MONMOUTH’S ROBINSON, TILGHMAN AND RICE ALL EARN MAAC MAJOR AWARDS
ALBANY, NY- Monmouth University’s men’s basketball team earned three major awards at the MAAC Postseason Awards Show at the Albany Convention Center. Justin Robinson was named MAAC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, while King Rice also earned MAAC Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. Austin Tilghman was named MAAC Sixth Player of the Year, the second Hawk in three years to earn the award.
Robinson was a unanimous choice for the honor, and becomes just the fourth player in the history of the MAAC to be named Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons. He joins Iona’s Steve Burtt in 1983 and 1984, LaSalle’s Lionel Simmons, who won the award three times from 1988-1990, and Manhattan’s Luis Flores in 2003 and 2004. Robinson is the third Player of the Year in Monmouth history and the first to go back-to-back. Last week, Robinson became the 15th player in MAAC history to be named to the First Team three times, and just the second in the last 11 years. He is Monmouth’s second ever three-time all-league choice, joining Alex Blackwell, who did it three times in the Northeast Conference. Robinson led the MAAC in scoring as a senior with 610 points and a 19.7 points per game average.
Tilghman became the second Hawk to be named MAAC Sixth Player of the Year, joining former teammate Andrew Nicholas, who won the award in 2014-15. Tilghman averaged 6.7 points per game and shot 49.5% from the field, shooting 6.9 points per game in conference. The junior guard played in 30 of 31 games and added 39 assists and 21 steals.
Rice became the third coach in conference history to repeat as MAAC Coach of the Year, and just the second to do it outright. He joins Tim Welsh, who accomplished the feat at Iona in 1997 and 1998 as well as Speedy Morris at LaSalle in 1988 and 1989, earning co-coach of the year in 1989. Rice led Monmouth to a regular season program record 26 wins and 18 league wins, the first time in MAAC history that has been done. MU has won 16 straight games entering the conference tournament, a school record.
This marks the second year in a row that Monmouth picked up three major awards, with Robinson and Rice joining 2016 Rookie of the Year Micah Seaborn last season.
The trio opens the 2017 MAAC Tournament tonight at the Times Union Center against #9 Niagara. Tip is set for 7:00 p.m. on ESPN3.