by Christina Katsamouri, Contributor
Warren Williams and Ant Nelson of the Manhattan men’s basketball team were selected to third team All-MAAC, marking their first awards as Jaspers. The league released the All-MAAC teams in the aftermath of the regular season that saw Manhattan compile a 6-12 record league play, good for a 10-seed at the MAAC Tournament.
Williams averaged 11.5 points and 7.3 rebounds-per- game on his way to earning postseason honors. He started in all 20 games, averaging 26.8 minutes per game while shooting 56.8 percent from the field; the latter of which was fourth best in the MAAC. His season-high in points was 20 against both Monmouth and Fairfield, and he finished third in the MAAC at 7.3 rebounds- per-game.Williams’ defensive skills led him to finish with 32 blocks with an average of 1.6 per game.
Williams praises his coaching staff and teammates who are always there to guide him and take him to the next level.
“I couldn’t be an anchor if my team doesn’t allow me to be one,” Williams told the Quadrangle in an interview after the season. “All-teams awards really show the hard work you put in throughout the season.”
Junior guard Ant Nelson, a transfer from Seton Hall, led his team averaging 13.4 points-per-game in making 19 three-pointers. He played all 20 games and averaged 31.7 minutes-per-game. He had 3.1 assists-per-game and was also mostly reliable from the free- throw line where led the team at 75 percent. When scoring a career-high 27 points against Rider, Nelson went 3 of 4 from three, as well as 8 of 8 from the free throw line, to lead Man- hattan to their first win of the season
“I can always do a better job being a vocal leader but I am still learning,” Nelson said when reflecting on his first season at Manhattan.
The team finished tenth in the MAAC before losing to Fair field 59-58 in over time during the opening round of the MAAC tournament. Nelson closed out his season with 16 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Although not the ending he wanted, Nelson was encouraged by how hard the team worked to improve as the season went along.
“Towards the end of the season was when we got better and if we carry it to the next year it’s gonna look great,” Nelson said.
While very grateful for their awards, their biggest challenge for next year is a better season for the team overall. After not reaching their main goal this year of winning a MAAC Championship, Nelson and Wiliams are looking for ward to trying to make good on that challenge, while continuing to develop their relationship both on and off the court.
“It was a tough year,” Williams said after playing amidst a global pandemic. “Having a new team, a lot of transfers coming in, we had to work on our chemistry.”
The men’s basketball team can’t wait to get back on the court, hopefully with Jaspers fans watching them in-person again. If they can manage to win their first MAAC Championship since 2015 next season, Williams and Nelson will likely be a big reason why.