By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Capital University Men's Basketball has restored its status as an Ohio Athletic Conference powerhouse program this season by winning 20 games for the first time since 2008-09, winning a share of the OAC regular season title for the first time since2012-13 and earning the top seed in the OAC Tournament. On Friday, the conference announced that Capital's team success is being accompanied by a host of individual honors.
Guard Austin Schreck capped off his stellar senior season by receiving the conference's highest honor and was named the Dick Reynolds OAC Player of the Year. He also received the first OAC Defensive Player of the Year and was named First Team All-OAC. Fellow seniors Caleb Cox and Joey Weingartner were both named Second Team All-OAC.
Schreck, a native of Erlanger, Ky., has been one of the most disruptive forces in the conference on both sides of the floor since the season tipped off and is one of the most consistent performers in the league. The guard is fourth in the conference in points with 463 (17.1 ppg),ranks fifth in the league in rebounds with 167 (6.2 rpg) and is tied for eighth in assists with 78 (2.9 apg). Schreck is one of only two players in the conference in the top10 in points, rebounds and assists. All of those represent career highs. Schreck recorded 11 20-point games, including four in a row from Dec. 8-17. He scored 15 or more points in 18 games and failed to reach 10 points only twice.
On the defensive end, Schreck recorded a career-best 36 steals (1.3 per game), tied for the seventh-most in the conference. He blocked nine shots over the course of the season. Thanks to Schreck's contributions, the Crusaders were the top defensive team in the OAC and allowed only 70.1 points per game. Capital's opponents shot only 43.4 percent from the floor against the Crusaders, the third-best mark in the conference.
Schreck is the first Capital player since Spencer Niekamp in 2013 to be named the OAC Player of the Year. This is also the first time in Schreck's career that he
was named First Team All-OAC. Schreck also became the 32nd member of Capital's 1,000 career point club in December and is 11th on Capital's all-time scoring list with 1,356 career points.
While Schreck was instrumental to Capital's success this year he certainly had help. All-OAC Second Teamers Cox and Weingartner played pivotal roles for the Crusaders all year long.
Weingartner finished second on the team with a career-high 414 points (15.3 ppg) and also joined the 1,000 point club in January. Weingartner scored at least 20 points four times this season including a 32-point outing on Nov. 28 against Adrian College (Mich.). The 32 points were a new career high for the Centerville, Ohio native and he hit nine 3-pointers in that game to tie the program record for most triples in a single game. Weingartner recorded 15 games of 15 or more points and scored at least 10 points in 23 games. The senior guard is currently 23rd on Capital's all-time scoring list with 1,159 points.
Capital's force in the middle, Cox has been one of the most dominant players in the conference this season and is one of only two OAC players averaging a
double-double. The senior has scored a career-high 403 points this season (14.9 ppg) and has scored 124 more points than he did last year. Cox's 58.5 field goal percentage is the third-best in the conference. His 272 rebounds (10.1 rpg) are the second-most in the OAC and are also a new career mark. Cox has 11 double-doubles this year, tied for 38th in the country. Cox has recorded a career-best 40 assists this year and on the defensive end he set new career highs for steals (32) and blocks (13).
This is the first time since 2013 that three Crusaders have been named to All-OAC teams. Capital bowed out of the OAC Tournament in the semifinal round on Feb. 22 and will now wait for a decision on an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Crusaders are currently the third-ranked team in the Great Lakes Region and received the 26th-most votes in the latest D3hoops.com national poll. The 2018-19 tournament field will be announced on Monday, Feb. 25 on NCAA.com.