LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. - Announced this morning by the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), Caleb Richey was selected as the men's basketball Newcomer of the Year for his performance on the court donning Cal Lutheran Violet and Gold for the first time. He and teammate Wolfgang Wood each earned First Team All-SCIAC honors as well.
Both playing at CLU for the first time, Richey and Wood made immediate impacts to the men's basketball program with their athleticism, basketball knowledge and consistency.
As a junior guard, Richey led the league in assists with 130 to average 8.1 per game while his next closest opponent handed out five less per game and came in at 55 total. His passing ability was key and turned out to be record-setting simultaneously. Breaking a 19-year-old Cal Lutheran single-season record, Richey finished with 202 assists in 2016-17, surpassing the previous mark of 164 set in 1997-98 by Johnny Allen. Nationally, Richey ranked among the best at the Division III level throughout the season, finding his name fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio, fifth in assists per game and sixth in total assists.
Richey was also first in the conference with 33 total steals. The Santa Barbara, Calif. native played more minutes than any other SCIAC student-athlete with 572 (35.8 per game). On the court, he contributed with 185 points from 69 made baskets, including 16 three-pointers, and 31 free-throws, to average 11.6 points per game while finishing with a shooting percentage of 39.9. Additionally, Richey came down with 60 rebounds, 11 of which were at the offensive end of the court.
When asked about his performance this year, interim head coach Geoff Dains said, "Caleb is the ultimate competitor who makes his team and teammates better," he went on to say, "This award is well deserved."
Richey becomes just the second NOY recipient from CLU, joining Coltrane Powdrill (2014).
When informed of the news, Richey said, "I am very humbled and blessed to receive the recognition," he continued, "I could not have accomplished this without my teammates."
One member of the Kingsmen who helped him immensely this year was Wood who led the league in three-point shooting percentage at 53.3 percent, connecting on 16-for-30 opportunities. He was also third in points (307), points per game (19.2), field goals (184) and free-throw (97) among all student-athletes in the SCIAC. Additionally, the forward out of Newport Beach, Calif. shot 56.4 percent from the floor, to place fourth in the conference. The senior added 92 rebounds (5.8 rpg), 23 steals, 16 assists and two blocks.
Michael Scarlett from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was named the David Wells Player of the Year and Jay Miller of Occidental was honored with the Ted Ducey Award. Ken Scalmanini and his assistants were named the Coaching Staff of the Year for CMS.
Cal Lutheran produced a 20-7 record in 2016-17 and placed second in the SCIAC with a 12-4 mark. The 20-win season was the highest win total since the 2007-08 squad posted a 21-5 record. It was just the fifth time in program history (since 1961-62) that the Kingsmen have won 20 or more games.
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