Auggies' Coplin headlines MIAC Men's Basketball Awards

Kevin Healy
Booker Coplin (left) is the second consecutive Auggie to win MIAC Player of the Year honors. (Photo: Kevin Healy)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – With the 2018-19 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) men's basketball season in the books, the conference honored the year's top performers with the announcement of the annual MIAC Men's Basketball Awards on Tuesday.

Augsburg guard Booker Coplin was voted the league's Joe Hutton Player of the Year following his outstanding junior campaign, while St. Thomas sophomore guard Burt Hedstrom received Sixth Man of the Year accolades and his coach, Johnny Tauer, was honored with the Coach of the Year award.

Coplin (Jr. | Shakopee, Minn.) emerged as one of the most dynamic scorers in the nation this season, finishing the year with a scoring average of 28.0 points per game, second-best in Division III and sixth-best in all of NCAA basketball. Coplin averaged 27.4 points per MIAC contest as a junior, scoring at least 20 points in 17 of the Auggies' 20 conference games, and going for 30-or-more in seven of those contests. After closing out the regular season with a 43-point effort against St. Olaf, Coplin took his game to another level in the MIAC Playoffs, averaging 37.0 points in three postseason contests, which included a game-winning, buzzer-beating three-point walkoff against the Oles in the quarterfinals and a career-high 46-point performance against Saint John's in the MIAC Playoff Championship. Coplin also got the job done on defense, leading the MIAC in rebounding (9.2 per game) and steals (2.4 per game) in games against conference opponents. He is now the sixth different Auggie to win MIAC Player of the Year honors and the second one in as many seasons, as former teammate Colin Olmscheid was named the recipient last year. Three-time NBA champion Devean George is the last Auggie to repeat as MIAC Player of the Year, having earned the honor in 1998 and 1999 - a feat Coplin will hope to match in 2020.

Hedstrom (So. | Minnetonka, Minn.) was not in the starting lineup for any game this year but played a significant role in the Tommies' success this season, averaging 18.8 minutes and 7.6 points off the bench while appearing in all 26 contests. Hedstrom connected on a career-high 45.9 percent of his shots this season, while his versatility on defense contributed mightily to the Tommies holding opponents to less than 70 points per game and ranking seventh in the country in scoring margin as a team. Hedstrom is the Tommies' 10th Sixth Man of the Year honoree in the last 30 seasons and the program's first since 2015.

Tauer was honored by his peers with MIAC Coach of the Year recognition for the fourth time in his career after leading the Tommies to a 22-3 regular season and 18-2 record in conference play. The eighth-year head coach guided the Tommies to their 13th regular season championship in the last 14 years, thanks in large part to a 21-game winning streak through the heart of the season. Tauer's previous Coach of the Year honors came in 2013, 2015, and 2016, the last of which being the season he led UST to victory in the Division III Men's Basketball National Championship.

In addition to individual awards, MIAC coaches also voted on and selected All-Conference Teams, as well as the All-Defensive and All-First-Year Teams. Saint John's senior guard David Stokman became a three-time All-Conference honoree with the second First Team designation of his career this season. Augsburg's Booker Coplin is now a two-time All-MIAC selection, as are Bethel's Granger Kingland, Carleton's Kent Hanson, Saint John's Jubie Alade, and St. Olaf's Austin Korba. Saint John's Lucas Walford and St. Olaf's Dominic Bledsoe both found themselves on the All-Defensive Team for the second straight season, while St. Thomas rookie Anders Nelson became the first freshman in four seasons and just the third in the last 13 years to earn First Team All-Conference honors.

As part of a Conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the 13th annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for men's basketball. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.


2018-19 MIAC Men's Basketball Awards

Joe Hutton Player of the Year – Booker Coplin | G | Augsburg (Jr. | Shakopee, Minn.)

Sixth Man of the Year – Burt Hedstrom | G | St. Thomas (So. | Minnetonka, Minn.)

Coach of the Year – Johnny Tauer (8th season)


 2019 MIAC Men's Basketball First Team All-Conference
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
G Booker Coplin Augsburg Jr. Shakopee, Minn.
G Granger Kingland Bethel Jr. Lake Mills, Iowa
G David Stokman Saint John's Sr. Maple Lake, Minn.
G Anders Nelson St. Thomas Fr. Edina, Minn.
F Austin Korba St. Olaf Sr. Lakeville, Minn. | Apple Valley
F Connor Bair St. Thomas Sr. Prior Lake, Minn.

 2019 MIAC Men's Basketball Second Team All-Conference
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
F Kent Hanson Carleton Jr. St. Paul, Minn. | St. Paul Academy
F Jackson Henningfield Macalester So. Lake Mary, Fla. | Lyman
F Lucas Walford Saint John's Jr. Elko, Minn. | New Prague
F Eli Cave Saint Mary's So. St. Paul, Minn. | Benilde-St. Margaret's
C Derek Magnuson Bethel Sr. St. Paul, Minn. | Roseville

 2019 MIAC Men's Basketball Third Team All-Conference
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
G Matt Carik Augsburg So. Rogers, Minn.
G Jack Jenson Bethel Jr. Eden Prairie, Minn. | Southwest Christian
G Jubie Alade Saint John's Jr. Plymouth, Minn. | Robbinsdale Armstrong
F Wyatt Ferm Macalester Sr. Farmington, Minn.
F Zach Hanson Saint John's So. New Prague, Minn.

 2019 MIAC Men's Basketball Honorable Mention
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
G Kevin McKiernan Augsburg Sr. Savage, Minn. | Prior Lake
G Riley Sharbono Gustavus Sr. Marshall, Minn.
G Dominic Bledsoe St. Olaf So. St. Paul, Minn. | De La Salle  
F Isaac Brooks Hamline Sr. Lakeville, Minn. | North
F Troy Diggins, Jr. St. Olaf Jr. Montevideo, Minn.

 2019 MIAC Men's Basketball All-Defensive Team
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
G Booker Coplin Augsburg Jr. Shakopee, Minn.
G Quinn Johnson Carleton Sr. Roseville, Minn.
G Dominic Bledsoe St. Olaf So. St. Paul, Minn. | De La Salle
GT Johnson St. Thomas Sr. Eagan, Minn.
F Lucas Walford Saint John's Jr. Elko, Minn. | New Prague

 2019 MIAC Men's Basketball All-First-Year Team
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
G Colton Codute Saint John's Fy. Wayzata, Minn. | Orono
G Caden Freetly Saint Mary's Fy. Farmington, Minn.
Riley Miller St. Thomas Fy. Eden Prairie, Minn. | Benilde-St. Margaret's
G Anders Nelson St. Thomas Fy. Edina, Minn.
F Nolan Malo Gustavus Fy. Owatonna, Minn.
 

 2019 MIAC Men's Basketball All-Sportsmanship Team
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
C Mark Della Vedova Augsburg Sr. Inver Grove Heights, Minn. | Simley
G Tyler Barker Bethel Sr. Maple Grove, Minn.
G Joh Farmer Carleton Sr. Roseville, Minn.
G Andrew Holen Concordia Jr. Bismarck, N.D. | Century
F Brandon Snoberger Gustavus Sr. Rice, Minn. | Sartell
G Connor Moore Hamline Sr. Mayville, N.D. | May-Port CG
G Carl Salvino Macalester Sr. Seattle, Wash. | Roosevelt
F Ben Hartmann Saint John's Sr. Albany, Minn.
G Bradley Hill Saint Mary's Sr. Matteson, Ill. | Marist
F Jake Lyle St. Olaf Sr. St. Paul, Minn. | Tartan
G Nathan Stenger St. Thomas Jr. Iowa City, Iowa | Regina