NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Tuesday afternoon the Little East Conference announced the 2011-12 men's basketball all-conference teams and major award winners. Earning the program's seventh Rookie of the Year honor was freshman Vinny DeLucia (Miami, Fla.). He was also named to the All-Rookie team alongside classmate Carl Joseph (Brockton, Mass.)
DeLucia became the first UMass Boston player since 2005 to earn the conference's top rookie honor. This past season the Miami native ranked amongst the top shooters in the Little East Conference. A three-time LEC Rookie of the Week selection as well as the program's first D3Hoops.com Team of the Week honoree, DeLucia 11.6 points per game which was second most on this year's team. From the field he shot 41.1% (102-for-248), while from 3-point range he shot a team-best 47.5%. DeLucia also added 79 assists and 38 steals to his cause as well.
Perhaps his best of his very young career came when he averaged over 26 points per game to earn both his third LEC Rookie of the Week honor as well as a place on the D3Hoops.com Team of the Week. In the loss at the University of Southern Maine, DeLucia dropped-in a career-best 29 points. Just a few days later, he continued to shoot the lights out of the gymnasium as finished with 24 points at Plymouth State University. On the year, DeLucia finished as the Beacons leading scorer in seven different games. Of those seven team-best showings four came in the final four games of the regular season including an 18 point showing the in the near upset of the regular season and tournament champion Eastern Connecticut State University.
For Joseph his All-Rookie Team selection came after he finished the 2011-12 season ranked third on the team in scoring with 7.0 points per game. From the field the Brockton native shot 42.4% (64-for-151) and proved to be one of the go-to rebounders this past season as he finished 69 boards. However it was his defensive play that quickly made him one of the top freshman players in the LEC as he finished with 30 blocks and 17 steals. Having started in 12 of the 23 games he played in, Joseph recorded 10 or more points in eight different games, which included a career-best 20 point showing at Eastern Connecticut State University. Perhaps his greatest in-game performance came when he tallied six blocks to go along with 14 points and six boards against Tufts University. For that performance as well as two others from that week, Joseph earned his first Little East Conference Rookie of the Week honor.