The protocol at the end of any season is to scroll through the statistics and one's memory in order to determine which players outshined the rest.
On Sunday, the National Basketball Development League announced that North Charleston Lowgators guard Fred House was named the Rookie of the Year. On Thursday, the league will announce its Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year.
SportsTicker has established three awards of its own for the this season.
MVP: Columbus Riverdragons forward Tremaine Fowlkes. Fowlkes, who was signed by the Los Angeles Clippers on February 23, was averaging 16.7 points per game, leading Columbus at the time of his departure. When he signed with Los Angeles, the Riverdragons were 24-20 and in third place, 3½ games behind North Charleston for the top position. He led Columbus in scoring in 18 of the team's 44 games.
Best Addition: Fayetteville Patriots guard Omar Cook. Without a doubt, Cook was the best addition in the league this season. After signing on January 7, Cook started slowly through the first nine games, averaging 5.9 points and 4.9 assists a game. He then reached double-figures in assists in seven of his next 10 games
and scored in double digits in 14 of his next 16 contests. The former St. John's point guard joined a Patriots team that was 5-16. With Cook as the point guard, Fayetteville went 16-19.
Would Not Want to Match Up Against: Greenville Groove center Thomas Hamilton. Hamilton stands 7-foot-2 and is listed at 330 pounds. There is no secret as to why Hamilton led the league in rebounding. He finished second in the league with 1.3 blocks per game.
Around the NBDLAsheville (26-30): Even winning five of their final six games could not help the Altitude, who finished the regular season in a fifth-place tie with Huntsville and missed the playoffs by four games. If Asheville needs help understanding why it did not make the playoffs, look no further than a 19-game stretch from January 6 to February 19 in which it went 4-15. ... Center Paul Grant led Asheville with 11.0 points per game and Lee Scruggs finished second with 10.9 points per game. ... The Altitude had a pair of players get called up to the NBA this season. Guard Jason Hart was signed by the San Antonio Spurs on December 19 and guard Rusty LaRue was signed by the Utah Jazz on January 28.
Columbus (31-25): The Riverdragons used 29 points from forward Gabe Muoneke for a 95-92 victory over Mobile in the regular-season finale on Saturday, March 23, giving Columbus the third seed in the playoffs. With their three-point win, the Riverdragons finished the season one game ahead of Mobile and will take on Greenville in the opening round. Columbus split with the Groove during the season, with each team winning three games, but won just twice in 10 meetings with top-seeded North Charleston. ... Muoneke led the Riverdragons with 17.1 points per game, finishing second in the league, and was second on the team with 5.9 rebounds per game. ... Center Kareem Poole lead Columbus with 7.6 rebounds per game.
Fayetteville (21-35): The Patriots closed out the regular season with an 82-76 loss to Columbus on March 22 but had won four of their previous six games and avoided finishing last in the league. In the loss to the Riverdragons, forward Greg Stempin tied a league season-high with 36 points, hitting 10 of 24 shots from the floor, including 4 of 11 from the 3-point line. Stempin led Fayetteville with 15.7 points per game this season. ... Since Jeff Caple took over as head coach on January 8 (his first game was January 9), the Patriots went 16-18. That's not bad, considering that he took over a team that was 5-17. ... Guard Omar Cook was a welcomed addition after signing on January 7. Cook averaged 12.2 points and 7.8 assists per game and recorded 10 double-doubles in 35 games with the Patriots. ... Fayetteville went 8-20 on the road, the second-worst road record in the league.
Greenville (36-20): The Groove used a league-high 15-game winning streak from February 10 to March 14 to put themselves in contention for the top spot in the league. However, Greenville suffered a 92-83 loss to North Charleston in the regular-season finale on March 23 and fell into second slot for the playoffs after losing the season series with the Lowgators, 4-3. ... The Groove will face Columbus in the opening round. The two teams split their six meetings during the regular season. ... Guard Billy Thomas led Greenville and was ninth in the league with 14.0 points per game. ... Center Thomas Hamilton led the league, averaging 9.4 rebounds per game, and the Groove led the league at 40.1 rebounds per game.
Huntsville (26-30): The Flight finished the regular season with six losses in their last seven games, including an 78-76 defeat against Mobile on March 22. Huntsville completed its season in a fifth-place tie with Asheville and missed the playoffs by four games. ... Guard Jimmie Hunter, who led the team with 12.8 points per game, reached double figures in seven of his last eight games, leading the Flight in scoring on six occasions. Hunter had a season-high 35 points against North Charleston on March 6. ... Forward Shelly Clark was second in the league and first on Huntsville with 8.8 rebounds per game. Clark posted 12 double-doubles this season, the second-most in the league. ... The Flight only had a winning record against Fayetteville (5-2) and Roanoke (4-2).
Mobile (30-26): The Revelers had a chance to avoid top-seeded North Charleston in the first round of the playoffs but suffered a 95-92 loss to Columbus in the regular-season finale. Mobile, which finished in fourth place, was the league's best defensive team, holding teams to just 74.3 points per game. ... Guard Isaac Fontaine led the league with 17.4 points per game, hitting 46.7 percent of his shots from the floor. Fontaine reached double digits in 22 consecutive games to close out the season. ... The Revelers enter the playoffs winners of eight of their last 12 games ... Forward Derek Hood led the
league with 13 double-doubles this season, his last coming on March 8 in a win against Huntsville.
North Charleston (36-20): The Lowgators closed out the regular season on a five-game winning streak and regained the No. 1 seed in the upcoming playoffs with a 92-83 win over Greenville on March 23. With its victory in the regular-season finale, North Charleston took the season series with the Groove, 4-3, and will face Mobile in the opening round of the playoffs. ... The Lowgators led the league with 82.8 points per game, 700 offensive rebounds and 434 steals. ... North Charleston owned the league's best
road record at 20-8 but is only four games above .500 at the North Charleston Coliseum at 16-12. .... Guard Fred House and forard Sedric Weber each averaged 13.4 points per game to lead the Lowgators.
Roanoke (18-38): The Dazzle wish the regular season would have ended 11 games ago. Roanoke finished with 11 consecutive losses, falling into last place in the league standings. ... Despite taking the most 3-pointers in the league (817), the Dazzle averaged only 75.9 points per game, the fewest in the league. ... Roanoke went 7-21 on the road this season, the worst road mark in the league. ... Guard Andre McCollum, who played in just one of the last six games, led the Dazzle with 14.5 points per game. Guard Artie Griffin, who missed 12 straight games from February 23 to March 17 due to injury, was second with 14.3 points per game.