Carpenter named AAC Player of the Year
BC junior Byron Carpenter named 2011-2012 AAC Player of the Year
March 14, 2012
The Appalachian Athletic Conference named Bluefield center Byron Carpenter the 2011-2012 Player of the Year.
A junior from Virginia Beach, Carpenter led the AAC with 8.4 rebounds per game. He also led the Rams in scoring with 21.4 points per game, shooting 61 percent from the floor.
“I felt like all of my summer workouts paid off,” said Carpenter. “All of the coaching, the hard work and sweat I put into it finally paid off.”
Carpenter, who was also named to the All-AAC First Team, brought more defensive attention from opponents than anyone else on the team. Even though he was often double teamed by the opposing team, he was still the national leader in total scoring this season for NAIA Division II with 705 points.
As the season progressed, Carpenter learned to block out his frustration at the added defensive pressure.
“It’s not good to get frustrated, but I learned to settle down toward the end of the year,” said Carpenter. “I figured out that it’s not all about scoring anyway as long as we get the win.”
The play of his teammates, including Second Team All-AAC guard Kearsten Marion and All-AAC Freshman Team guard Drew Wilson, opened up more scoring opportunities throughout games.
“I just played through it and didn’t worry about calls and getting fouled,” said Carpenter. “I just tried to make the tough shots. My teammates helped me out a lot. We have people that can shoot the three and people that can drive.”
Carpenter played a big part in helping the Rams to a third-place finish in the AAC. The Rams finished with a 10-6 record in conference play and an 18-15 overall record.
Although the Rams were eliminated from the AAC tournament in the semifinals by Reinhardt and did not receive a bid to the NAIA Tournament, they will be participating in the NCCAA Championship Tournament.
Carpenter expects the Rams to go far in their remaining postseason play.
“We had an early exit from [the conference] tournament, but everybody’s prepared to win,” said Carpenter. “We still want to get a ring at the end of the year. I want all of this hard to pay off.”
Although the Rams leave the AAC after this season for the NAIA Division I Mid-South Conference, Carpenter said he thinks he can repeat his performance against the tougher competition next year.
“I feel like I can play with anybody,” said Carpenter. “I feel like I can do it again in another league.”