2013-14 Men's Basketball
Will Pope named Second Team All-HCAC
March 4, 2014
BLUFFTON, Ohio - For the second straight season, Bluffton senior standout Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) collected a piece of All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference hardware. The herculean post was named to the second team after earning honorable mention acclaim a season ago. Fellow enforcer Thayne Recker (Arlington) secured honorable mention All-HCAC after a dominating sophomore campaign for the Beavers.
As one of three Bluffton bullies in the paint, Pope finished his final campaign ninth in the HCAC with 14.3 PPG and his 6.4 RPG placed him fourth in the conference. Pope's 57.1 field goal percentage (153-of-268) was sixth in the conference. He handed out 28 assists and picked up 11 steals in his final season.
Pope became the 10th player in Bluffton men's basketball history to go over 1,000 career points with at least 500 rebounds. He finished with 1,146 points and 610 boards, making him the seventh Beaver to eclipse 1,100 points and 600 rebounds. His 1,146 points place him 18th all-time on the career scoring list. He finished 16th all-time with 476 made field goals and his .552 career field goal percentage is also in Bluffton's top 10. Pope's 610 career boards are 11th all-time and the second-highest total (behind Brent Farley) since Pete DuMonte finished his career in 1987.
A pillar of consistency and durability, Pope played in all 102 games that the Beavers took the floor for during his time at Bluffton, including 47 starts. He went over 20 points nine times in his career while also recording eight double-doubles. His 31 points at Franklin on February 8 was a career high as were his 14 rebounds against those same Grizzlies in the Sommer Center on December 7, 2013. Pope scored in double figures 37 times over the past two seasons to the delight of the Bluffton faithful who enjoy physical play around the basket!
Sophomore Thayne Recker showed a year ago that he was built to hang with the big boys when he led the Heartland Conference with a sparkling 65.2 field goal percentage (75-of-115). Recker came back for round two and picked up right where he left off. He was part of Bluffton's three-headed monster on the blocks until senior Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) went down with a shoulder injury in early January. With Kinn sidelined for six straight contests, Recker moved into the starting lineup where he remained for the final 13 games of the year.
He led the Bluffton posts with 27.4 minutes per game. Recker's 63.3 percent from the field (126-of-199) was second in the HCAC, behind just Kinn who was a ridiculous 82-for-123 (66.7 percent). The honorable mention sophomore led the Beavers with 6.8 RPG which was good for 2nd in the HCAC. He blocked 13 shots and picked up 13 steals while handing out 17 dimes this season. Recker owns career highs of 28 points and 13 rebounds in a game and he has already accumulated six double-doubles in his first two seasons as a Beaver.
In conjunction with the All-Heartland Conference awards, the conference has announced the All-HCAC Sportsmanship Team for 2013-14. This award has been developed as part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative. Members of the All-HCAC Sportsmanship team are selected by the coaches and their teammates as individuals who demonstrate the ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field/court of competition. Bluffton senior Jon Fowler (Cincinnati/St. Xavier) was recognized for his sportsmanship this season.