KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 27, 2016) – Caltech men's basketball has been recognized with the Team Academic Excellence Award, presented by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
The Beavers were one of just 128 teams across all three NCAA and both NAIA divisions, totaling well over 1,000 programs, to achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and one of just two SCIAC teams, along with Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, to be recognized. Caltech easily cleared the minimum requirement with an impressive cumulative team GPA of 3.43, marking the fourth straight year the Beavers have earned the team award since its inception in 2012-13. Individually, six scholar-athletes have already been recognized as Academic All-SCIAC and four were named to the NABC Honors Court yesterday.
Even while succeeding at such an elite level in the classrooms and laboratories, Head Coach Dr. Oliver Eslinger's squad made history on the court in numerous ways this season, not the least of which was the program's record seventh SCIAC win in a season, which broke the title-winning 1953-54 team's mark of six. The Beavers also defeated Occidental College three times in a season, another first since 1944-45, and spent a total of 22 days with at least a share of the top position in the conference standings. Al-Rayes re-set his own single-season and single-game records for blocks, with 64 total and eight at SCIAC champion Chapman University on Jan. 20, while Caltech set new single-season team marks for points (1,566), rebounds (951) and blocks (105).