LOUDONVILLE, NY – Siena Basketball graduate student forward Elijah Burns has been named the recipient of the 2020 Riley Wallace Award. The award is presented annually to the top Division I transfer by CollegeInsider.com.
The Riley Wallace Award is voted on by a 15-member panel consisting of five current Division I head coaches, five members of the national media, and five CollegeInsider.com staff members. Former Hawaii Head Coach Riley Wallace is the chairman of the awards committee. Now in its sixth year of existence, the award is presented annually to the top transfer in Division I, with eligible players including transfers from other Division I programs, the junior college ranks, and all other levels of college basketball.
Burns made the most of his lone season donning the Green and Gold after joining the program as a graduate transfer from Notre Dame in December of 2018. The local standout from nearby Troy, New York was recently named a Second Team All-MAAC selection after being a two-time MAAC Player of the Week. Burns led the MAAC in field goal percentage connecting at a stellar 62.2% clip this season, while also ranking third in the conference in free throw percentage (.859), eighth in scoring (14.4), ninth in rebounding (5.8), and 10th in offensive rebounding (1.8). The Siena co-captain posted three double-doubles and scored 19 points or more 10 times, highlighted by a season-high 28-point performance on 10-13 shooting in just 24 minutes in a victory over Bucknell on Dec. 21.
Burns helped lead the Saints to the program’s most successful season in a decade. Siena won the program’s eighth MAAC Regular Season Championship, and was awarded its sixth MAAC Tournament Championship while also being the conference’s NCAA automatic qualifier. The Saints posted a 20-10 overall record including a 15-5 ledger in the MAAC, and finished the season with 10 consecutive wins to mark the nation’s seventh longest active winning streak.
Riley Wallace is the winningest coach in Hawaii history. He guided the Warriors to nine postseason appearances – including a school-record four straight from 2001-04 – while welcoming many transfers into the program. Hawaii made three NCAA Tournament appearances under Wallace, and earned six NIT berths.