BALTIMORE, MD (February 20, 2023) –The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) announces the 2022-23 Women’s and Men’s Basketball All-CIAA Team, All-Rookie team, and superlatives as selected by the Basketball Coaches Association and Sports Information Directors Association.
The Women’s and Men’s CIAA Players of the Year were Amaya Tucker (Winston-Salem State) and Robert Osborne (Virginia Union), respectively. Elizabeth City State’s Amadou Faye was named the Men’s CIAA Defensive Player of the Year and Anyssa Fields from Lincoln (PA) earned the women’s honor. The top rookies in the CIAA were India Howard on the women’s side and Ezekiel Cannedy on the men’s. Both freshmen play for Johnson C. Smith. Coach of the year honors was awarded to Virginia Union’s Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jay Butler and Lincoln (PA)’s Head Women’s Basketball Coach Janice Washington. These standout individuals are being formally recognized today during the annual CIAA Tip-Off Awards banquet. The Tip-Off Awards banquet also serves as the opener to the 2023 CIAA Basketball Tournament, which takes place February 21-25 in Baltimore, MD at CFG Bank Arena.
Tucker earned the conference’s highest regular season honor by averaging 15.6 points per game (third in the conference) and guiding the Rams to a No. 3 seed entering the tournament. The graduate student from Winston-Salem State shot 43 percent from the field and 41 percent from three, finishing fourth in the league with 45 made threes. In the CIAA, Tucker is also second in steals per game with 2.9 and sixth in assists (2.9). A now three-time All-CIAA selection and 2018-19 CIAA Rookie of the Year, the five-foot-six guard is a member of the 1,000-point club and she is Winston-Salem State’s all-time leader in three points.
Osborne, the CIAA Men’s Player of the Year, averaged 20.6 points per game to lead the CIAA, and his nine rebounds per game rank second. Guiding Virginia Union to a Northern Division title (second consecutive) and the top seed in the tournament, the senior from Richmond, VA shot 54 percent from the field, second among qualified players in the conference. The six-foot-five forward led the Panthers in assists per game (3.3; fourth in the conference) and steals per game (1.4). He scored at least 25 points in eight games this year and he has three of the six 30-point performances that came in conference play. Additionally, Osborne’s 13 double-doubles on the season are tied for third in Division II.
Faye is the CIAA Men’s Defensive Player of the Year after finishing the regular season ranked second in Division II in blocks per game (3.4). His 7.4 rebounds per game rank third in the CIAA and the sophomore from Dakar, Senegal also averaged 7.1 points per game for the Vikings. The six-foot-eleven sophomore recorded at least five blocks in six games.
Fields is the CIAA Women’s Defensive Player of the Year after lifting Lincoln (PA) to a Northern Division title and the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Fields is fourth in the league in rebounding (7.9 per game), seventh in scoring (14.7 per game), and third (among qualified players) with a field goal percentage of .423.
Howard was named the CIAA Women’s Rookie of the Year after leading the conference with 10.6 rebounds per game. Her five offensive boards per game place her second in Division II. The freshman from Coppell, TX also averaged 9.1 points while shooting 45 percent from the field. The six-foot-one forward is the only player in the CIAA averaging 1.5 steals per game and at least a block a game this season. Howard has two of the top three rebounding performances in the conference this year, including grabbing a conference-high for the season, 22 rebounds in a game against Elizabeth City State. In addition to being named rookie of the year, Howard was a 2022-23 All-CIAA selection.
Cannedy finished the regular season as a top-five scorer in the conference as a freshman, averaging 15.4 points per game to earn CIAA Men’s Rookie of the Year honors. The Kings Mountain, NC native shot 43.5 percent from the field, 38 percent from deep, and 79 percent from the charity stripe– all top-five shooting splits in the CIAA. The six-foot-two guard led the conference with 2.6 made threes a game and he also averaged 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
The Men’s Basketball All-CIAA Team features two student-athletes from each of Fayetteville State (Cress Worthy & Tyler Foster), Virginia Union (Raemaad Wright & Osborne), and Virginia State (Terrence Hunter-Whitfield & Francis Fitzgerald). The rest of the list includes Cannedy, Faye, Lincoln (PA)’s Korey Williams, Bowie State’s Quinton Drayton, Jaylon Gibson from Winston-Salem State, and Livingstone’s Khyree Temple. Worthy, Osborne, Hunter-Whitfield, and Fitzgerald were all-conference selections last season and Temple was on the All-Rookie team in 2021-22. Joining Cannedy on the 2022-23 CIAA All-Rookie team is Nehemiah Johnson (St. Augustine’s), Pharoah Lassiter (Livingstone), Jaquantae Harris (Elizabeth City State), and Freddie Young, Jr. from Lincoln (PA).
The Women’s Basketball All-CIAA Team has three players from Johnson C. Smith (Howard, Shaniya Jones, and Le’Zarea Bowens), the most in 2022-23. Shaw (Tanayja London & Brittiney Seymour) and Lincoln (PA) (Kania Pollock & Fields) each placed two players on the listing. Tucker, Aniylah Bryant from Fayetteville State, Virginia State’s Sommer Blakemore, Virginia Union’s Ny Langley, and Lauren Banks from St. Augustine’s make up the rest of the all-conference team. Bryant, Jones, and Tucker were all-conference selections in 2021-22 while Bowens was an all-conference performer in 2018-19. Banks and London were on the CIAA All-Rookie team last season. This year, the all-rookie team features Winston-Salem State’s Jakaiya Mack, Virginia Union’s Zoila Martinez, Shaw’s Tanashia Hairston, and Lincoln (PA)’s D’Ayzha Atkinson joining Howard on the list.
Butler was named the CIAA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year after Virginia Union grabbed the Northern Division crown for the second straight year and led the Panthers to a 9-1 division record, a 12-4 conference mark, and a 22-6 overall record. Butler and the Panthers are the top seed entering the CIAA Tournament after finishing the regular season having won 11 of the last 13 games. Virginia Union is seeking to avenge last season’s loss in the conference championship game.
Washington was named the CIAA Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year after guiding Lincoln (PA) to a second-straight Northern Division title and the No. 2 seed in the tournament despite losing her four top scorers from 2021-22. (In total, Washington lost 10 players from last season’s conference championship team, which was also Coach Washington’s first season as head coach of the Lions) The Lions finished this regular season with a 12-4 mark in conference play and an 18-8 overall record. 18 overall wins lead the CIAA.