West Liberty University’s Seger Bonifant has been selected as the 2014-15 Basketball Times NCAA Division II National Player of the Year.
Bonifant is the second Hilltopper in the past three years to earn National Player of the Year honors from the national magazine, which bills itself as “The Voice of College Basketball,” joining 2013 honoree Alex Falk.
This is just the latest in a long list of post-season honors for the 6-7 junior sharpshooter from Berlin, Ohio, who swept the Mountain East Conference and Atlantic Region Player of the Year Awards earlier this month.
Although he was the leading scorer in the Atlantic Region and ranked among the top 10 nationally at 22.8 ppg., it was Bonifant’s long-range marksmanship which set him apart as the only junior on Basketball Times’ five-man first-team All-America unit and the National Player of the Year.
Bonifant was the active NCAA Division II leader in career 3-point field goal percentage coming into the season and padded that margin by leading the nation in 3-point field goals (117) and 3-point field goal percentage (117-of-224, .522). His career 3-point field goal percentage (259-of-480, .540) ranks No. 1 in NCAA Division II history.
Despite his perimeter prowess, Bonifant emerged as more than just a 3-point specialist this year, helping the No. 5 Hilltoppers (28-4) to their sixth straight conference title only to fall just short of an unprecedented fifth consecutive Atlantic Region crown when a late 3-pointer gave Indiana (Pa.) a 77-74 upset win in Atlantic Region title tilt.
While he led the nation in 3-point field goals and 3-point field goal percentage, Bonifant actually made more baskets and shot a higher percentage inside the arc where the junior standout was a sizzling 137-of-223 (.614) on 2-point field goal attempts. For good measure, he also led the MEC in free throws, hitting 105-of-124 (.847) from the charity stripe.
Bonifant reached double-figures in 31 of West Liberty’s 32 games with 20 games of 20 or more points, seven 30-point games and a career-high 44-point explosion in a win at Glenville on . Already ranking among the Hilltoppers’ all-time leading scorers with 1,396 career points heading into his senior season, he drained an NCAA Division II season-high 10 3-pointers in a win against Shepherd on and set a career-high by going 14-of-15 from the foul line at Urbana on .
Joining Bonifant on the 2014-15 Basketball Times NCAA Division II First-Team All-America list are four seniors – 6-3 Troran Brown of Montevallo (Ala.), 6-2 Kevin Capers of Florida Southern, 6-4 Garrett Kerr from the University of the Sciences (Pa.) and Jake Thelen of Bellarmine (Ky.).
Linc Darner of No. 1-ranked Florida Southern was chosen as the Basketball Times National Coach of the Year.
2014-15 Basketball Times All-Americans
NCAA Division II
Basketball Times Player of the Year: SEGER BONIFANT, WEST LIBERTY
Basketball Times Coach of the Year: Linc Darner, Florida Southern
Player Ht. Yr.
SEGER BONIFANT, WEST LIBERTY 6-7 JR.
Troran Brown, Montevallo (Ala.) 6-3 Sr.
Kevin Capers, Florida Southern 6-2 Sr.
Garrett Kerr, U.Sciences (Pa.) 6-4 Sr.
Jake Thelen, Bellarmine (Ky.) 6-6 Sr.
Terrence Drisdom, Cal Poly Pomona 6-5 Sr.
Daniel Jansen, Augustana (S.D.) 6-9 Jr.
Mitch McCarron, Metropolitan State (Colo.) 6-3 Sr.
Jordan Riewer, Minn. State-Moorhead 6-2 Sr.
Tylon Smith, Southern Connecticut State 6-2 Sr.
Gerald Beverly, Daemen (N.Y.) 6-7 Sr.
Troy Leaf, Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 6-1 Sr.
Zygimantas Riauka, Wis.-Parkside 6-9 Sr.
Deonta Stocks, West Georgia 6-1 So.
Darrell Williams, Texas A&M-Commerce 6-8 Sr.