Pickett’s the MAAC Player of the Year

Local Sports

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Another day, another major award for Siena Basketball standout Jalen Pickett. Two days after being named a unanimous First Team All-MAAC honoree – and one day after being tabbed a USBWA District II selection – the Rochester, New York native has been heralded as the 2019-20 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

Pickett joins La Salle legend Lionel Simmons (1987-88) as the only sophomores in the 39-year history of the MAAC to earn the conference’s Player of the Year Award. The 2019-20 MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, Pickett becomes the sixth Siena player to be named the MAAC Player of the Year joining Marc Brown (1990-91), Doremus Bennerman (1993-94), Kenny Hasbrouck (2008-09), Alex Franklin (2009-10), and Ryan Rossiter (2010-11). Siena’s six MAAC Player of the Year awards are second most in conference history (Iona – eight).

Also just the sixth non-senior to ever be named MAAC Player of the Year and first since Monmouth’s Justin Robinson in 2015-16, Pickett won a league-high three MAAC Player of the Week awards this season (Dec. 30, Jan. 27, Feb. 24). He was named to both the Lou Henson Preseason and Midseason Watch Lists (top Division I mid-major player).

Pickett currently stands just 50 points away from potentially becoming the first player in program history to eclipse 1,000 career points in his first two seasons at Siena, and already ranks ninth all-time in school history with 389 career assists. He currently leads the MAAC and ranks seventh nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.23) and 20th in the country in assists (6.0). Pickett also stands third in the MAAC in minutes (36.9 – 24th nationally), fourth in scoring (15.3), seventh in blocks (1.1), and 10th in threes (57). Pickett has scored in double figures in 25 of his 28 games played, and posted four double-doubles.

The MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Postseason Awards Show held at the Adrian Phillips Theater in Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall also featured head coach Carmen Maciariello accepting the 2019-20 MAAC Regular Season Championship Trophy on behalf of the team. Siena captured the program’s eighth MAAC Regular Season Championship under the leadership of the rookie head coach Maciariello, who was the only one out of 61 new Division I head coaches hired this offseason to guide his team to an outright regular season conference championship.

Three Saints were also selected to the MAAC All-Academic Team, which is reserved for student athletes who both maintain at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and who have already completed at least one full academic year at their current institution. Siena’s honorees were senior Ben Diamond, and sophomores Georges Darwiche and Robert Mahala.

The Saints begin their quest for a sixth MAAC Tournament Championship tonight at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. The top-seeded Saints take on No. 9 Manhattan in the MAAC Quarterfinals at 7 p.m.

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