WAUKESHA, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin center Steve Zielinski was named the Northern Athletics Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and two other Falcons received All-Conference recognition, as the league released its 2012-2013 season awards Tuesday.
Zielinski (Brown Deer, Wis.), who also earned honorable mention recognition, was a force in the paint for CUW as he led the conference in blocked shots, with 71. The senior center averaged 2.6 blocks per contest, currently tied for 13th in the nation, and averaged 6.9 rebounds per game.
Zielinski also averaged 10.8 points per outing for the Falcons during his final campaign. He shot 51.7 percent (124-for-240) from the floor. He posted three double-doubles and posted a career-best nine blocked shots against Marian University Jan. 15.
Senior forward Mark Pace (Milwaukee, Wis.) was named First Team All-NAC after leading the Falcons in scoring, averaging 13.6 points per contest. The senior forward poured in double-digit scoring totals in 21 of the team's 27 games this year, including a season-high 29 points against Lakeland College Dec. 5. Pace shot 81.2 percent (78-for-96), while also averaging 4.5 rebounds per game.
A third Falcon received All-Conference recognition as senior forward Brian Jackson (Carol Stream, Ill.) was named to the Second Team. Jackson averaged 10.3 points per game this season, while pulling down 5.7 rebounds a night. Jackson netted a season-best 21 points Jan. 12 against Aurora University and recorded 15 games of at least 10 points.
Jake Schwarz of Lakeland was named the NAC Player of the Year, while Austin Stueck of MSOE was selected as Freshman of the Year. Aurora's James Lancaster earned Coach of the Year honors.
Led by the three All-Conference performers, CUW posted an 18-9 record, finishing in second place in the NAC North Division. The Falcons advanced to the semifinals of the NAC Tournament, falling 69-68 against Lakeland.
2013 All-Northern Athletics Conference Men's Basketball Awards
Player of the Year: Jake Schwarz, Lakeland College
Defensive Player of the Year: Steve Zielinski, Concordia University Wisconsin
Freshman of the Year: Austin Stueck, MSOE
Coach of the Year: James Lancaster, Aurora University
First Team All-Northern Athletics Conference
Mike Bumber, Aurora University, Sr., G
Mark Pace, Concordia University Wisconsin, Sr., F
Jake Schwarz, Lakeland College, Sr., F
Austin Stueck, MSOE, Fr., F
Cody Veleke, Marian University, Jr., F
Justin Ward, Lakeland College, Jr., F
Second Team All-Northern Athletics Conference
Joel Borchardt, Maranatha Baptist Bible College, Sr., F
Taylor DeRoo, Dominican University, Jr., G
Brian Jackson, Concordia University Wisconsin, Sr., F
Anthony Keener, Dominican University, So., G
Scott Laskowski, Aurora University, Jr., F
Scott Suchy, Rockford College, Jr., G
Honorable Mention: Nate Bauer, Wisconsin Lutheran College; Tim Demuth, Wisconsin Lutheran College; Logan Harris, Dominican University; Joe Klocek, Edgewood College; Matthew McGivern, Maranatha Baptist Bible College; James Oshkeshequoam, Lakeland College; Michael Woolf, Benedictine University; Steve Zielinski, Concordia University Wisconsin.
Drew Binversie, Marian University, Fr., G
Brandon Hagenow, Lakeland College, Fr., G
Alex Stecker, Marian University, Fr., G
Kalmon Stokes, Aurora University, Fr., G
Austin Stueck, MSOE, Fr., F