Luke Hollomon, Staff Writer
Seniors Kylie Yoshimura and Tanner Bruffey were named to their respective First Team All-SCAC teams last week. While these awards were great honors for each, especially in their final years at the University of Dallas, one cannot help but think they may have deserved more.
Yoshimura led the Crusaders in points per game (14.6), assists (6.5 per game), steals (2.0 per game) and assist to turnover ratio (1.5). In addition, her assists led the conference by almost two per game, and she finished top-10 in the conference in more than 5 statistical categories. This should have given her a very good shot at SCAC Player of the Year.
She got no first place votes, however, as co-winners Murphy Burns (Trinity University) and Chelsea Leeder (Southwestern University) split the votes. Burns was second in the conference in scoring, but outside of the top 10 in field goal percentage. She also averaged more turnovers than assists and only bested Yoshimura in three-point field goals, free throw percentage and steals.
Leeder scored at the same clip as Yoshimura with fewer assists, but topped her in three-point field goal percentage, steals and blocks.
With her strong numbers, even compared to the winners, it is a shame that Yoshimura did not get more player-of-the-year votes. A major factor may have been that the selections were made before Yoshimura scored 15 points in the second half of Dallas’s semifinal game against Trinity. She also had a key steal and three-pointer that sunk halfway, but somehow rattled out in the final minute, which would have likely won the game for the Crusaders.
Bruffey, a senior from Lubbock, Texas, had one first-place vote, but it was not enough to get by league scoring leader Jonathan Blount. Bruffey was second in the conference in points (15.8 per game) to Blount, but also placed in the top 10 in rebounds (6.1 per game), field goal percentage (38.9 percent), free throw percentage (75.7 percent), and three-point percentage (35.3 percent).
Blount took top honors because his 21 points-per-game scoring average bettered Bruffey by almost six points.
Even though they were denied top honors, both Bruffey and Yoshimura delivered remarkable seasons and were strong leaders of their teams. Yoshimura’s tough play in the conference playoffs almost saw the Crusaders take down undefeated Trinity in a thriller. Meanwhile, Bruffey made a key three-pointer that kept a first-round loss to Austin College close into the final minutes.
Both were great players and will be missed now that their careers at UD have ended. Hopefully, junior Ross Davidson, who made All-SCAC Second Team for the men, as well as Sophomore Brooke Hagemann and Freshman Christy Allen, who made All-Conference Third Team for the women, will be able to fill their large shoes after graduation.
Another notable senior who just finished his career at UD is Drew Assinessi. The point guard was All-SCAC Honorable Mention this year, but has served as the backbone of the Crusader offense for the last three years. His spot will leave a serious hole to fill going into next season.