Shaver led the Tribe to the program's sixth 20-win season, but just its third since the 1951-52 season for the second-oldest academic institution in the U.S. After being picked to finish 10th during the preseason by the league's media, coaches and sports information directors, Shaver guided the Green and Gold to the No. 3 seed in the CAA Tournament and the program's first bye in the league tourney since it expanded in 2002. Along with winning the second most CAA games in school history with 12, the Tribe established or equaled a number of other school records during the 2009-10 season. W&M won a school-record 10 road games, which leads the CAA and ranks seventh nationally. The College, who earned their first votes in both major national polls since 1977-78, also tied the longest winning streak in school history at 10 games and equaled the best start in the program's annals (through 17 games) at 14-3. Shaver, who is in his seventh season at W&M, also earned the CAA Coach of the Year distinction in 2008.
Schneider became the first W&M men's basketball player to be named the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award winner. The distinction, which has been presented to the deserving men's and women's basketball player since 1995, is named after former James Madison athletic director Dean Ehlers, who was a founding member of the conference, served as its first President and was a recognized leader through his membership on numerous NCAA Committees. The award is given to the student-athlete who "embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship in conjunction with his academic athletic achievement."
Schneider, who is a three-time CAA All-Academic first team selection, is a two-year captain for the Tribe and is a member of the winning senior class at the College in a quarter of a century. Along with his exploits on the court, the Phoenix, Ariz., native is heavily involved in Bible Study, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Athletic Advisory Council and Cinergy Club at the Mason School of Business. He will graduate from W&M with a degree in business marketing in May. He was also named the CAA Men's Basketball Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2008.
Schneider and McDowell became only the third set of teammates in W&M history to earn All-CAA honors in the same season. W&M also had two All-CAA honorees in 1998 and 2004. Schneider, who was a preseason second team honoree after earning third team accolades last season, received Second-Team All-CAA honors, becoming the highest placing W&M player since Adam Hess was a back-to-back All-CAA first team choice in 2003 and 2004. Schneider also becomes just the fifth W&M player to earn All-CAA honors on two different occasions during his career. After earning CAA All-Rookie Team honors last season, McDowell garnered a spot on the All-CAA third team and became just the third Tribe sophomore to earn all-league recognition by the CAA.
Schneider became just the second player in W&M history with 1,400 points, 500 rebound and 300 assists over his career, joining former Tribe standout John Lowenhaupt (1975-78). He ranks fourth in the CAA in scoring at 15.8 points per game, which is the highest average for a Tribe player since 2004. This season, Schneider set W&M school records for 3-pointers made in a career (262), 3-pointers made in a season (83) and career minutes played (3843). He leads the CAA and ranks 30th nationally in 3-pointers made per game (2.9), while also ranking among the CAA leaders in rebounding (6.0), free throw percentage (80.0), 3-point percentage (33.9) and steals (1.4). He scored 20-plus points on six occasions this season and tallied double figures in 26 of the Tribe's 29 games.
McDowell is one of just four players nationally to shoot at least 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent from the free throw line. He ranks seventh in the CAA in scoring at 14.5 points per game and leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage (44.8). According to KenPom.com, the Mason, Ohio native also leads the CAA in true shooting percentage (64.4) and effective field goal percentage (60.6). He ranks fourth in the CAA in 20-point games with eight and is also among the league leaders in field goal percentage (50.4), free throw percentage (80.4) and 3-pointers made per game (1.9).
Schneider became just the second W&M player to be named to CAA All-Academic first team three times in his career, joining former Tribe star Adam Hess (2002, 2003, 2004). McDowell and Kitts were named to the All-Academic second team. Both student-athletes maintain stellar grade point averages as McDowell plans to major in religious studies, while Kitts is pursuing a degree in finance. Over head coach Tony Shaver's seven seasons at the helm of Tribe basketball, one of his players has been named to the CAA All-Academic team on 14 occasions.
Kitts leads the Tribe in rebounding and ranks seventh in the CAA at 6.5 rebounds per game. The 6-9 forward leads the CAA and ranks 14th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage (15.3) according to KenPom.com. Kitts has provided five double-digit rebounding games, which ranks eighth in the CAA. He has started 27 of his 28 games in 2009-10 and is averaging 6.9 points and 1.1 blocked shots per game. His blocked shots average ranks 10th in the CAA.
Hofstra's Charles Jenkins was selected as the CAA Player of the Year, while VCU's Larry Sanders earned the league's defensive player of the year for the second straight season. Drexel's Chris Fouch was the CAA Rookie of the Year. Jenkins was joined on the All-CAA first team by Old Dominion's Gerald Lee, Jenkins, Sanders, Northeastern's Chaisson Allen and Matt Janning.
The Tribe will begin play in the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan 2010 Colonial Athletic Association Championship when it faces the winner of No. 6-seeded Drexel and No. 11-seeded James Madison on Saturday, March 6, in the last quarterfinal game at 8:30 p.m. The Dragons and Dukes meet in the first round of the CAA Tournament on Friday, March 5, at 8:30 p.m. The Tribe's quarterfinal game will be televised on The Comcast Network, Comcast SportsNet-New England, Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast, WSKY4 and CAA-TV with John Gurevitch and Charlie Woollum on the call. Fans can also watch over the Internet at ESPN360.com.
W&M fans can catch the action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley and Bill McDonald on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM in Williamsburg is the flagship station of the Tribe Radio Network. The broadcast will be available over the Web at TribeAthletics.com as well. Live stats for the tournament will also be available at CAASports.com.