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Men's Basketball - Tue, Feb. 28, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Liam Hunt and Donny Punter were each named All-GSAC (Original photos by Liza Rosales)
Liam Hunt and Donny Punter were each named All-GSAC (Original photos by Liza Rosales)

ALISO VIEJO, CA - The GSAC Office has released the 2016-17 Men's Basketball All-Conference Team presented by Under Armour. The team consists of 11 players and is led by GSAC Player of the Year, Liam Hunt (JR/San Anselmo, CA) from Hope International University. Lawrence Russell from The Master's University is the Defensive Player of the Year. Bill Czech from HIU, who led the Royals to the Regular Season GSAC Championship with a record of 13-3, is the GSAC Coach of the Year.

Liam Hunt, a junior center, has been named the GSAC Player of the Year. Hunt led the Royals in points and rebounds, and is second for HIU in assists. The undersized center does a great of using his body and high basketball IQ to beat taller centers in the post. The junior out of San Anselmo ranks 11th in scoring in the GSAC, first in rebounding, sixth in field goal percentage, and sixth in blocked shots. Hunt is the leader on the Royals squad and will lead them as far as he can in the postseason.

Defensive Player of the Year, Lawrence Russell, is a do-it-all guard for the Mustangs. He is very versatile and can guard the 1 through the 4. Russell, a native of Port Townsend, is second in the GSAC in rebounding and steals. He is also ties for sixth in blocked shots. While Russell can fill up the bucket, it is his defense effort that leads TMU. The junior transfer checks the best GSAC players' night in and night out.

Coach Bill Czech (below) is your GSAC Coach of the Year. Czech has led the Royals to a 24-6 record while going 13-3 in one of the deepest conferences in the nation. Coach Czech gets his players to play hard on both ends of the floor every night, especially the defensive end. HIU leads the nation in field goal percentage defense and 3PT field goal percentage defense. Coach Czech's squad is also second in the nation in scoring margin, winning games by an average of 19.07 points, and second in total rebounds per game (45). Look for the Royals to be one of the top seeds heading into the NAIA National Tournament.

To see a complete list of the Men's Basketball All-GSAC team, please click here.

Hunt has made steady improvement over his career at HIU and continues to expand his all-around game – the versatile junior has played the forward and center positions this season and has been a force for HIU at both ends of the court. Hunt plays team-first, selfless basketball by choice but has been one of the Royals' primary crunch-time options this season, a role that earned him his first GSAC Player of the Week award earlier this season and now his first spot on the All-GSAC roster.

Donny Punter (JR/Long Island, NY) joins HIU for his first season as the point man and has had an immediate impact for the Royals. A true floor general that plays a pass-first role in the Royals' motion offense, Punter is seventh in the NAIA in assists with 150 thus far and can lock down his man on the opposite end of the floor. Punter has been the team leader in foul shooting all season with a knack for getting to the rim or the charity stripe – or both – and has taken more free throws this season than any other player in the GSAC while shooting 74% at the foul line.

Behind their two leaders on the floor is Coach Bill Czech, who now will collect his second GSAC Coach of the Year award after leading HIU to its second Regular Season title in the past three seasons. With just three GSAC losses this season and an overall win percentage of .800 with the 24-6 record, Coach Czech has worked hard to integrate his new players into the HIU system with impressive results for a team comprised largely of new faces not on last year's roster. With the honor given to Hunt this season, Coach Czech has now tutored three GSAC Player of the Year award-winners and one GSAC Defender of the Year.

Congratulations on the GSAC accolades from all of us in HIU Athletics and best of luck on the rest of the season!

M - Basketball
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