NEWPORT, R.I. - Following his record-setting season as a graduate student and captain of the Salve Regina University men's basketball team (21-10), Ryan Birrell (Scituate, R.I.) added another regional honor to his collection with his selection to the D3hoops.com All-Northeast Team.
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Player and Defensive Player of the Year becomes the first Salve Regina men's basketball member to earn a spot on the D3hoops.com team. Last year, Seahawk women's basketball player Erin Phillips, now an assistant coach with Wentworth Insititute of Technology, earned a spot on the 2010-11 All-Northeast Region Team.
Birrell ranks 25th in the country in assists per game (5.3), 28th in steals per game (2.5), and 91st in points per game (17.8). He led his conference in assists and was second in the league in steals. He joins Western New England's Andre Shaw as the only CCC players on the D3hoops.com all-region team. Shaw and Birrell ranked first and second, respectively, in minutes played during the regular season.
Salve Regina reached the finals of the conference championship for the second straight season, the back-to-back appearances in the title game a program first. After earning the No. 2 seed in the ECAC Division III New England Championships, Birrell and his teammates earned the first post-season victory for the program and advanced to the title game at WPI on March 4.
"I am very pleased that Ryan Birrell has been named to the All-Northeast Region team," said CCC Coach of the Year Sean Foster. "He has deserved every honor he has received after having improved every year and leading our team to a school-record 21 victories this year. I am most proud of the effort level in which he has given at both ends of the floor for four years. His legacy will be felt over the next few years with the improvement of younger players in the program resulting from the work ethic he has defined."
The Seahawks return all but Birrell from the squad that won the title in 2010-11 and reached the finals in 2011-12. Sophomore Isiah Pringle (Queens, N.Y.) joined Birrell on the All-CCC team.