Kelly named GNAC Def POY, UAF gets ready for tournament

FAIRBANKS-The Alaska men's basketball team received a number awards from the GNAC yesterday highlighting the end of a great regular season. On Monday senior forward Andrew Kelly was named Defensive Player of the Year.

Kelly was second in rebounds (8.8) and the top defensive rebounder (6 pg). He was ninth in steals (1.4) and 10th in total blocks (22) while leading the GNAC in field goal percentage (63.9%). He was also named GNAC player of the week for the second time and was Ravn (formely Era) Alaska Nanook of the week for the third time at the end of the regular season.

Kelly was named second team all-GNAC and joining him is the team's leading scorer at 14 ppg senior Ronnie Baker. Senior Segej Pucar was all-GNAC honorable mention for consecutive seasons as well.

The Nooks were named GNAC team of the week for the last week of the regular season for their 70-68 win over UAA.

he GNAC tournament starts tomorrow with UAF facing MSUB in the 1st round at noon. The Nooks swept the Yellowjackets this year. MSUB lost their last two games but have the top field goal percentage defense.

Kelly talks about his award and head coach Mick Durham, who leads the reigning team GNAC team of the week thinks their experience will be key.

"That was actually one of my goals before I started the season," Kelly said. "I even wrote it down in my journal back home. But yeah it feels really good to be recognized as the defensive player of the year. I worked hard at it. My team worked hard it. I really couldn't do it without my team so I'm just proud of everybody just- I got it I guess."

"We played two tournament games last year. We played in the semis last year. We happened to play MSU Billings last year in the first round so no-we definitely have experience to lean on. We've been there and hopefully that'll make a big factor in things," Durham said.