OSHKOSH, WIS (UW OSHKOSH ATHLETICS) - UW-Oshkosh swept the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) men's basketball major awards for the first time as senior guard Ben Boots was voted Player of the Year and interim head coach Matt Lewis was tabbed Coach of the Year to headline the Titans' selections to the all-conference team.
Boots is the fifth Titan to be named WIAC Player of the Year, joining Tim Dworak (2002, 2003), John Lallensack (1968), D.J. Marsh (2009) and Ralph Sims (1977, 1978).
Lewis becomes UW-Oshkosh's third WIAC Coach of the Year and first since Ted Van Dellen earned the award in 1996. Former Titan coach Bob White was WIAC Coach of the Year in 1967, 1968 and 1978.
Lewis, who took over the UW-Oshkosh program last May, has guided the Titans to a 23-3 record. His .855 winning percentage ranks second among all 1,098 active NCAA men's basketball coaches.
UW-Oshkosh, the outright league regular season champion, had a program-record four players chosen to the All-WIAC First Team in Boots, junior center Jack Flynn, junior forward Adam Fravert and senior guard Brett Wittchow. The Titans' previous high for All-WIAC First Team selections was three in both 1968 and 1998.
Boots received All-WIAC First Team recognition for the third straight season while Flynn garnered First Team accolades for the second year in a row. Fravert and Wittchow earned their first all-conference awards.
Rounding out the 11-member All-WIAC First Team were UW-Eau Claire's Cole Rabedeaux, UW-La Crosse's Brendon Manning and Ben Meinholz, UW-Platteville's Robert Duax and Carter Voelker, and UW-Stevens Point's Ethan Bublitz and Nate Dodge.
Boots leads the Titans with 15.7 points and 4.0 assists per game, 68 made 3-pointers, a .890 free throw percentage and a 1.93 assist-to-turnover ratio. He ranks second in the conference in assists, made 3-pointers, free throw percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio; fourth in scoring; and eighth with .386 3-point percentage.
Boots has scored in double figures 24 times this season, including each of the last 22 games. He had a season-best 31 points during victories against both St. Norbert College on Dec. 18 and UW-Stout on Jan. 5. Boots recorded a double-double with 16 points and a career-high 10 assists in a win at UW-Stevens Point on Jan. 9.
Boots is currently second in school history with 387 career assists and 253 made 3-pointers while listing seventh on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,601 points.
Flynn is averaging 15.0 points per game with a team-leading .599 field goal percentage and 7.7 rebounds per contest. He paces the conference with 90 offensive rebounds, ranks second in the league field goal percentage and blocks (31), and lists third in rebounding and sixth in scoring.
Flynn opened the season with 18 consecutive double-digit scoring performances, including a career-best 28 point and 15 rebound effort in a win against UW-Eau Claire on Jan. 23. He has recorded seven double-doubles this season.
Fravert, who was also selected to the five-member WIAC All-Defensive Team, averages 13.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.2 steals per game on the year while shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from 3-point range. He leads the WIAC with 49 blocks while ranking third in the league in assists, fourth in rebounding and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.35), ninth in scoring, and 10th in steals, field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.
Fravert has scored at least 10 points on 20 occasions this season, including a career-best 26 points during a win at Edgewood College on Nov. 20. He also registered career bests with 15 rebounds during a win at UW-Eau Claire on Feb. 16, seven assists in a victory over Alma College (Mich.) on Dec. 7, five blocks during a triumph at UW-Whitewater on Jan. 16, and four steals in a win at UW-Platteville on Feb. 6.
Wittchow is averaging 13.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest this season. He is shooting 46.7 percent from the floor, including a team-leading 39.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, and 86.1 percent at the free throw line. Wittchow ranks fifth in the WIAC with 55 made 3-pointers while listing sixth in the league in both 3-point and free throw percentages, seventh in assists and eighth in scoring.
Wittchow, the 34th Titan to surpass 1,000 career points, is 26th on the school's scoring list with 1,124 points. He has scored in double digits 22 times this season, including a career-best outing with 27 points and 10 rebounds for his second collegiate double-double during a win over UW-Platteville on Jan. 2.
The Titans claimed their 13th overall WIAC regular season title and first since sharing the crown in 2002. This year's outright league championship was the school's first since 1978.
UW-Oshkosh, ranked fourth in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, received an at-large berth into the Division III Championship. The Titans, making their program-best fourth consecutive and ninth overall trip to the NCAA postseason, begin national tournament actiom against Lake Forest College (Ill.) (18-9) on Friday (March 1) in Collegeville, Minn.
The Titans, last year's Division III runners-up, established several program records this season on the way to winning the WIAC title by three games with a 13-1 record. The Titans compiled a 21-game winning streak – tied for fourth longest in WIAC history – and set new school marks for best record to start a season at 22-1 and best league start by winning each of their first 12 conference games.