On the heels of a historic season, Hobart College Head Basketball Coach Stefan Thompson ’13 has been named the D3hoops.com East Region Coach of the Year. Additionally, senior guard Tucker Lescoe was voted second team All-East and sophomore forward Jackson Meshanic was elected to the third team.
“I’m extremely proud of Stef, our coaching staff and the team,” says Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics and Recreation Deb Steward. “This award is a great tribute to Stef’s leadership, dedicated assistant coaches and a really special Hobart team. Stef will be the first to say that this is a team award. As a proud Hobart alumnus, Stef is passionate about finding ways for himself and the team to get better on and off the court. He has a thirst for knowledge and a hunger for excellence. This year’s team was all in with Stef’s five pillars and that commitment led to one of the most successful seasons in Hobart hoops history.”
In his first season as a head coach, Thompson directed the Statesmen to a 23-5 record that included three wins over nationally-ranked opponents. A 68-56 win over No. 22 Baldwin Wallace in November kick-started a 10-game winning streak. Hobart finished the regular season with a 21-5 record that earned the team an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The Statesmen made the most of the invitation, knocking off No. 14 Saint Joseph (Conn.) 78-74 in the first round and No. 17 Springfield 62-61 in the second round. Hobart was scheduled to play at Christopher Newport in the Sectional Round when the remainder of the tournament was canceled due to the current world-wide health crisis. It’s the first time in program history that the Statesmen have advanced past the second round.
The 23 wins match the program record for wins in a season, while the team’s .821 winning percentage is the highest for any Hobart team that played five or more games (the 1914-15 team was 4-0). The Statesmen were ranked No. 20 in the final D3hoops.com poll, which was announced yesterday.
The Thompson led Statesmen were first in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.367), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.274) and rebounding margin (12.5). Hobart was seventh in scoring defense (62.4 ppg), 12th in defensive rebounds per game (31.25) and 15th in total rebounds (1,202). The field goal percentage defense, 3-point field goal percentage defense, rebounding margin and total rebounds statistics are all Hobart season records.
The most prolific 3-point shooter in program history, Lescoe broke the Hobart records for 3-pointers made in a game, season and career this year. He led the conference and ranked 26th in the nation with 87 3-pointers. Lescoe averaged 13.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists this season. He shot .385 from the floor, .367 from beyond the arc and .741 at the free throw line.
Lescoe broke the game record for 3-pointers made by sinking 12 in a career-high 38-point performance against Skidmore on the final day of the regular season. He made a bid for a triple-double against Ursinus, posting nine points, seven rebounds and a season-high nine assists on his way to MVP honors of the Catholic University Tournament. Lescoe grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds in the Liberty League Tournament semifinals and made a season-high four steals in a home win over Clarkson.
Lescoe is third on Hobart’s all-time list for games started (104) and tied for fourth in games played (109). He finished his career with 1,398 points, 12th all-time. Lescoe made 300 3-pointers, 56 more than any other Statesman. He averaged 12.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting .417 from the floor, .384 from 3-point range and .822 at the free throw line. Lescoe is ninth in career free throw percentage, 12th in career steals (124), 13th in career assists (254) and 14th in career field goals made (459).
Lescoe earned All-Liberty League recognition three times, including first team honors this season. This is the first time he’s garnered all-region acclaim from D3hoops.com.
Meshanic played in 27 games, starting 12, and averaged a team-high 13.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He ranked eighth in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting a Hobart record .651 for the season, Meshanic reached double digits in the scoring column 19 times and led the Liberty League with seven double-doubles.
Meshanic scored a season-high 31 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the home win over Clarkson. He grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds and scored 17 points in the home win over Ithaca. Meshanic was named to the D3hoops.com National Team of the Week after averaging 23.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 4.5 apg in wins at Clarkson and St. Lawrence. He shot 13-of-15 from the field and handed out a season-high seven assists against the Saints. Meshanic logged 12 points and 13 rebounds in his NCAA tournament debut against Saint Joseph and scored a team-high 22 points at Springfield.
Meshanic is making his first all-region appearance after earning a spot on the All-Liberty League first team.
Lescoe and Meshanic raise the number of Statesmen to earn All-East recognition from D3hoops.com to 14. Meshanic is just the second Hobart sophomore to be named All-East, joining Matt Pebole ’12, who merited first team honors as a sophomore in 2009-10.