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D3hoops.comAll-Decade Team

Our first 10 years: 1997-98 to 2006-07


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All-Decade
Fourth Team

The All-Decade Team was compiled by staff from D3hoops.com All-American teams.

Guard Michael Crotty
Williams, 2001-04

Michael CrottyAll-American years: 2003 (3rd), 2004 (1st)

Conference honors: 2001 Co-Rookie of the Year

NCAA Tournament appearances: 2002 (second round), 2003 (national champions), 2004 (national runner-up)

Other honors: 2004 Jostens Finalist, 2003 and 2004 All-Tournament Teams

What others say: “He worked tirelessly on his game and came back to campus each fall with a new tool in his arsenal.  Quite simply, I believe Michael Crotty embodied the ideal point guard."
– Dave Paulsen, Williams coach

Career synopsis: When Crotty won NESCAC Co-Rookie of the Year honors in 2001, it was the start of an incredible run of individual and team accomplishments.  Before he was done, Crotty would dish out 819 assists, start 120 games and lead his team to back-to-back trips to the national title game.  Even more impressive than the assist totals was his efficiency.  “He was able to be both steady and daring with the ball - a combination few are able to achieve,” says Paulsen.  That was on display in the Ephs’ championship run during which he had 48 assists to six turnovers – a remarkable 8:1 ratio.  As a senior Crotty was nominated for the inaugural Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award, a fitting honor considering his current position as the Boston Celtics’ Director of Player Development.

Guard Kyle Myrick,
Lincoln, 2004-06

Kyle MyrickAll-American years: 2005 (HM), 2006 (Player of the Year, 1st)

Conference honors: 2006 Association of Independents Player of the Year

NCAA Tournament appearances: 2006 (Sweet 16)

What others say: “I am really happy for him because he deserved everything that he got because he worked hard for it.  I always thought he was one of the top ten guards in the country. Kyle was our leader this season and he elevated everybody’s game to a higher level.”
– Garfield Yuille, Lincoln coach, on Myrick’s senior season

Career synopsis: One of the most memorable Division III basketball careers in the last ten years almost never happened.  Myrick was a Division I prospect coming out of Overbrook High School in Philadelphia but a violent altercation leading to incarceration appeared to derail his college basketball dream.  Upon his release, Myrick was determined to show he had learned from past mistakes and was a force on the basketball court.  He accomplished both in his short career at Lincoln, putting up dazzling numbers – 1,737 points in just two seasons, 1,010 as a senior, 30 points or more in 10 consecutive games. Myrick also excelled at getting the ball to his teammates in a way that they could take full advantage of their strengths.  As testament to his success as a player, Myrick was named the D3hoops.com Player of the Year.  And as a testament to his growth as a person, Yuille remarked, “I don’t want him to leave, not because of his basketball ability, but because he’s a nice person.”

Forward Keelan Amelianovich
Illinois Wesleyan, 2003-06

Keelan AmelianovichAll-American years: 2004 (2nd), 2005 (2nd), 2006 (1st)

Conference honors: 2004 player of the year

NCAA Tournament appearances: 2003 (Sweet 16), 2004 (Sweet 16), 2005 (second round), 2006 (Final Four)

Other honors: 2006 All-Tournament Team

What others say: “I will remember Keelan as one of the best pure shooters that I have seen play.  He was always very poised and had a great understanding of the game.  He hit big shot after big shot for his team.”
– Scott Trost, former Illinois Wesleyan coach

Career synopsis: After playing junior varsity as a freshman at Illinois Wesleyan, it didn’t take Keelan Amelianovich long to make a successful jump to varsity ball.  He was named the CCIW's Most Outstanding Player in only his sophomore season when he averaged 17.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in leading a young Titans squad to a surprising CCIW title.  After another league championship in 2004-05, Amelianovich helped the Titans reach Salem his senior season.  He averaged 18.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game on that Final Four team and scored 28 points in the national semifinals against eventual champion Virginia Wesleyan.  The 6-6 wing was known as one of the best pure shooters in the country, connecting on 254 of 535 career three-point attempts (47.5 percent).  An outstanding student as well, Amelianovich was named the College Division Academic All-American of the Year in 2006.

Forward Rich Melzer
UW-River Falls, 2001-04

Rich MelzerAll-American years: 2003 (2nd), 2004 (1st)

Conference honors: 2003 Player of the Year, 2004 Player of the Year

What others say: “Last spring NBA scouting chief and draft guru Marty Blake told us to keep an eye on ‘that kid from Wisconsin’ — he was talking about Melzer.”
— Mark Simon, Around the Nation (Nov. 20, 2003)

Career synopsis: As competitive as the WIAC has been, a glance at the conference standings from the mid-1960s to today shows that most titles have gone to a handful of teams. In 2004 Richard Melzer changed that, pushing the Falcons to their first WIAC regular season title in 54 seasons.  While UW-River Falls didn’t make the NCAA tournament during Melzer’s tenure, that was partly a product of the smaller playoff field.  Former Falcons coach and current athletic director Rick Bowen recalls, “After [we were] upset in the semifinals of the conference tourney, regular season runner-up Stevens Point, by virtue of winning the conference tournament was the ONLY WIAC team selected for postseason play that year.  They went on to win the NCAA Division III national championship.”  Melzer twice scored 700 points in a season and was an excellent rebounder, finishing third all-time at UW-River Falls with 821.  After graduating Melzer was selected in the first round of the CBA draft by the Sioux Falls Skyforce.  He won a title there and has since played in Australia’s National Basketball League and during the preseason with the San Antonio Spurs.

Center Jason Wiertel
Carthage, 1999-2002

Jason WiertelAll-American years: 2000 (3rd), 2001 (2nd), 2002 (1st)

Conference honors: 2000 co-player of the year

NCAA Tournament appearances: 2000 (second round), 2001 (Elite Eight), 2002 (Final Four)

Other honors: 2002 All-Tournament Team

What others say: “Jason Wiertel was as fierce of a competitor that I have ever coached. He loved to win and loved to score in that order. I have never coached a player that had the ability to score more consistently than Jason.” 
- Bosko Djurickovic, Carthage coach

Career synopsis: Lanky 6-8 power forward Wiertel was the player who, more than anyone else, put the Carthage men's basketball program on the national Division III map. Wiertel, whose distinguishing trademarks were his lefthandedness and his uncanny knack for knifing in sideways for layups where there was little room to operate, finished his career as Carthage's all-time leading scorer with 2,113 points.  “The other aspect of Jason’s game that stood out to me was his consistency,” says Djurickovic.  “In an Elite 8 season of 29 games, Jason scored between 17 and 30 points 28 times.”  He was not only the co-winner of the 2000 CCIW Most Outstanding Player award, he is also one of only four players in the 62-year history of the league to have been named first team all-conference all four years of his career.

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