2012-13 AUS Men's Basketball Awards and All-Stars Announced

CBU's Dorsey claims second straight MVP award

February 28, 2013 (HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2012-13 AUS men's basketball all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's eight head coaches following regular season play.

Fifth-year Cape Breton University guard Jimmy Dorsey was once again named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player, Thursday night.

Other AUS major award winners announced during the awards banquet at the Westin Nova Scotian in downtown Halifax, N.S., were UPEI's Deontay Smith of North Preston, N.S., who was named rookie of the year; Acadia's Owen Klassen of Kingston, Ont., who was selected as the defensive player of the year; SMU's Harry Ezenibe of Igbo-Ukwu, Nigeria, who received the student-athlete community service award; and first-year Cape Breton head coach Matt Skinn, who was named the AUS coach of the year.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Jimmy Dorsey, Cape Breton

Jimmy Dorsey, a fifth-year guard with the Cape Breton Capers, is the Atlantic University Sport men's basketball most valuable player for the second consecutive season.

A native of Baltimore, MD., Dorsey finished second in Atlantic conference in scoring this season with an average of 20.8 points per game, tying him for the fifth highest average in the nation.

His MVP award last year was first time a player from the Capers program captured the Frank Baldwin Trophy.

Now a four-time first team AUS all-star, Jimmy also led the conference in assists with 5.4 per game and steals with 3.5 per game. He also finished second in free-throw percentage (86.4 per cent), tenth in rebounding (6.4 per game) and first in three-point field goals made (57).

With his 70 steals this season, Dorsey established a new CBU single-season record, which ranks second all-time in the Atlantic conference behind current Saint Mary's head coach Jonah Taussig, who recorded 76 steals in the 1998-99 season.

"As our fifth year captain, Jimmy has been our leader, our hardest worker, and our best player from the first day of training camp on," says Cape Breton head coach Matt Skinn. "He has jumped on board with our philosophy and has sacrificed for the better of the team. He has been a pleasure to coach, and as a proud alumni, there is little doubt that he will go down as one of the greatest Capers to ever play."

Dorsey will once again be the AUS representative for the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy as the most outstanding player in CIS basketball. The last Atlantic conference player to win the CIS award was William Njoku of the Saint Mary's Huskies in 1992-93.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Deontay Smith, UPEI

Smith, a native of North Preston, N.S., is the first Panthers player to claim the AUS rookie of the year award since Sherone Edwards was named the top rookie following the 2002-03 season.

Deontay, a 6-foot-0 guard, started in all 20 games for UPEI this season and finished fifth in league scoring with 17.3 points per game as a freshman.

Smith, also named a first team all-star tonight, finished second in AUS assists (4.4 per game) and seventh in league rebounding with 7.0 per game. He reached double figures in 18 of 20 games this season, including eight 20-plus point efforts.

"We are very proud of D.J. here at UPEI," says UPEI head coach Tim Kendrick. "We knew we were getting a very good basketball player and an even better young man. He has done everything that has been asked of him, and more!"

Deontay will represent the conference as the AUS nominee for the Dr. Peter Mullins trophy. Dalhousie's Shawn Plancke is the only Atlantic conference player to ever be named CIS rookie of the year.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Owen Klassen, Acadia

Klassen, a fourth-year, 6-foot-10 forward from Kingston, Ont., is the AUS defensive player of the year for the second year in a row.

Last season, Owen became just the second Axemen player to be recognized with this award, joining former Acadia standout Achuil Lual who was the 2007-08 recipient.

Klassen, the 2009-10 AUS rookie of the year, had a solid senior season, averaging a double-double (16.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game) and finishing second in AUS blocks (1.4 per game).

According to head coach Steve Baur, Klassen is a key component in the Axemen's defensive scheme.

"Owen has been the main piece of our defense all year, and that goes beyond challenging shots and rebounding," says Baur. "Owen has been the vocal leader on and off the floor to our team.  His impact in games can be seen in his stats, but his focus is never on stats or individual recognition, he wants to do what is best to win.  His passion to make each possession as tough as possible for our opponents has been a critical piece to our success as a program."

CBU's Phil Nkrumah and StFX's Garry Gallimore are the only AUS players to have been named CIS defensive player of the year since the inception of the award in 2004-05.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Matt Skinn, Cape Breton

Skinn, in his first year at the helm of the Capers program, becomes the third CBU men's basketball coach to be named AUS coach of the year.

This year, he guided the CIS No. 2-ranked Capers to a first place finish in the Atlantic conference with a record of 19-1, including a perfect 10-0 record at home. The 19-1 regular season record matches the best-ever mark by a Cape Breton men's team.

His CBU squad averaged an AUS-leading 86.5 points per game while allowing just 72.8 points against.

Prior to arriving at Cape Breton, the native of Welland, Ont., served as head coach of the StFX X-Women basketball team for four seasons. As a player, Skinn was an academic all-Canadian for the Capers and played five seasons with the team. After completing two degrees at CBU, he finished a masters of science degree in sports psychology at the University of Calgary.

"Matt has accomplished a great deal in his first year leading the Capers," said John Ryan, Director of Athletics at Cape Breton University. "Their 19-1 regular season record and No. 2 CIS ranking equals the best in school history for our men's basketball program. He has established himself as one of the top coaches in Canada and we are very excited to have Matt leading our program. I am pleased that his colleagues recognized his outstanding season."

Skinn will represent the AUS as the nominee for CIS Coach of the Year. StFX's Steve Konchalski (2000-01) is the last Atlantic conference head coach to win the Stuart W. Aberdeen Trophy as the nation's top university coach.

STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Harry Ezenibe, Saint Mary's

Saint Mary's University's Harry Ezenibe is the 2013 recipient of the student-athlete community service award and will be the Atlantic conference nominee for the prestigious Ken Shields Award.

A native of Igbo-Ukwu, Nigeria, the 6-foot-4, fourth-year forward appeared in 17 games for the Huskies this season, averaging 11.9 points per game and a league-best 11.4 rebounds per game.

An extremely athletic forward, Ezenibe's average of 5.2 offensive rebounds per game led all CIS players this season

Harry, a 2011-12 CIS Academic all-Canadian is completing a double major in Sociology and Criminology and maintains a 3.6 GPA.

He spends a great amount of time volunteering with youth within the community and hopes to eventually establish what he has dubbed the "Harry Cares" project as a means of giving back, empowering and creating opportunities for youth in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

Some of the other activities that Ezenibe volunteers his time with include:

-          Working with youth in SMU basketball camps, and spring leagues.
-          Participating and fundraising for Motionball, an event that raises funds and awareness for Special Olympics Canada.
-          Numerous volunteer visits to local schools and basketball clubs to spend time teaching and playing the game with children.
-          Volunteer with Autism Nova working with youth with developmental disabilities, which led to a co-op work term during the summer of 2012.
-          Fundraised and participated in Frosh week activities in an effort to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis.
-          Co-founder, along with other members of the SMU basketball team of a mentorship program called "Just Believe". Harry mentors students from Caledonia Junior High School. This program was started to inspire youth, provide an opportunity for the junior high students to interact with University Student-Athletes, and to hopefully develop these youth into future mentors within their community.

The last AUS player to be awarded the CIS Ken Shields Award was Dalhousie University's Andrew Sullivan in 2009-10. No Saint Mary's men's basketball player has ever won the national award.

FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

The Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars were also announced Thursday, along with this year's all-rookie team.

First team all-stars:

Jimmy Dorsey, Cape Breton (5th year – Baltimore, Maryland)
Owen Klassen, Acadia (4th year – Kingston, Ont.)
Jeremy Dunn, StFX (5th year – Wolfville, N.S.)
Deontay Smith, UPEI (1st year – North Preston, N.S.)
Will McFee, UNB (3rd year - Northbridge, Australia)

Second team all-stars:

Harry Ezenibe, Saint Mary's (4th year – Igbo-Ukwu, Nigeria)
Anthony Ashe, Acadia (4th year – Stittsville, Ont.)
Simon Marr, Dalhousie (4th year – Saint John, N.B.)
AJ Geugjes, Cape Breton (2nd year - Amsterdam, Netherlands)
William Yengue, Dalhousie (4th – Douala, Cameroon)

All-rookie team:

Deontay Smith, UPEI (North Preston, N.S.)
Shaquille Keith, Cape Breton (Brampton, Ont.)
Kevin Thomas, Saint Mary's (Malton, Ont.)
Mandrez Downey, UPEI (North Preston, N.S.)
Vasilije Curcic, Memorial (Kragujevas, Serbia)

The 2013 Subway Atlantic University Sport men's basketball championship presented by G-Series gets under way this weekend at the Halifax Metro Centre in Halifax, N.S.

The semifinals and final will be broadcast live on Eastlink TV and live webcasts of all five games of the championship will be available at www.AUStv.ca.

The championship schedule is as follows: (seeding in brackets)

Friday, March 1
Quarter-final #1: Dalhousie (4th) vs. StFX (5th), 6:00pm
Quarter-final #2: UPEI (3rd) vs. Saint Mary's (6th), 8:15pm

Saturday, March 2
Semifinal #1: Cape Breton (1st) vs. Winner of Quarter-final #1, 6:00pm
Semifinal #2: Acadia (2nd) vs. Winner of Quarter-final #2, 8:15pm

Sunday, March 3
Championship Game: Semifinal Winners, 2:00pm

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