HADLEY, Mass. – Senior guard Jordan Bonner of the Wesleyan men's basketball team was named the 2019 NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, and sophomore guard Austin Hutcherson earned First Team honors, as voted on by the league's coaches and announced Wednesday by the conference office.
Bonner is the second-straight Cardinal to garner Defensive Player of the Year laurels, joining Jordan Sears '18 who was the first to do so a year ago. Bonner, a Houston, Texas native, concluded his senior season with 22 steals and 11 blocks. He was excellent on the glass all winter and pulled in 197 total defensive boards to lead the conference, while the Cardinals averaged 32.32 defensive rebounds as a team to rank first in the country. Bonner also finished second in the NESCAC in total rebounds, as he averaged 9.6 per game.
Bonner was also a force offensively as well, as the senior finished second on the team in scoring, averaging 14.6 points per game. In the squad's regular-season finale against Bowdoin, he registered his 1,000th-career point to become the 24th player in program history to reach the milestone and concluded his career with 1,026 points. Additionally, Bonner excelled in conference games as he averaged a double-double with 13.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game to help lead the Cardinals to their fifth-straight NESCAC Tournament with a 6-4 league mark.
Hutcherson, the 2018 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, earned First Team honors for the first time in his career following a breakout sophomore campaign. The New York native led the conference in scoring (20 ppg) and free throw percentage (88.5%), and ranked sixth in the NESCAC in 3-pointers made (65), ninth in assists (3.2 apg), 11th in 3-point percentage (39.2%), 17th in blocks (0.7 bpg), 20th in rebounds (5.6 rpg), and 27th in steals (0.9 spg).
He scored in double-figures in all but one game and registered four 30-point performances including a career-high 37 on 13-16 shooting in a must-win regular-season finale over Bowdoin (91-65) to clinch a playoff berth. Hutcherson had several incredible second-half performances to lead the team to victory, highlighted by a game-winning shot against Amherst at home on Jan. 12. Hutcherson is Wesleyan's first All-NESCAC First Team selection since 2011-12, and fourth overall joining Shasha Brown '13, Kanem Johnson '04 and Leo Jones '02.