INDIANAPOLIS – The 2016-17 UNC Asheville men’s basketball team is featured among the best in the nation in the final NCAA Division I men’s basketball statistics.
The Bulldogs finished with the second-best turnover margin in the entire country at 4.9. UNC Asheville as a team forced its opponents into 547 turnovers (10th-best in Division I) while only turning the basketball over 384 times.
The stingy Asheville defense also ended the 2016-17 season in the top-10 in the country in steals per game at 9.3 (seventh). The 306 steals this year as a team by the Bulldogs was tied for sixth-best in NCAA Division I.
These top-10 honors are on top of the numerous categories the Bulldogs led in the Big South as a team, including three-point field goal percentage (.394 – 19th in Division I), steals, turnover margin and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3 – 28th in Division I).
Individually, Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year Ahmad Thomas finished fourth in the country in total steals with 99 and fifth in steals per game at 3.00.
The junior do-it-all Thomas led the Big South Conference in field goal percentage at 54.4 percent shooting (243-of-447).
Asheville junior guard Kevin Vannatta led the Big South Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.9.
Big South Conference Freshman of the Year MaCio Teague ended his freshman All-America campaign second in the Big South Conference and 22nd in NCAA Division I in free throw percentage at 88.6 (101-of-114). At one point during Big South play this past season, Teague connected on 29 consecutive free throws.
UNC Asheville head coach Nick McDevitt and his staff guided the Bulldogs to their sixth Big South Conference regular-season title in the 2016-17 season (1996-97, 1997-98, 2001-02, 2007-08, 2011-12 and 2016-17).
The Bulldogs will commence the 2017-18 season having now collected back-to-back 20-win seasons and having made two straight postseason appearances with the Bulldogs playing in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and the 2017 CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
The 2016-17 Bulldogs collected the second-most wins in program history in a season with 23. Asheville reached 20 wins faster than any other team in program history in 27 games.
UNC Asheville Men’s Basketball Individual and Team Awards in the 2016-17 Season
MaCio Teague – Big South Player of the Week (Dec. 27)
Ahmad Thomas – Big South Player of the Week (Dec. 12, Feb. 13 and Feb. 26)
MaCio Teague – Big South Freshman of the Week (Nov. 21, Jan. 2, Jan. 9 and Feb. 13)
Kevin Vannatta – CoSIDA Academic All-District Three Team
Ahmad Thomas – Preseason All-Big South Conference
Kevin Vannatta – Preseason All-Big South Conference
Donovan Gilmore – SAAC Representative at NCAA Convention
Kevin Vannatta – Big South’s NCAA National SAAC Representative
Giacomo Zilli – Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year
MaCio Teague – Big South Freshman of the Year
Ahmad Thomas – Big South Defensive Player of the Year
MaCio Teague – Big South All-Conference first-team
Ahmad Thomas – Big South All-Conference first-team
MaCio Teague – Big South All-Freshman Team
Giacomo Zilli – Big South All-Academic Team
Bulldogs Ranked as high as 19th in CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25
Big South Conference regular-season champions
CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament No. 1 seed
Ahmad Thomas – NABC District Three first-team selection
MaCio Teague – NABC District Three second-team selection
Nick McDevitt – NABC District Three Coach of the Year
Giacomo Zilli – DI-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete
Kevin Vannatta – DI-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete
Nick McDevitt – Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award finalist
MaCio Teague – Kyle Macy Freshmen All-America team selection