Head coach Guy Kalland was named the MIAC coach of the year and Dan Forkrud, Zach Johnson and Jake Phillips all earned All-MIAC honros as the conference announced its post-season awards.
You can read the official announcement, but I thought I'd add a few quick thoughts before heading off to bed tonight.
First, for Guy and his staff of Jim Hayes and Ross Peterson this is obviously well deserved. I don't think anyone thought this team would be going to the NCAA Tournament after they lost those first three conference games back in December. Credit the staff for taking an objective look at the team's strengths and weaknesses and making the necessary adjustments. This staff works extremely hard to make sure their team is very prepared each night it takes the floor. Even though it's Guy's first MIAC coach of the year award, he's made the Carleton men's basketball program into one of the most consistent and successful ones in the MIAC.
As for the players, the three chosen were pretty obvious, although I think Carleton fans would feel Tommy Drake deserved a look as well, but for one team to get four all-conference nods in a league as strong as the MIAC is probably wishful thinking. Forkrud was an obvious choice and likely received some votes for most valuable player. His consistency throughout the season and well-rounded game is hard to match.
For those that watched Johnson this season, you just saw one of the most outstanding first-years ever produced in the conference. If he improves like the Carleton players that have come before him (Forkrud, Beste, Phillips, most recently), he could become one of the best to play at Carleton - ever.
Phillips is one of those players that made the "jump" this season. He improved his decision making and shot selection, and somehow his shooting stroke got better this year even though he entered the season as Carleton's all-time leader in three-point accuracy. His play will be a key for the Knights on Friday as they try to slow down the Blue Devil guards and run their own half-court offense and get some open looks.
We'll have more tomorrow once we reach Rock Island in mid-afternoon. Hope to see everyone down there cheering on the Knights!