Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball star Taylor Rohde became the first student-athlete in school history to gain National Player-of-the-Year honors when he earned the award from Division II Bulletin on Monday.
Already chosen an All-American by coaches, sports information directors and Basketball Times, the 6-9, 255-pound center paced five fellow seniors on the D-II Bulletin First Team All-America squad. Rohde was already the 10th player in Seawolf men’s basketball history to be named All-American, but he becomes the first to gain consensus recognition since multiple entities started awarding such honors.
“We are thrilled for Taylor and proud of his incredible accomplishments this season,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne, whose Seawolves finished No. 16 in the final national rankings. “He has represented the Seawolf program with class and integrity both on and off the court, and I believe his best basketball is still ahead of him.”
The Phoenix (Pinnacle HS) native led the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in scoring (19.8), field-goal percentage (.627, 8th nationally) and double-doubles (9), and finished in a virtual three-way tie for the rebounding lead with 8.0 rpg.
The two-year transfer from Arizona State was a double-figure scorer in 26 of 30 games this season and shot 50-plus percent from the floor in 25 of the last 26 contests, including an ending streak of 17. Rohde tallied 12 games of at least 25 points – including four outings of 30-plus. Among his most impressive performances were a 28-point, 16-rebound effort in a Nov. 25 victory over Division I UC Irvine and his 32 points and 11 rebounds in UAA’s NCAA Tournament First Round win over Montana State Billings.
As a team, the Seawolves finished 23-7 overall and 15-3 in the GNAC – just one game behind eventual national champion Western Washington. UAA was the No. 2 regional seed as the GNAC captured four of the eight NCAA Tournament berths in what has recently been the nation’s most successful region at the national level.
Rohde quickly climbed UAA’s all-time charts, reaching the 1,000-point mark in just 57 games and breaking the career record for field-goal percentage at .621. He also finished among the program leaders in scoring average (10th, 17.9 ppg), points (11th, 1,143), rebounds (t-11th, 463), rebounding averages (10th, 7.2 rpg), free throws made (4th, 291), free throws made per game (4th, 4.5), double-doubles (t-7th, 13) and games started (11th, 63).
UAA Men’s BasketballAll-time All-Americans: 1984 Jeff Martin (3rd Team), 1987 Hansi Gnad (1st Team) and Jesse Jackson (1st Team), 1989 Michael Johnson (1st Team) and Todd Fisher (3rd Team), 1990 Todd Fisher (1st Team), 1995 Jason Kaiser (3rd Team), 2001 Ed Kirk (3rd Team), 2008 Luke Cooper (1st Team/D-II Bulletin/2nd Team/B-ball Times) and Carl Arts (1st Team/NABC), 2012 Taylor Rohde (1st Team/B-ball Times / 2nd Team/Daktronics / 1st Team/NABC / 1st Team/D-II Bulletin - National Player of the Year)
Note: List does not include honorable mention honorees