Daigneault, Baskauskas Named to D3hoops All-Region First Team; Gromacki Named Northeast Coach of the Year

Jaci Daigneault '11
AMHERST, MA – D3hoops.com announced yesterday its 2009 Men’s and Women’s Basketball All-Region Teams. While Amherst College sophomore Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) and senior Brian Baskauskas (Palo Alto, CA) each earned All-Northeast Region First Team honors, G.P. Gromacki was named the Women’s Northeast Coach of the Year.

Baskauskas was also named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-Northeast District First Team.

Daigneault is only the second Amherst women’s basketball player to be named to a D3hoops All-Region Team and is the first in program history to earn First Team honors (Stefanie Reiff ’08 was named to the Third Team in 2008). She is one of five NESCAC players to earn the All-Region honor this year, joining Val Beckwith of Bates (First Team), Ali Fourney of Wesleyan (Second Team), and Colleen Hart (Third Team) and Julia Baily (Third Team) of Tufts.

Recently named a finalist for the State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team, Daigneault is currently sixth in the NESCAC in scoring (13.0 ppg), fifth in rebounding (7.2 rpg), first in field goal percentage (.559) and 12th in blocks (0.74 bpg). In Amherst’s four NCAA Tournament games this season, Daigneault is scoring 14.3 points with 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per contest with a 66.7 field goal percentage (22-for-33).

In addition to the D3hoops and State Farm honors, Daigneault represented Amherst on the All-NESCAC First Team and this season was a two-time Conference Player of the Week honoree. In only two seasons, she has scored 561 points and pulled down 313 rebounds, as she is well on her way to joining the program’s all-time leaders in both categories.

G.P. Gromacki
Leading Daigneault and the Lord Jeffs this weekend at the national semifinals will be Gromacki, who received Northeast Coach of the Year honors for the second time in as many years. Gromacki was also named the NESCAC Co-Coach of the Year last season for leading his team to the first conference title in program history.

This season proved to be even more successful for Gromacki, who has brought Amherst to the next level with a program-best 29 wins against only two losses, a first ever NCAA Tournament home game and a first ever trip to the national semifinals. Now in his ninth year as a head coach, he has led his teams to a 219-43 overall record (.836). In his two years at Amherst, Gromacki has posted a 56-5 record (.918), which includes a 34-1 mark at home, 15-3 in NESCAC games, and 6-1 in NCAA Tournament play.

Gromacki and Daigneault will look to lead Amherst to its first national championship as the Lord Jeffs travel to Hope College in Holland, Michigan, for the final weekend of the season. Amherst will take on Washington-Saint Louis Friday at 4 p.m., with Saturday’s 10 a.m. consolation game to be followed by the championship game at 1 p.m.

On the men’s side, Baskauskas added an All-Region First Team selection to his already impressive list of accolades. The senior co-captain is no stranger to being recognized by D3hoops, as he was a Preseason All-America Third Team selection before being named to the D3hoops Team of the Week in December. Baskauskas was also twice named the NESCAC Player of the Week in his career.

Brian Baskauskas '09
During his phenomenal senior season, Baskauskas led his team by averaging 16.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting at a .506 clip from the floor. His averages left him fifth in the NESCAC in scoring, seventh in rebounding and 11th in field goal percentage. Baskauskas also distributed the ball well, dishing out 2.1 assists per game for the conference’s 12th highest average. Amherst’s leader was just as impressive on defense, picking up 1.07 steals and 0.93 blocks per game for the NESCAC’s 16th and ninth best averages, respectively.

Baskauskas averaged 12.9 points per game in the past three years to land in 15th place on Amherst’s all-time scoring list. He also recorded the fifth highest free throw percentage in Amherst history last year (85.9) and is among the school’s all-time leaders in three-pointers made (147). In his career, Baskauskas shot 54.5 percent from the floor, 44.8 percent from beyond the arc and 80.6 percent from the line.

While Middlebury’s Ben Rudin joins Baskauskas on the All-Northeast Region First Team, Jon Pierce (Second Team) of Tufts, Blake Schultz (Third Team) of Williams and Adam Choice (Third Team) of Colby were also recognized by D3hoops. Middlebury head coach Jeff Brown was named Northeast Coach of the Year for leading the Panthers to their first NESCAC title.