DES MOINES – Iowa Wesleyan College senior guard/forward Brett Humpal (Decorah, Iowa) has been named the Midwest Collegiate Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, it was announced today as it released its all-conference team for the 2008-09 season.
Humpal and teammate Da’kari Shelby (Sr.-O’Fallon, Ill.) both received First Team All-MCC recognition for the season, in which the Tigers finished second in the league in the regular season and won the MCC Tournament to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NAIA Division II National Championships. The two are joined by Jason Garber (Sr.-Emden, Ill.) and Keenan Stanbridge (Jr.-Quincy, Ill.) in giving IWC four players with all-conference recognition.
Humpal finally received the conference’s top player honor after just missing out the past two years. The award, along with the Tigers’ berth in the national tournament, is a fitting cap on the career of a player who will go down among the best in Iowa Wesleyan school history.
This season the 6-4 swingman led the MCC in scoring, averaging 20.1 points per game. He also was third in rebounding (8.3 rpg) and second in assists (4.8 apg) and steals (2.7 spg). He also led the league in minutes played (37.9 mpg) and was among the league leaders in field goal percentage and free throw percentage. This season Humpal shot a career best 48.8% from the field.
Humpal is the first IWC player to be named Player of the Year since Nic Wilson in 2003. He also is just the second player in school history to be a three-time all-conference performer. Dan Kelly was named all-conference three straight years from 1969-71, when Wesleyan was a member of the Prairie College Conference.
Humpal will leave Iowa Wesleyan with his name featured prominently throughout the record books. He is second all-time at the school in scoring (1,748 points), third in rebounds (754), third in assists (366) and fifth in three-pointers made (176). His 236 career steals are also second among Tiger players since 1991, when Wesleyan records for that statistic begin.
One of the players who Humpal received a lot of help from was Shelby, who made a big impact in his one year with the team. A transfer from William Woods University who came to Wesleyan with one year of eligibility, the 6-6 post player was a force inside this season, averaging 14 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.
Shelby was one of the most consistent scorers in the MCC, scoring in double figures in 23 of 30 games. He led IWC with 20 points in the Tigers’ 91-90 MCC tourney final win over Grand View, and for the season he led the conference in field goal percentage, making 59.3% of his shots. Shelby also ranked third in the league in blocked shots and was a good passer, averaging more than two assists a game from the post.
Both Garber and Stanbridge also played key roles for Wesleyan this year, solidifying the backcourt and helping get a running game in gear that averaged nearly 86 points per game over the team’s last 13 games, a stretch in which the team went 12-1.
Garber started all but two games as the team’s point guard and was capable of filling the stat sheet in any number of categories on any given night. The 6-3 senior averaged 8.4 points, 4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game and played the second most minutes of any player on the team besides Humpal. He became a serious three-point threat as the season went on, shooting 35.4% from beyond the arc for the season and 45.1% from the field for the year.
Stanbridge was IWC’s third-leading scorer, averaging 10.9 points per game and leading the team in three-pointers made with 69. His 2.3 three-pointers made per game was fourth in the MCC, and he also averaged 3.1 rebounds per game. The 6-2 junior college transfer from John Wood Community College in Quincy, Ill. twice this season tied the school record for three-pointers made in a single game with either, and he hit the three-pointer with 14 seconds left that was the winning basket in the Tigers’ MCC Tournament championship game.
Grand View Head Coach Denis Schaefer was named the MCC Coach of the Year. GVU junior Corey Viet was named the league’s Newcomer of the Year. Grand View and Iowa Wesleyan tied for the schools with the most players receiving all-conference recognition with four players honored for both.
Iowa Wesleyan begins play in the NAIA Division II national tourney next week against defending national champion Oregon Tech on Wednesday at 9:45 p.m., with the tournament running March 11-17 in Point Lookout, Mo. The Tigers will be making their third trip to the national tournament all-time, their second trip to the Division II tourney and their first since 2006.
For more information regarding the IWC basketball programs or any of the Tiger athletic teams, contact sports information director Adam Glatczak (319-385-6306 phone; 319-385-6384 FAX; email@example.com e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
MCC All-Conference Team