February 28, 2017—Mount St. Mary's University men's basketball coach Jamion Christian has been named the Northeast Conference Jim Phelan Coach of the Year. In addition, Elijah Long was named First Team All-NEC, Junior Robinson Second Team All-NEC, and Miles Wilson to the NEC All-Rookie Team.
Christian earns Jim Phelan NEC Coach of the Year honors after leading the Mountaineers to their first NEC regular season title in 21 years with a 14-4 league mark. Playing one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation, the Mount opened the year 1-11. Since then, Christian guided the Mount to 15 wins over the past 19 games, and the team finished the regular season 16-15 overall and 14-4 in NEC play. The Mountaineers have qualified for the NEC Tournament in all five of Christian's seasons at the Mount, and the team is 6-3 in the NEC Tournament under his direction.
It has also been 21 years since the Mount has had the NEC Coach of the Year. Legendary Mount coach Jim Phelan, whom the NEC Coach of the Year Award is named for, won NEC Coach of the Year honors in 1995-96 when he led the Mount to the NEC regular season title and an NIT berth.
Elijah Long is the first Mount player to earn First Team All-NEC honors since Jeremy Goode in 2009-10. He is just the fifth Mountaineer all-time to earn First Team All-NEC, joining Chris McGuthrie (1994-95 and 1995-96), Riley Inge (1995-96), Gregory Harris (1998-99) and Goode (2008-09 and 2009-10).
A sophomore, Long is in the midst tremendous season for the Mount, leading the team in scoring (14.8), assists (4.5) and steals (1.5) while chipping in 5.3 rebounds per game. He has scored 20 or more points seven times this year, including a career-high 29 in the Mount's 79-74 win at Fairleigh Dickinson. He leads the NEC in assists, and is looking to become the first Mount player to lead the conference in assists since Inge in 1993-94.
Robinson was named Second Team All-NEC for the second consecutive season. The 5-5 guard is averaging 13.4 points and 2.9 assists while shooting 39.9 percent (61-of-153) from three-point range and 87.7 percent (93-for-106) at the foul line. Robinson had three games with 20 or more points this year, including a career-best 28 in the Mount's 74-70 win at Robert Morris. He became the 47th player in Mount history to surpass 1,000 career points this year, and he upped his scoring average in NEC games to 14.2 points per game.
Wilson is averaging 11.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in his first season with the Mountaineers. The 6-5 freshman guard reached double figures 18 times during his rookie campaign, including a career-high 26 points in the Mount's loss at UT Arlington in November. In NEC play, Wilson's numbers improved to 12.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.
Mount St. Mary's won the NEC regular season title, and will host No. 8 seed Sacred Heart on Wednesday, March 1, at 7:00 p.m. at Knott Arena. For tickets, contact the Mount Ticket Office at 301-447-5700.