Andrew Olson '08
Photo by Thom Kendall
Olson finished third in the conference in assists per game (5.41).

Bedford Posts Second Straight First-Team Men's Basketball All-NESCAC Award, Wheeler and Olson Earn Second-Team Honors

March 1, 2006

By Ryan O'Donnell '08

AMHERST, MA – Amherst College men's basketball senior co-captain John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) was named First-Team All-NESCAC for the second consecutive season on Wednesday, while junior forward Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) and sophomore guard Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) grabbed second-team honors for the first time in their careers. The Jeffs earned more all-conference bids than any other team in the league.

Recently named NESCAC and ECAC Division III New England Player of the Week, Bedford was dominant during the final weekend of the NESCAC Tournament, piling up 44 points and 13 boards while logging the most minutes (77 min) of any Amherst player. He is among the NESCAC leaders in a slew of categories including scoring (16.7 ppg), field-goal percentage (.519) and free-throw percentage (.809). The swingman also ranks ninth in the conference in steals per game (1.59) and three-point field goal percentage (.461). Bedford recently moved past John Pavelski ’98 and 2005 NESCAC player of the year Andrew Schiel ’05 on the schools all-time scoring list where he is currently 7th with 1,425. Next stellar scorer for Bedford to catch is Josh Hammermesh ’94 who sits 12 points ahead of Bedford and Rob Caseria ’82 only 19 points in front.

Wheeler made his presence felt all weekend long during the NESCAC Semi-Finals and Championship game, where he put up 42 points, seven boards, and six assists. He finds himself near the top of the NESCAC in field-goal percentage (.494), three-point percentage (.438), free-throw percentage (.794), three-pointers made per game (2.11) and points per game (13.8). Wheeler earned NESCAC layer of the Week for the week of February 13th, posting 21.3 points per game fueled by a scorching 10 for 11 shooting from behind the arc.

Olson has guided the Jeffs to the tops in team scoring in the NESCAC at 84.8 points per game. He ranks highly in the NESCAC in points per game (9.2) and field-goal percentage (.482), while sitting third in assists per game (5.41) and second in both three-point percentage (.476) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.21). Olson earned NESCAC Player of the Week for the week of December 5th, when he averaged 17.5 points per game, 8.5 assists per game while draining eight-of-11 three-point attempts.

Conference player of the year, Trinity forward Tyler Rhoten (Ridgewood, NJ) joined Bedford as the only other repeat first team selection. Bowdoin senior forward Kyle Petrie (Iowa City, Iowa) made the jump from second to first team while Tufts senior center Dan Martin (Sandwich, MA) and Colby junior center Drew Cohen (Briarcliff Manor, NY) rounded out the first-team selections.

Bates junior forward Rob Stockwell (Temple, NH) and junior guard Zak Ray (Bangor, ME) repeated as second team honorees while Williams sophomore forward Chris Rose (Middletown, NY) joined Olson and Wheeler on the second team.

NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year went to Cohen, while Rookie of the Year was awarded to Ben Rudin (Scarsdale, NY) of Middlebury College. Coach of the Year was given to Joe Reilly of Bates College. Amherst opens up NCAA play when they welcome the winner of Plattsburgh St. and Hamilton College on Saturday night at 7 p.m.