a 6-foot-3 forward, averaged 20.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest in earning Player of the Year honors. After averaging just over eight points per game a year ago, the Newark native stepped it up a notch this season to lead the team in scoring. He also tallied his 1,000th career point earlier this season and currently has 1,122 career points.
Hostasa is also third on the team in rebounding and has improved his shooting accuracy tremendously. He has nailed over 58 percent of his field goal attempts (227-of-390), while canning 35-of-103 three-point attempts (34 percent).
Sands, a 6-foot-7 center, currently leads the NCCAA in field goal percentage as he has connected on 74 percent of his field goal attempts (225-of-304). He could become the Cougars' third player to top the 1,000 career point mark this season as he needs just 12 more points.
The Centerburg native ranks fourth on the team in scoring at 17.1 points per game, trailing two other teammates by only fractions of a point. He is also second in rebounding (8.2 boards per contest) and leads the team in blocked shots (52).
Stevens, a 6-foot-7 forward, has improved tremendously since his rookie season a year ago. This year, he is averaging 17.8 points and a team-high 9.7 rebounds per contest. He has also improved his shooting range by leading the team in three-point accuracy (70-of-185 for 38 percent).
The Mount Vernon product has shown impressive passing skills for a post player as he has dished out the ball for 104 assists (3.5 per game), which is second on the team to point guard Kyle Gerhart's 199 assists. Stevens has also swatted 38 shot attempts this season.
Hull, a 6-foot-2 guard from Canton, averages 17.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. He has become known for his long-range shooting ability by drilling 84 three-point bombs at a 38 percent clip (84-of-223).
Earlier this season, Hull scored his 1,000th career point and currently stands at 1,388 points. He also exploded for a career-high 42 points in a win over Tiffin University in which he drained a season-high eight three-point attempts.
Coach Flemming, in his eighth season at the helm, has seen the fruits of his labor pay off with this year's strong junior class. As freshmen, this group managed to win just nine games. Last season, the squad blossomed to win 24 games with only eight losses. Now, the current team has won a school-record 25 games and a first-ever conference title.
The Cougars (25-5) are currently ranked #3 in NAIA Division II and will face Walsh University in an MOC Tournament semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 28, in the MVNC Physical Education Center.