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GLIAC Awards and All-conference teams
March 3, 2012 - Michael Bleach
On the walk from the outside entrance of the Student Development Complex to the doors of the SDC Gym, Michigan Tech fans are treated to a wall of award winners. Ranging from All-Academic squads to Conference Player of the Year, any Tech award winner gets his likeness posted on the wall — often from a kick-ass photo from Mining Gazette jack-of-all-trades David "Archy" Archambeau.
There will be a few new faces to gaze upon soon.
Tech junior forward Ali Haidar was named the GLIAC Player of the Year by the coaches Friday after averaging 19.0 points per game (No. 3 in conference) on 53 percent shooting and 9.7 rebounds per game (No. 2 in conference). He beat out Ashland's Evan Yates, who led the conference in scoring (20.8 points per game), rebounding (11.3 rebounds per game) and field goal percentage (a whopping 61 percent).
Nobody asked me — nor should anybody — but I would have thrown my vote to Yates if the Division II media had their act together and did that kind of thing. Ashland won its only matchup with Tech this year 73-59, and Yates (20 points on 14 shots/12 rebounds) outperformed Haidar (18 points on 20 shots/11 rebounds) by a narrow margin, yet a margin none-the-less.
If I had to guess, however, it would appear Haidar's beastly 26 rebounds in the quarterfinals Wednesday and superior Tech conference record — 13-6 against 10-9 — proved the difference in the coach's minds.
In other awardy news, Alex Culy made the GLIAC All-Defensive team, which in my mind is a superlative pick by the coaches. Culy does not have flashy defensive stats — only 17 steals in 26 games on the season — but is the commanding leader of Tech's defense. He keep's the communication flowing, is dynamite on defending ball screens and has a cerebral presence of where he is needed on the floor.
As my editor Brandon noted, if Culy was four inches taller he would be slapping the floor at Duke before big possessions and incurring the wrath of opposing fan base's as Duke's token irritating white guy.
For the women, both junior Sam Hoyt and senior Lindsey Lindstrom made First-Team All-GLIAC and the GLIAC All-Defensive teams.
If the GLIAC awarded a Defensive Player of the Year it would likely be Lindstrom. She guards the opposing top offensive threat every night, regardless of position. She is a long-six feet tall, disciplined, quick and most importantly, genuinely enjoys her role as defensive stopper. Tech will feel her loss next season, because her role is harder to replace than a top scorer is.
Lindstrom also averaged 14 PPG and 6.9 RPG in conference play.
For Hoyt, the Husky Badger, the selection was an obvious one. The only player obviously superior to Hoyt is Ashland's Kari Daugherty. And Daugherty is superior to everyone.
After Daugherty, the top GLIAC women's players is a short list of Hoyt, Ferris State's Sarah Deshone, Northern Michigan's Chelsea Lyons and Hillsdale's Chelsea Harrison. If the GLIAC wasn't silly and awarded only five First-Team spots instead of 10, those would likely be the five selected.
Either way, I'll be talking tomorrow to both Cameron and Luke after their GLIAC semi-final games and can get some of their insight then.
Click here for a full list of the All-GLIAC teams.
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