UW-Oshkosh senior guard Ben Boots was named one of the eight most outstanding players in NCAA Division III Men's Basketball with his selection to the All-America First Team by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Boots, who has helped lead UW-Oshkosh back to the Final Four for the second straight season, is the first Titan to earn NABC All-America First Team honors in 17 years. Former UW-Oshkosh standouts Tim Dworak in 2002 and Dennis Ruedinger in 1996 are the only other players in program history to be named to the NABC First Team.
Boots was joined on the eight-member NABC Division III All-America First Team by Booker Coplin from Augsburg University (Minn.), Jack Davidson from Wabash College (Ind.), Kena Gilmour from Hamilton College (N.Y.), Edvinas Rupkus from Skidmore College (N.Y.), Sam Toney from New Jersey City University, Dimitrius Underwood from University of Texas at Dallas, and Cam Wiley from Swarthmore College (Pa.).
All eight All-America First Team members, who garnered NABC Player of the Year honors in their respective regions this season, are now eligible for the NABC Division III Player of the Year award.
Boots, who was named a finalist for the Jostens Trophy that is awarded each year to the best Division III men's and women's basketball student-athletes, is leading UW-Oshkosh this season with 15.7 points and 4.1 assists per game, 123 total assists, 81 made 3-pointers, a .877 free throw percentage and a 1.95 assist-to-turnover ratio. He paces the WIAC in total assists, assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio while ranking second in the league in made 3-pointers and free throw percentage, fourth in scoring and ninth in 3-point percentage (.386).
Boots, a 2019 All-Central Region First Team pick by D3hoops.com, has scored in double figures 27 times this season and made multiple 3-pointers on 23 occasions.
Boots scored a season-high 31 points in wins over St. Norbert College on Dec. 18 and UW-Stout on Jan. 5. The three-time All-WIAC First Team selection also recorded 16 points, four rebounds and 10 assists for his second career double-double during a victory at UW-Stevens Point on Jan. 9.
Boots' season highlights include a team-leading 25 points, seven assists and six made 3-pointers during a win over University of Northwestern during the NCAA regional title game March 2. He also contributed a team-high 23 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals in a win over UW-Stevens Point on Feb. 9.
Boots is the school's all-time career leader with 406 assists and 266 made 3-pointers while ranking seventh in program history with 1,664 points.
UW-Oshkosh (27-3), last year's Division III runners-up, continue their season at 7 p.m. (central) in the national semifinals against Wheaton College (Ill.) in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Boots and the Titans have established new school season records for wins, points (2,515) and made 3-pointers (305). UW-Oshkosh, ranked fourth in the country by D3hoops.com, also produced a program-record 21-game winning streak from Nov. 20 through Feb. 9 on the way to winning its first outright WIAC regular season title since 1978 and eventually playing in the NCAA postseason for the fourth year in a row.