YORK, PA – York College senior forward Paul Kouvaris was named the 2012 Capital Athletic Conference Player-of-the-Year as announced by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon. Kouvaris earned first-team accolades while teammate, junior guard Julian Watson, earned second-team honors.
In addition to Kouvaris earning the Player-of-the-Year award, retiring Spartan head coach Jeff Gamber was named the Coach-of-the-Year. Earlier this season, the CAC coach of the year award was renamed the Jeff Gamber CAC Coach-of-the-Year award. Gamber's COY award is the fifth time he has earned the conference accolade. He previously won the award in 1993, 1995, 2002, and 2005.
Gamber led the Spartans to their second Capital Athletic Conference Tournament championship with York's 59-51 win at Mary Washington on Saturday. He enters the NCAA Tournament with 493 victories at the helm of the Green and White. He has recruited and coached all 17 of the Spartans who have earned a combined 20 first-team All-CAC honors and 10 second-team accolades.
Kouvaris is the third Spartan to be named the CAC Player-of-the-Year following in the footsteps of former All-Americans Chad McGowan and Nick Brady. McGowan was the Player-of-the-Year in 2007 and 2008 while Brady earned the award in 2010.
The senior had a fantastic year for the Green and White en route to their conference championship. Kouvaris led the Spartans as he averaged 17 points per game and 6.5 caroms per contest. He shot 55.3% from the floor and 74.3% from the free throw line. He blocked a team-high 21 shots while he also had 41 assists and 27 steals.
Kouvaris finished first in the CAC in scoring, sixth in field goal percentage, eight in rebounding, first in free throws made, first in free throw attempts and tenth in free throw percentage. He reached double figures in 25 of his 28 games including 10 20-plus point efforts. He recorded a season-high 24 points in the December 13 win over LaRoche. He reached double figures in rebounding twice during the year as he notched double-doubles in the November 30 win at Wesley and the February 21 CAC Tournament win over Frostburg State.
Earlier in the season, Kouvaris became the 20th member of the York College 1,000 career point club. He enters the NCAA Tournament with 1,305 career points, good for 12th on the Spartans' all-time scoring list and just one point of moving into 11th place.
Watson had an outstanding third year in the Green and White as he averaged 13.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. He shot 43.9% from the floor, 38.1% from three and 72.9% from the free throw line.
Numbers don't tell the entire story with Watson as the junior came up big time and time again. He two biggest shots came in the CAC tournament when he hit go-ahead baskets in the last 45 seconds in both the Frostburg State first round game and the St. Mary's semifinal contest.
He finished ninth in the CAC in scoring, third in the league in made free throws, third in attempted free throws, and 14th in free throw percentage.
Watson now has 909 points heading into the NCAA Tournament. He has played in 77 career games with 67 starts while he has also accumulated 201 assists and 232 rebounds.
The Spartans return to action on Friday night when they face nationally ranked Franklin & Marshall in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in Lancaster, PA. Tip time at the Mayser Center is set for 7:30 pm.