BRONX, NEW YORK, March 8- Manhattan College junior Rhamel Brown (Brooklyn, N.Y./Transit Tech) was named the 2012-13 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Defensive Player of the Year and freshman Shane Richards (New York, N.Y./York Prep) garnered Co-Rookie of the Year honors Thursday at the MAAC Postseason Awards Show at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. Richards shared the award with Fairfield freshman forward Amadou Sidibe. The Jaspers earned the #6 seed at the MAAC Tournament, which is held at the MassMutual Center, and take on #3 Loyola on Saturday in the Quarterfinals at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN3.
Brown is only the third player in MAAC history to take the Defensive Player of the Year award in back-to-back seasons. Last year, he became the first Jasper to receive the accolade. Brown dominated games with his defense this season as he blocked a
program record 88 shots, starting 25 of 29 games. He ranks 10th in the nation with 3.03 blocks per game, and he leads the MAAC averaging 3.7 against league opponents.
The 6'7", 230-pound forward from Brooklyn broke Manhattan's career blocks record this season, which stood for 35-years.
Brown surpassed Jasper great Steve Grant (220, 1974-78) as he enters the MAAC Tournament with 240 career rejections in three seasons. He ranks fourth on the MAAC's career blocks chart and is one shy of cracking the top-5 of the league's single
Brown finished the regular-season leading Manhattan with an 11.7 scoring average. He also led the MAAC with a 55.6 percent field goal shooting percentage and ranked fifth in the conference with 7.1 rebounds per game. One of the most unique players in
MAAC history with his ability to dominate on both ends of the floor, Brown had five double-doubles and nearly recorded a triple-double on several occasions. He had four career-high seven block performances this season. Brown delivered an 18-point, 15 rebound outburst in the season opener at #2 Louisville that put the Jaspers' big man on the national radar.
Richards is the ninth Manhattan player to earn the MAAC Rookie of the Year Award since the conference formed in 1981-82, marking the most ever from a single institution. He joins Manhattan Athletic Hall of Fame members Tim Cain (1981-82), Keith Bullock (1989-90) and Jason Hoover (1993-94) as Jaspers who were named MAAC Rookie of the Year.
The 6 foot 6 forward from New York City ranked second on the team averaging 9.2 points as he shot 40.9 percent from three-point range against MAAC opponents during the regular-season. Richards emerged as one of the top three-point threats in the league standing fifth with a 39.6 percent shooting percentage from downtown and he was sixth averaging 2.0 threes per game in 29 appearances.
Richards posted 11 double-digit scoring performances, leading the team in scoring seven times. He erupted for a career-high 19 points, shooting 7-for-8 from the field with four three-pointers in a win at Rider on Jan. 27. Richards hit 45 of his team-high 59 three-pointers against MAAC opponents.
Manhattan will meet Loyola for the fifth time in MAAC Tournament history as the Jaspers hold a 3-1 advantage over the Greyhounds in the postseason. The programs last met in the 2010 MAAC Tournament First Round as Manhattan rolled to a 94-79 victory in Albany, N.Y. Saturday's contest will be available to a national audience on ESPN3 and via the WatchESPN app.