Four Vikings Earn All-NSIC Honors: Jansen, Schilling, Billeter Earn Individual Honors
*** Courtesy of the NSIC
BURNSVILLE, Minn. – The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference announced its 2015-16 All-Conference team and player of the year awards on Thursday. Augustana's Daniel Jansen was named the NSIC's Player of the Year, Casey Schilling was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year and head coach Tom Billeter was named the NSIC Coach of the Year.
Augustana had three All-NSIC First Team selections and one Second Team selection. Alex Richter joined Jansen and Schilling on the first team and sophomore guard Jordan Spencer earned second team honors.
Billeter, in his 13th season as Augustana's head coach, is the first men's basketball coach at Augustana to earn conference coach of the year honors after leading Augustana to back-to-back NSIC Regular Season Championships. Billeter led Augustana to an NSIC single season record 21 wins in conference play in 2015-16 finishing 21-1 in NSIC play. Augustana has now set the single season NSIC wins mark two seasons in a row after setting the previous mark of 20 last season. Billeter has led Augustana to two straight NSIC South Division titles and a 41-3 record in NSIC play over the last two seasons. Augustana owns an overall record of 25-2 in 2015-16 and is a combined 56-5 over the last two seasons under the direction of Billeter. In 2015-16, Billeter's squad led the NSIC in scoring (92.5 points per game), scoring margin (+20.7), 3-point field goal percentage (43 percent), rebounding offense (39.3 rebounds per game), rebounding margin (+7.5), assists (19.5 per game), turnover margin (+3.82), assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0), and 3-point field goals made (11.1 per game).
Jansen, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward from Orange City, Iowa, repeats as the NSIC's Player of the Year after averaging 20 points and 8.4 rebounds while playing 28 minutes per game in 22 conference contests. Jansen finished the NSIC season ranked fourth in scoring and rebounding while averaging 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.5 blocks per game. He led the team in scoring in seven of 22 games and scored 20 or more points in 11 games, including a season-high 31 at Upper Iowa on Jan. 23. Jansen recorded 10 double-doubles in conference play and had two or more steals in seven NSIC Games and dished out three or more assists seven times. He was named the NSIC's South Division Player of the Week four times during the season, tying the NSIC record for player of the week awards in a season. Jansen shot 50.7 percent from the field, 38.7 percent from 3-point range and 77.2 percent from the free throw line. Last season, Jansen became the first Viking to earn conference player of the year honors since 1982-83. He was also named the NSIC's Freshman of the Year in 2012-13. Jansen has been named to the All-NSIC First Team in three straight seasons.
Schilling, a native of Ellsworth, Minn., has now been named the NSIC's Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound forward started all 22 conference games and led the NSIC averaging 9.2 rebounds per game to go along with 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. Schilling had at least one steal in 16 of 22 conference games and at least one block in 11 games. He recorded eight double-doubles in NSIC play and grabbed three or more defensive rebounds in 21 of 22 games, including 10 or more defensive boards three times. Schilling also averaged 19.5 points per game while shooting 53.5 percent from the field. He led the team in rebounding in 15 of 22 conference games while also leading the team in scoring in 11 of 22 games. Schilling was named the NSIC's South Division Player of the Week four times in 2015-16 tying the NSIC record for most player of the week awards in a season. Schilling is a three-time All-NSIC First Team selection joining his older brother Cody and Daniel Jansen as the only players at Augustana to earn All-NSIC First Team honors in three straight seasons.
Richter, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound senior from Lakeville, Minn., earned All-NSIC First Team honors for the second straight season after averaging 13.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 2015-16. Richter ranked seventh in the NSIC shooting 56.4 percent from the field while ranking second in 3-point shooting, knocking down 50.5 percent from behind the arc. He scored 10 or more points in 16 of 22 conference games, including 20-plus points in six games and a career-high 31 at Minnesota State on Jan. 9. Richter hit a 3-pointer in 21 of 22 NSIC contests and hit two or more in 14 games. Richter also shot 71.4 percent from the free throw line during the season knocking down 40 of 56 free throw attempts.
Spencer, from Milton Keynes, England, averaged 9.4 points and a league-leading 7.1 assists per game in 2015-16 to earn All-NSIC Second Team honors for the second straight season. He dished out five or more assists in 18 of 22 conference games, including 11 or more assists in five games. Spencer handed out a career-high 16 assists against U-Mary on Jan. 30 and has scored in double-digits 10 times. He ranked second in the NSIC with a 3.7 assist-to-turnover ratio. Spencer also grabbed 3.8 rebounds per game and shot 42.4 percent from the field, including 39.5 percent from 3-point range. Spencer was named the NSIC's Freshman of the Year last season.
The NSIC also announced that St. Cloud State's Gage Davis was named the league's Freshman of the Year and Minnesota State's Jalen Pendleton Newcomer of the Year.
Augustana (25-2) currently ranked No. 4 in the country and No. 1 in the NCAA Central Region rankings, advanced to the NSIC/Sanford Health Men's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals with a 91-57 win over Minnesota Crookston last night. The No. 1 seed out of the South Division, Augustana will take on South Division No. 5 seed Sioux Falls on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 5:30 p.m. at the Sanford Pentagon.