© Eric Cederberg
Owen Klassen, the AUS Defensive Player of the Year, had 13 points in the Axemen’s 74-55 conference semifinal win over the Saint Mary's Huskies March 2.
By John DeCoste
For a second straight year, Acadia’s Owen Klassen is the Atlantic University Basketball Conference’s top defensive pick.
Last season, the six foot 10 inch fourth year forward from Kingston, ON, became only the second Acadia men’s basketball player to win the award, joining former Axemen Achuil Lual who was the winner in 2008.
Despite missing time with an ankle injury, Klassen was a force again this season at both ends of the court. Along with his impact performance on defense, he averaged a “double-double” of 16.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
Coach Steve Baur said Klassen, the 2009-2010 conference Rookie of the Year, is a key component in Acadia’s defensive scheme.
“Owen has been a main piece of our defence all yearand that goes beyond challenging shots and rebounding,” Baur said.
“Owen has been the vocal leader on and off the floor. His impact on games can be seen in his stats,” the coach added, “but his focus is never on stats or individual recognition, he wants to do what is best to win.
“His passion to make each possession as tough as possible for our opponents has been a critical piece of our success as a program.”
The conference all-star selections had Klassen named to the first all-star team and teammate Anthony Ashe to the second team.
Ashe, a fourth-year swing player from Stittsville, ON, averaged 15.1 points per game for the Axemen this season and made 39.6 per cent of his three-point attempts. Both totals left him among the conference leaders in those categories.