More All-American Honors for West Liberty’s Monteroso

MATTHEWS, N.C. — West Liberty University’s Dan Monteroso picked up yet another All-America honor on Monday afternoon when he was named to the NCAA Division II All-America squad selected by Basketball Times magazine.

Monteroso, a 6-3 junior guard from St. Clairsville, Ohio, was one of only 15 players to earn All-America recognition from the national magazine which bills itself as “The Voice of College Basketball.” The All-America selections were separated into three 5-man units with Monteroso being selected as a third-team All-American.

Monteroso was also honored as a D2CCA All-American and also learned that he had earned a spot on the NABC All-Atlantic District Team. A first-team NCAA Division II Academic All-American in his first year at West Liberty after playing three seasons of Big Ten football at Purdue, the multitalented athlete was a first-team All-Atlantic Region and All-Mountain East Conference selection and was named to the MEC All-Tournament Team after helping lead Coach Jim Crutchfield’s Hilltoppers to an MEC Tournament championship.

Monteroso led the nationally ranked Hilltoppers in scoring at 18.2 ppg. and was the team’s second-leading rebounder with 5.6 rebounds a game as WLU rolled to its eighth consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament bid. Along with the MEC Tournament title, the Black and Gold ranked No. 2 nationally in scoring at 97.0 ppg., earned its seventh straight Top 10 finish (No. 7) in the final NABC Coaches’ Top 25 and locked up its eighth consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament bid.

Monteroso was a driving force behind those achievements, hitting double figures in 25 of his 28 outings before a season-ending injury in the regional tournament. He had 13 games of 20 or more points with a trio of 30-point games and a WLU season-high 40 points in a win at Nova Southeastern (Fla.). Monteroso shot better than 60 percent (208 of 346) from the floor, made 41 percent (33 of 80) of his 3-point shots and 79 percent (78 of 99) of his free throws.

He was joined on the Basketball Times honor roll by Fairmont State senior Matt Bingaya and FSU head man Jerrod Calhoun. Bingaya was a first-team All-America selection while Calhoun was named Coach of the Year.

The Falcons lost twice to West Liberty — once during the regular season and again in the MEC Tournament championship game — but rebounded nicely to win the Atlantic Region Tournament and are the No. 1 seed at this week’s NCAA Division II Elite Eight Tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Joining Bingaya on the first-team unit were seniors Michael Smith of California Baptist and Taylor Stafford of Western Washington along with juniors Justin Pitts of Northwest Missouri State and Justin Reyes of St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.). Pitts was the Basketball Times National Player of the Year.

Second-team selections included juniors Dustin Sleva of Shippensburg and Daeshon Francis of Texas-Permian Basin along with the senior trio of Braxton Reeves from East Central (Okla.), Devin Schmidt of Delta State (Miss.) and Southern Indiana’s Jeril Taylor.

Monteroso was joined on the third-team list by fellow junior Charles Clark of Carson-Newman (Tenn.) and three seniors: A.J. Clark of Pfeiffer (N.C.), Jeremiah Hill of Valdosta State (Ga.) and Southern New Hampshire’s Devin Gilligan.