CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Nebraska Wesleyan University had five players recognized by the American Rivers Conference on Thursday (Feb. 28) when the 2018-19 Men's Basketball All-Conference teams were announced.
Senior forward Ryan Garver led the NWU All-Conference selections by earning the 2018-19 Most Valuable Player Award and Defensive Player of the Year honor for a second straight season. Head Coach Dale Wellman was chosen as the Conference Coach-of-the-Year for a third straight season.
In addition to the two top honors, senior forward Cooper Cook and junior guard Nate Schimonitz were named First-Team All-Conference for a third straight year. with senior Junior guard Jack Hiller and junior center Clay Reimers were both honorable mention All-Conference selections.
Nebraska Wesleyan won the American Rivers regular season championship for a third straight season and also claimed the A-R-C Postseason Tournament title a second straight year.
NWU has now had a conference MVP in four straight seasons and it is the sixth straight year the Prairie Wolves have had a First-Team All-Conference selection.
Coach Wellman wins his third consecutive conference Coach-of-the-Year recognition. He has now been recognized in all five of his seasons at NWU earning Independent Coach of the Year his first two years, IIAC honors in 2017 and 2018 and American Rivers honors this year. He was the 2018 National Coach of the Year.
Garver (Lincoln, Neb/Lincoln Northeast.) put together a tremendous all-around senior season, ranking in the top ten in nearly every statistical category. He led the A-R-C in assists, steals and assist-turnover ratio. Garver was 2nd in field goal percentage shooting 62.8 percent. He averaged 16.2 points a game ranking 9th and his 6.0 rebounds were 8th.
The senior forward from Lincoln Northeast HS was named the A-R-C Player-of-the-Week three times this season. Last year he was IIAC Co-MVP and IIAC Defensive MVP then went on to earn honorable mention All-American honors. Garver leads NCAA III with 197 assists and has set a new single season record with 80 steals. He set a career-high scoring 33 points, just missing his second triple double of the year with 10 rebounds and nine assists. He has nine double-doubles on the year.
Cook (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley North) is an All-Conference selection for a third straight season. He was the 2017 IIAC MVP and has now earned 1st-Team All-Conference each of the past two years. Cook averages 14.8 points a game and ranks 3rd in the conference in rebounding at 7.0 per game. He leads the league with 49 blocked shots, one away from his school record he set last season. Cook, the 4th leading scorer in school history, has made 71 3-pointers on the year to rank 4th in the conference.
Schimonitz (Omaha, Neb./Creighton Prep) becomes a three-time 1st-Team All-Conference selection. He ranked 8th in the conference in scoring at 16.2 points per game. Schimonitz was 3rd in the league averaging 4.5 assists per game. Twice this season, Schimonitz earned Conference Player of the Week honors. He went over the 1,000 career point plateau early during his junior season.
Hiller (Olathe, Kan./Olathe East) picks up his second straight All-Conference honorable mention recognition. Despite missing nine games with injury, Hiller still averaged 12.4 points per game and made 46 3-pointers. He has moved up to 6th on the NWU career charts in 3-pointers.
Reimers (Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln East) is honorable mention All-Conference in his first season with the Prairie Wolves. The transfer from Concordia University averaged 11.0 points per game with 6.3 rebounds to rank 7th in the league. He is 2nd in the conference with 32 blocked shots.
The All-Conference basketball teams and honors were selected by the league's nine head coaches. The team was made up of eight First-Team selections, eight Second-Team honorees and six players on honorable mention.
Nebraska Wesleyan, the No. 1 team in NCAA III, begins play in the 2019 NCAA III National Tournament this weekend. The Prairie Wolves were selected to serve as a host for the opening round. NWU will face Eureka College on Friday night (Mar. 1) at 7:30 pm in Snyder Arena.