By From the Lowell Sun
UMass Lowell freshman guard Kyle Caiola was named the Northeast-10 Conference Freshman of the Year while sophomore Max Kerman was named the Defensive Player of the Year as the Conference announced its all-star teams yesterday.
Additionally, head coach Greg Herenda, in his first season at UMass Lowell, was named the Coach of the Year while Caiola and junior forward Victor Colon were named to the All-Conference Second Team.
The River Hawks are in the midst of a remarkable turnaround from a year ago, with a 21-6 record and a 16-6 clip in the NE-10, good for a tie for second place.
Caiola became the second UMass Lowell player to earn Freshman of the Year honors in the University's nine-year membership in the NE-10. In 2001, former standout Uri Grunwald was named the Conference co-Freshman of the Year with Saint Rose's Jesse Cort.
Caiola, who also earned a spot on the NE-10 All-Freshman Team, has posted averages of 13.9 points, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals per game while shooting .468 from 3-point range and .762 from the free throw line.
Kerman, who was named captain by the coaching staff at the start of the season, is the first UMass Lowell player to earn defensive player of the year honors. Kerman has registered 8.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game while shooting .768 from the free throw line (11th in the NE-10) and .382 from long range.
Colon has enjoyed a milestone season, leading the River Hawks in scoring (14.6 ppg) and rebounding (5.7).
Herenda, named head coach on May 16, has led UMass Lowell from a 12-17 team in 2007-08 (8-14 NE-10) to one of the top teams in the NE-10 and NCAA Division 2 East Region.
The River Hawks will play their first Northeast-10 Conference Tournament game on Monday night at Costello Gym after earning a first-round bye.