Eric Jean-Guillaume Named NE-10 Player of the Year; David Chadbourne Coach of the Year
Joining Jean-Guillaume and Chadbourne as NE-10 honorees were Ellis Cooper (First-Team) and Ryen Vilmont (All-Rookie Team)
David Chadbourne earned coach-of-the-year honors after guiding the Ravens to the NE-10 regular season title and homecourt advantage throughout the conference tournament.
Jean-Guillaume becomes just the second player in program history to receive a conference player-of-the-year award and the first since the school joined the Northeast-10 prior to the 2000-01 season. Franklin Pierce's only other player-of-the-year recipient was Donald Edge, who earned the honor from the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) in 1999.
It marks the second time in Jean-Guillaume's first three seasons that he has been honored by the NE-10, as he was placed on the league's All-Rookie Team in 2010.
Jean-Guillaume averaged 14.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game this season and started all 26 of Franklin Pierce's regular season contests. He ranked 10th in the NE-10 in scoring, 11th in assists and third in steals.
Jean-Guillaume scored in double-figures in all but six games, including topping 20 points five times. He dumped in 18 points at Saint Anselm back on Feb. 11 and in the process went over 1,000 career points in just two-plus seasons. Jean-Guillaume twice scored a season-high 27 points, including in a come-from-behind 86-80 victory at UMass-Lowell on Dec. 10 and a 69-56 triumph over Southern New Hampshire on Feb. 8.
A threat from behind the arc, Jean-Guillaume knocked down at least four three-pointers in seven contests this season and led the NE-10 in three-point percentage at 48.5 percent (63-of-130). He shot 50 percent or better from beyond the arc in 13 games, including a perfect 4-for-4 effort in the triumph at Lowell. Jean-Guillaume was on fire from three-point land during a four-game stretch in late January when he went a combined 11-for-18 for a 61-percent clip.
Ellis Cooper was named to the All-NE-10 First-Team after leading the NE-10 in steals and ranking 11th in scoring.
Jean-Guillaume did not just kick-start Franklin Pierce's offensive attack with his scoring, but also with his ability to dish the rock and avoid turnovers. He led the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.6. Jean-Guillaume dished out at least four assists in 10 games, while committing one-or-fewer turnovers in 13 contests, including a string of five consecutive bridging late January and early February. He had seven games where he did not commit a single miscue.
By being named to the All-NE-10 First-Team, Jean-Guillaume and Cooper became the 10th and 11th players in program history to earn all-conference first-team accolades, and the first since Donald Johnson was named to the NE-10's top team in 2001. The other former standouts to earn first-team all-conference recognition were Thomas "Butch" Mair, Kevin Calhoun, Rob Nurse, Wayne Boyette, Ben Mitchell, John L'Heureux, T.J. Butler and Edge.
Cooper's first-team accolade came just one year after his frustrating rookie season when he got off to a strong start, but missed the last half of the campaign with an injury. As a sophomore this season, he started all 26 games and averaged 14.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and a league-leading 2.4 steals per game. He was 11th in the Northeast-10 in scoring, eighth in field goal percentage (52.7%) and ninth in field goals made (137).
He scored in double-figures in 18 games, including five with at least 20 points. Cooper shot 85 percent from the field (11-of-13) and pumped in a career-high 33 points in a 90-72 win over Southern Connecticut State on Jan. 3.
Cooper grabbed double-figure rebounds in two games and logged a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds versus Bentley on Dec. 7. He ranked 11th in the league in that department. Cooper was also a thief of the basketball as he swiped at least four steals in eight games, including a season-high six in a 76-48 win over Assumption on Jan. 17. He also ranked 12th in the league with 20 blocked shots, including swatting away five in an 82-79 victory at Stonehill on Jan. 31.
Vilmont became the sixth player in program history to be named to the NE-10 All-Rookie Team and the first since Jean-Guillaume in 2010. Vilmont averaged 10.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game this season while starting all 26 regular season contests. He ranked 10th in the NE-10 in free throw percentage at 81.2 percent and 16th in three-pointers made (49). Vilmont was twice named the NE-10 Rookie of the Week, which was tied for the second highest total in the conference.
Ryen Vilmont averaged double-figures in scoring during the regular season and became the sixth player in program history to be named to the All-Rookie Team.
Franklin Pierce has produced one of the finest seasons in program history in 2011-12 and there's not doubt this is the finest campaign since the school joined the league in 2000. Coach Chadbourne provided a steady hand in guiding the Ravens to amazing heights during the regular season and it was justified in him earning the coach-of-the-year award from the Northeast-10. It's the first coach-of-the-year award in his career and he becomes just the second coach in program history to earn such an accolade as Art Luptowski received the honor from the NECC three times (1990, 1991, 1996).
The Ravens produced a 20-6 overall record and a 16-6 mark in the NE-10 this season, which earned them the league's regular season championship and homecourt advantage throughout the conference tournament.
The Ravens claimed the regular season title this season (the first NE-10 title in program history and eighth conference title overall) after finishing last in the conference standings a season ago. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves and the season that just past, Chadbourne and his players went to work in the offseason dedicating themselves to righting the ship in 2011-12. The Ravens did just that by winning eight of their first nine games, including five of those by double-digit margins. As the second half of the season began, the Ravens slipped a little by dropping two-straight games, but they rebounded and finished strong by winning 10 of the final 12 contests.
The Ravens were 10-1 in the friendly confines of The Fieldhouse during the regular season and won nine of those games by double-figures. The 20 wins marked the first time since the 1995-96 season that the program reached that plateau in a single year. Franklin Pierce is also ranked No. 1 in the NCAA East Region Poll, as it's the first time in program history the team has earned the top ranking in the region.
With the regular season concluded, Franklin Pierce now braces for post-season play, which begins on Sunday afternoon when the Ravens play host to an NE-10 quarterfinal game in Rindge at 3:30 p.m. Franklin Pierce will take on either eighth-seeded Bentley or ninth-seeded Assumption, as those two teams will meet in the first round on Friday night. Prior to the game, the fourth-seeded women's basketball team will take on fifth-seeded Southern New Hampshire in a quarterfinal matchup at 1:30 p.m. Tickets for the doubleheader are $7 for adults, $4 for children/seniors and $1 for college students of participating schools with a valid University ID. The first 150 Franklin Pierce students who present their school at ID at the front door will have the cost of the ticket paid for, courtesy of Franklin Pierce Athletics.
For more information on Franklin Pierce men's basketball, please visit the team's page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (www.youtube.com/FranklinPierceSports), Twitter (www.twitter.com/FPUathletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceAthletics).