Shippensburg University forward Dustin Sleva was named the 2016-17 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Player of the Year, the PSAC office announced Thursday.
Justin McCarthur and Abe Massaley were also named to the All-PSAC second-team.
Sleva has been fantastic for SU this season, leading the Raiders in points, rebounds and blocks. Sleva has averaged 21.8 points and 11.1 rebounds, registering 18 double-doubles on the season. Sleva also shot more than 53 percent from the floor, including more than 39 percent from 3-point range.
“It’s a great personal accomplishment, but I’m more worried about the team and getting a PSAC Championship this weekend,” Sleva said.
Sleva currently leads the PSAC in rebounding and is fourth in points per game. Sleva’s 18 double-doubles also put him in the Top 5 nationally for double-doubles.
Sleva scored his 1,000th career point this season at Lock Haven University Jan. 14, and currently has 1,279 points, which sits him 14th in SU history, with one year left of eligibility.
McCarthur has been sensational this season alongside Sleva, averaging 15.9 points per game and sits third in the PSAC in 3-pointers with 86 this season – an SU record. McCarthur has averaged 3.2 3-pointers per game, tying him with Zay Jackson of Gannon University, for second in the conference. McCarthur has also shot just less than 40 percent on 3-point attempts.
“I think it’s a good accomplishment and it shows that all the work I’ve put in during the preseason is showing,” McCarthur said.
For Massaley, this is his final season at SU, and a sensational one at that. Massaley sits just shy of a career-best in points per game with 13.2, while he has showcased the ability to pass the ball, including numerous flashy assists. Massaley currently sits in second place in SU assists with 472 assists, including a career-high 138 assists this season.
“It is a good accomplishment and I’m proud of it, but I’m all about the team,” Massaley said. “This weekend going down to IUP is my main focus. All the individual stuff is good, but I’m all about getting the championship right now and that’s all I’m worried about.”
All three players were instrumental in SU’s 18-game winning streak — the longest in school history — to begin the 2016-17 season. The Raiders, 24–3, 19–3 PSAC, will head to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) for a PSAC Semifinal matchup with IUP. The Raiders defeated IUP Dec. 3 87–80, behind a stellar day at the free-throw line.
“It should be a fun game, it’ll be a good environment,” Sleva said. “They are one of the top teams in the country and were a top team. I trust in my guys that we’re better in every aspect and I think we can go out and get a win.”
The Raiders also tied the single-season wins record with 24 wins this season.
SU coach Chris Fite was also recognized for the Raiders’ success this season, as Fite was named PSAC Coach of the Year.
Fite joins SU women’s basketball coach Kristy Trn with Coach of the Year honors, while Stephanie Knauer joins Sleva in Player of the Year honors.
The awards mark the first time a PSAC school has had a Player of the Year and Coach of the Year from the same school in both men’s and women’s basketball in the same year since California University in 2004.
SU will face IUP Saturday, March 4. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.