2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
PELLA—Two days before it makes its 10th NCAA Division III tournament appearance, the Central College men’s basketball team received a trio of Iowa Conference postseason accolades as senior Matt Greenfield (Huxley, Ballard HS) was named league MVP, classmate Kevin Kaerwer (El Paso, Texas, John L. Chapin HS) received first-team honors and Craig Douma was named league coach of the year.
Greenfield, a 6-foot-8 forward, is the league’s leading scorer and rebounder with 19.0 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. He is also third in blocked shots with 1.22. Greenfield has recorded 13 double-doubles, which ranks in the top 30 nationally. He recorded career highs with 35 points at Buena Vista Jan. 25, 17 rebounds at Sacred Heart (P.R.) Dec. 29 and six blocked shots against Buena Vista Feb. 12.
Greenfield became the 27th member of Central’s 1,000-point club Saturday, netting 513 points this season after scoring 496 points combined over his first three campaigns. He’s also ninth on the school’s all-time rebounding leaderboard with 596 career boards and third in blocked shots with 93. Greenfield’s 513 points this season rank sixth all-time, his 266 rebounds rank third and his 33 blocked shots rank eighth.
Greenfield was named to the D3hoops.com Team of the Week twice this season, was Iowa Conference male athlete of the week once and is a three-time league player of the week.
Greenfield, a three-time letterwinner who received all-league honorable mention last year, is Central’s seventh conference MVP and the first since Miguel Ley in 2010.
“Matt was extremely motivated,” Douma said. “He had a very good season last year, but he wanted to prove something this year. His hard work paid off and it’s great for him to be recognized by the other league coaches. He has made lasting contributions to our program.”
Kaerwer, 5-foot-10 guard and two-time letterwinner, is sixth in the league in scoring with 15.5 points per game and second with 3.8 assists per contest. Kaerwer’s 196 career assists rank 14th in program history, thanks to his 104 assists this year, the eighth-most in a single season. He has also made 88 career 3-pointers, good for 14th. The 52 made 3-pointers by Kaerwer this season tie for 10th all-time.
Kaerwer, who earned the team’s Hustle Award last season, was named conference player of the week this week following Central’s league tournament title. He recorded his second double-double of the season with11 points and a career-high 10 assists in the 86-84 tournament semifinal win over Buena Vista. Kaerwer scored a career-high 28 points against Loras Feb. 1 and hauled in a career-high eight rebounds at Simpson Feb. 5.
“It all comes down to Kevin’s work ethic,” said Douma. “He wanted to come in and be the best guard in the league and he certainly made a case for it. He stepped up all year long with his dedication and determination. He definitely deserves this honor.”
Guard Nile Eckermann (junior, Cosgrove, Clear Creek-Amana HS) and forward Colby Taylor (freshman, Creston) received honorable mention.
Douma received Central’s seventh league men’s basketball coach of the year award after leading the Dutch to an 11-3 conference record and 20-7 overall mark. It matches the second-most wins in a season since the 1977-78 campaign (21-4). In his second season at Central, Douma piloted the Dutch to their league-leading 10th NCAA tournament appearance, by way of their second conference tournament championship, and 17th league title.
“It’s a great honor, but it’s a team honor and a coaching staff honor,” Douma said. “It’s made possible by our players and coaches. (Assistant coach) Joe Steinkamp does a lot of work behind the scenes and I wouldn’t be receiving this award without his effort.”
Central travels to Stevens Point, Wis., for its first-round game against No. 25-ranked St. Olaf (Minn.) (22-5) Friday at 5 p.m. on Bennett Court inside Quandt Fieldhouse on the campus of Wis.-Stevens Point.
Central’s Iowa Conference men’s basketball MVPs (first awarded in 1969)
1977—Denny Van Wyk
Central’s Iowa Conference men’s basketball coaches of the year