PASADENA, Calif. (Mar. 3, 2016) – Caltech men's basketball junior Nasser Al-Rayes (Doha, Qatar / American School of Doha) has been named Second Team All-SCIAC, while senior Kc Emezie (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge) earned the esteemed Ted Ducey Award.
Al-Rayes helped lead Caltech to a program-record seven SCIAC wins 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. The junior big man 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 leading Caltech in scoring, rebounding and free-throw shooting as the team set new single-season marks for points (1,566), rebounds (951) and blocks (105).
"We are extremely proud that Nasser was recognized among this very talented group of All-Conference players," Head Coach Dr. Oliver Eslinger said. "Most of his stats aren't eye-popping, but that's a function of our balance. He is absolutely one of the best players in this conference, he just doesn't have the high shot attempts or possessions most other honorees have. What he does in enabling us to play our suffocating defense and succeed with our balanced approach is invaluable."
Emezie ends his career ranked eighth on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,127 career points and holds the third-best field goal percentage (.488) and fifth-best free-throw percentage (.704) in history. His impressive all-around stat line also includes 350 rebounds, 98 assists, 62 steals and 60 blocks. He compiled more NCAA wins than anyone in the last 60 years and was instrumental in the evolution of the program, which is poised to continue next season with seven of the top eight scorers and top five rebounders returning.
"We view the Ducey Award as the most significant a player can earn, and for Kc to be recognized speaks to the way he has approached his entire Caltech career," Eslinger said. "He's one of the most talented players and brightest students we've had, and that anyone could have. It means a lot to see him honored and as a program, we hope to have someone win it every year."
The Ducey Award is given to a SCIAC senior who best exemplified the high ideals demonstrated by Coach Ted Ducey. The criteria include ability, leadership, sportsmanship, determination and academic pursuits. Emezie is Caltech's second straight Ducey Award winner after Bryan Joel received the 2014-15 recognition and is the fourth Beavers to earn the award in the last eight years, along with Matthew Dellatorre ('09) and Ryan Elmquist ('11).