Penn State Altoona places five on AMCC men’s basketball All-Conference team

Saivon Ward playing basketball

Saivon Ward was one of five Penn State Altoona men’s basketball players to earn postseason awards from the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, as the league released its All-Conference team and individual honors.

Credit: Kirk Zembower

NORTH BOSTON, N.Y. — Five Penn State Altoona men’s basketball players earned postseason awards from the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, as the league released its All-Conference team and individual honors on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Forward Dwayne Jones of Philadelphia picked up one of the headlining individual awards, being voted the AMCC Defensive Player of the Year. On the All-Conference team portion of the awards, guard Saivon Word of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was voted to the first team, guard/forward Andruw Harman of Chesapeake, Virginia, and center PJ Charles of Altoona were selected to the second team, and forward Mason Bush of Pittsburgh was picked to the third team.

With four players named to the AMCC’s All-Conference squad and one other receiving a player of the year award, the Lions’ total of five honorees among the AMCC postseason awards is the most in program history for Penn State Altoona men’s basketball.

In his first season with Penn State Altoona after transferring from nearby AMCC opponent Mount Aloysius, Jones made a big impact defensively for the Lions. In the conference, he ranks second in blocks (48) and blocks per game (1.8), seventh in defensive rebounds (117), ninth in defensive rebounds per game (4.5), 13th in steals (33), and 14th in steals per game (1.3). In addition to his defensive statistics, Jones led the AMCC in field goal percentage (65.9) while also ranking third in offensive rebounds (62), fifth in total rebounds (179), sixth in total rebounds per game (6.9), 19th in points (274), and 23rd in points per game (10.5). He earned one AMCC Player of the Week award during the season.

Word had an all-around productive season for the Lions this year, making his presence felt at both ends of the court. He leads the AMCC in steals (57) and steals per game (2.2) and is tied for first in assists per game (4.1) while also ranking second in assists (107), sixth in free throws made (82), eighth in points (387), points per game (14.9), and field goals made (142), 10th in field goal percentage (50.4), free throw percentage (71.3), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6), 15th in points per 40 minutes (19.0), blocks (12), and blocks per game (0.5), 20th in rebounds (112), 21st in defensive rebounds (83), 23rd in offensive rebounds (29), 26th in rebounds per game (4.3), and 29th in three-pointers made (21).

Word was a third-team All-AMCC selection last season.

Harman capped his four-year Lions career with another strong season, which began with him being voted the AMCC’s Preseason Player of the Year and included surpassing the 1,000-point mark for his collegiate career. In the AMCC, Harman is second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3), third in blocks (38) and blocks per game (1.5), fourth in steals (45), assists (85), and assists per game (3.3), fifth in steals per game (1.7) and defensive rebounds (130), seventh in total rebounds (160), 10th in field goals made (125), 11th in rebounds per game (6.2), 12th in points (315), 15th in points per game (12.1), 20th in field goal percentage (45.1), 21st in offensive rebounds (30), 22nd in free throws made (40), 26th in three-pointers made (25), and 35th in points per 40 minutes (14.8).

Last season, Harman was a first-team All-AMCC selection, was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, and was also a first-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III selection. Harman also took second-team All-AMCC honors his first year in 2019-20, when he was also awarded the league’s Newcomer of the Year recognition.

Charles enjoyed another successful season in the paint for Penn State Altoona. In the AMCC, he ranks second in offensive rebounds (66), third in rebounds per game (8.2), fourth in field goal percentage (56.0), 10th in total rebounds (156), 11th in points per 40 minutes (20.2), 12th in points per game (12.8), 14th in free throw percentage (65.0), 19th in field goals made (102), defensive rebounds (90), and assists per game (1.9), 23rd in free throws made (39) and points (244), 28th in assists (37), 29th in steals per game (0.9), 32nd in blocks (5), and 35th in steals (17) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0).

Last season, Charles was a third-team All-AMCC selection.

Bush emerged as one of the league’s top scorers this season, particularly from beyond the arc. Among all AMCC players, he ranks fifth in three-pointers made (51) and three-point field goal percentage (40.5) while also being 13th in offensive rebounds (41), 17th in points (291), 19th in points per game (11.2) and points per 40 minutes (17.7), 20th in field goals made (101), 24th in free throws made (38) and total rebounds (100), 27th in steals (23), 28th in field goal percentage (41.6) and rebounds per game (3.8), 30th in steals per game (0.9), 34th in assists (34), 35th in defensive rebounds (59), and 37th in assists per game (1.3). During the season, Bush earned one AMCC Player of the Week award.

This is Bush’s first appearance on an All-AMCC team.

Penn State Altoona men’s basketball finished its 2022-23 season with a 17-9 overall record, including a 12-2 mark in the AMCC that placed the team second in the conference standings. The Lions reached the AMCC championship game and finished as conference runners-up.