Zerhusen all-time SCAC rebounding leader, Magnusson top conference player
61-foot buzzer beater denies men SCAC crown, NCAA berth
RELEASED: March 2, 2006
DANVILLE, KYEvery basketball player dreams of being featured on ESPN highlights—but not like this. With the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship (and an NCAA Division III tournament berth) on the line, the Centre College men's team had their hopes dashed Sunday when DePauw's Austin Brown banked in a 3-pointer from 61 feet as time expired. The shot ran in the number one slot in ESPN's "Play of the Day" on Monday night.
It was an unlikely and painful finish to a dramatic and highly successful season.
"It was as heartbreaking a loss as you will ever see," Centre coach Greg Mason told the Advocate-Messenger Monday. "Nothing comes to my mind like it. I could not have been more proud of a group of guys. We were as resilient a team as you will ever see. It just took a crazy play to beat us."
In spite of the painful finish, it was definitely a season for the players and coaches to be proud of. Individual postseason accolades are already coming in for several Centre players. Senior center Reggie Magnusson (Reykjavik, Iceland) was the SCAC's Player of the Year, while senior forward Coy Zerhusen (Georgetown, Ky.) was named the league's Co-Defensive Player of the Year. The 6' 4" Zerhusen also became both the SCAC and Centre men's basketball career rebounding leader. He is just the second player in conference history to lead the league in rebounds per game in consecutive years, averaging 8.7 this year.
"That's just an unbelievable accomplishment for Coy to be our all-time leading rebounder," Mason told the Advocate-Messenger. "I feel bad for all our guys, but I feel worse for our three seniors. Coy, Reggie and Adam (Patterson) have been great. I can't put into words what they have meant to our basketball program.
Magnusson was also named to the All-SCAC First Team, while Zerhusen and sophomore guard Matt Nestheide (Edgewood, Ky.) were each named to the All-SCAC Third Team.
Magnusson averaged 17.3 points per game for the Colonels to rank fifth in scoring in the SCAC. He also ranked ninth in rebounding, 14th in field goal percentage, ninth in free throw percentage and 15th in blocked shots.
Including the conference tournament, the senior center scored in double figures in 24 of the team's 27 games, including 13 games of 20 or more points. In SCAC games, Magnusson was even better, averaging 19.3 points per game to rank second among all scorers in league play.
A two-time SCAC Player of the Week selection during the regular season, Magnusson became only the 23rd player in Centre men's basketball history to record 1,000 career-points in the Colonels win over Oglethorpe, February 5. He finished with 1,147 in only three years at Centre, ranking him 15th all-time in Centre men's basketball history. Magnusson is the first Centre men's basketball player to earn SCAC Player of the Year honors since David DeMarcus in 1993.
Zerhusen posted six double-doubles during the year and posted double-digit rebound efforts 12 times in 2005-06. The senior forward passed former Oglethorpe University standout Russ Churchwell (849) for the all-time SCAC rebounding mark and Kevin Lavin (854) for the Centre mark.
Nestheide, a second team selection as a freshman, was named to the third team this year after averaging 14.1 points and 3.2 assists per game. The sophomore guard scored in double figures 16 times this year, including a career-high 29 points against Millsaps College in the first round of the SCAC Tournament. Nestheide was also named to the All-SCAC Tournament Team after averaging 19.7 points and 3.7 assists per game.
"All our guys played great. It was a fantastic game that just ended in bizarre fashion. We had one of the best years in Centre's history. It was a great journey, but it's just going to take a while to figure out exactly what happened."Centre finished with a 19-8 overall record and 9-5 conference mark in 2005-06, marking the fourth consecutive season the team has won 18 games or more.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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