CWU News

Stroud Earns GNAC Defensive Player of the Year Honors

Central Washington senior Joseph Stroud was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball Defensive Player of the Year on top of earning a first-team all-GNAC selection.

Stroud led the GNAC in total blocks with 67 and blocks per game at 2.7.   Stroud sits just two blocks away from his own record of 69 blocks in a single season, and will have a chance to catch that record Thursday when they face Seattle Pacific in the first round of the GNAC Tournament at 2:15 p.m.

Stroud was an enforcer for the Wildcats all year recording a rejection in all but two games this year and had nine games with four or more swats.  His presence led altered many would be shots and made opposing teams thing twice about taking shots.

"This is a huge honor for Joseph, and well deserving," CWU Head Coach Greg Sparling said.  "His ability to dominate a game on the defensive end of the court is fun to watch and a luxury to have."

The Seattle native was a unanimous selection to the all-GNAC first-team after leading the Wildcats with 16.6 points per game and 6.8 rebounds.  He scored 20 or more points on eight different occasions, including a career high of 34 in a regionally televised game against Western Washington.

Joining Stroud as an all-conference selection is Gary Jacobs who was a honorable mention selection.  Jacobs scored 14.2 points per game, along with 6.5 rebounds and was always tasked with defending the opponents best perimeter player.  The 6-foot-2-guard recorded three double-double and scored in double figures in 17 of the Wildcats games.

"Gary had a great year for us on both ends of the court," Sparling added.  "He has the athletic ability to get to the lane and he can create open shots for his teammates.  Defensively he is so versatile, he is a great post defender and a great on ball defender and I am glad he is getting recognized for his contributions to our team."

March 2, 2016