Justin Felisko/The Student
It didn’t take long for Alex Berthiaume to get accustomed to his new surroundings at Springfield College.
After transferring from Division II St. Michael’s last spring, the junior guard put together a stellar first season for Charlie Brock and the men’s basketball team as he was honored as the NEWMAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year Wednesday morning.
“The award means a lot to me personally because it shows that all the hard work and training I have put in this offseason has paid off,” said Berthiaume. “But the award also shows the importance of our whole team, because, without all of my teammates contributions I wouldn’t have been able to perform as well.”
Berthiaume led all scorers this season with an outstanding 19.2 points per game, ahead of MIT’s Noel Hollingsworth (17 PPG).
The Springfield, Mass. native made an immediate impact and helped the Pride win the most games, 17, since the 2005 season when SC won 22 games.
“The adjustment of transferring did not really play a factor,” said Berthiaume. “As soon as I met the guys and we all started playing together throughout the preseason we learned how to play off each other and we were able to adjust to each others’ games.”
The junior guard proved to be a versatile player, playing point guard early in the season, then moving off the ball when sophomore Sean Martin was inserted into the lineup.
Berthiaume also had big games when it counted the most. He helped Springfield advance to the NEWMAC finals with a 22-point performance against WPI in the semifinals, after the two teams split the regular season meetings.
However, SC came up short once again to the Engineers in the finals, falling to MIT 65-60.
The award is a consolation prize for Berthiaume.
“It’s a little bittersweet after losing to MIT, although it is an honor to receive the player of the year in our conference,” said Berthiaume. “As a team our goal was to win our conference and make it to the NCAA Tournament and unfortunately we fell a little short.”
Terrence Payne can be reached at email@example.com