UW-Oshkosh junior guard Ben Boots has been selected to the NCAA Division III All-Central Region Men's Basketball First Team by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and to the All-Central Second Team by D3hoops.com.
Boots, the ninth Titan to receive NABC all-region honors and the sixth to garner regional recognition from D3hoops.com, helped lead UW-Oshkosh to the first NCAA Final Four appearance in program history, averaging a team-high 15.9 points, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
Boots paces the WIAC with 492 points, 141 assists and a 2.31 assist-to-turnover ratio. He also lists second in the league in free throw percentage (.864) and steals (42), and third in made 3-pointers (67). Boots is shooting 44.3 percent (149-336) from the field and 38.9 percent (67-174) from 3-point range while converting 127 of 147 attempts at the free throw line.
In UW-Oshkosh's four wins in the Division III Championship this year, Boots has amassed 81 points, 18 rebounds, 22 assists and five steals. He scored a career-high 36 points and added six assists during the Titans' 95-88 overtime win at Augustana College (Ill.) in the national quarterfinals Saturday (March 10).
UW-Oshkosh has a 24-7 record entering its first trip to the national semifinals. Boots and the Titans play first-time opponent Ramapo College (N.J.) on Friday (March 16) in Salem, Va., for the right to advance to Saturday's (March 17) national championship game.
Boots has led UW-Oshkosh in assists 20 times this season and paced the team in scoring on 12 occasions while starting each the Titans' 31 games at point guard.
Boots has 27 double-digit scoring efforts this season, including 25 points against Ripon College on Dec. 30, 23 points against Augustana College on Dec. 2, and 22 points against both Benedictine University (Ill.) in the season opener on Nov. 15 and Calvin College (Mich.) on Dec. 9. He added a career-best 10 rebounds and six assists against Calvin College for his first double-double.
Boots went 10-for-10 from the free throw against Edgewood College on Nov. 22 before shooting 7-for-9 from 3-point range against UW-Stout on Feb. 17 and 8-for-18 from beyond the arc against Augustana College on March 10.
During his career Boots is averaging 13.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals per contest. He ranks 20th in UW-Oshkosh history with 1,157 career points and ninth with 168 3-pointers. Boots surpassed the 1,000-point milestone at home against UW-La Crosse on Feb. 10.
The six-member NABC All-Central Region First Team also included Robert Duax from UW-Platteville, Aston Francis from Wheaton College (Ill.), Will Jones from Monmouth College (Ill.), Andrew Sanders from Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) and Alex Sorenson from North Central College (Ill.).
Duax was named the NABC Central Region Player of the Year, and UW-Platteville's Jeff Gard was tabbed the region's Coach of the Year.
D3hoops.com's All-Central Region First Team was comprised of Duax, Francis, Sanders, Sorenson and Marcus Myers from Aurora University (Ill.). Francis was selected as the online organization's Central Region Player of the Year while Gard picked up another regional Coach of the Year honor, and Jack Nolan from Washington University was named the region's Rookie of the Year.
Joining Boots on the D3hoops.com All-Central Region Second Team were Nolan Ebel from Augustana College, Shea Feehan from Eureka College (Ill.), Connor Raridon from North Central College (Ill.) and Brady Rose from Illinois Wesleyan University.
Boots is the first Titan to receive NABC and D3hoops.com All-Central honors since D.J. Marsh was named to the First Team by both organizations in 2009 and 2010.
A total of nine Titans have combined to earn 14 NABC All-Central Region accolades, including three-time honoree Brad Clark, who was named to the Second Team in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Six UW-Oshkosh players have received eight total All-Central Region awards, including two-time First Team picks Tim Dworak (2002, 2003) and Marsh (2009, 2010).