The Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced its All-Conference teams on Monday morning, and the Berkeley College men's and women's basketball teams were well represented. For the women's basketball team, standout Ayana Ratliff was selected as the Player of the Year, while Ashley Duplan was tabbed as an All-Conference player. On the men's side, Michael Taylor, Johnnie Green, and Ricardo Ayuso were selected as All-Conference standouts.
A four-time HVIAC Player of the Week, Ayana Ratliff scored in double figures in all 21 of the Knights' games this season. The Brooklyn, NY native led the conference in scoring as well, netting 27.4 points a clip and posting three games of 30 points or more against league opponents. She was also second in the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in total steals with 83. On the USCAA front, Ratliff led the Nation in scoring, while also placing fifth on the USCAA total steals list.
Ashley Duplan played in all 21 of the Knights' games this past season, averaging 10.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest. The senior scored in double figures 13 times during the 2017-2018 campaign, while also putting together a dominant month of February. Over six games in February, Duplan averaged 17.6 points per game. In perhaps the most memorable weekend of her career, she hit the game-winning three-point basket with four seconds remaining in the Knights' 71-69 triumph over Central Penn on February 10, before coming back the following day to set a program record with nine three-point baskets in Berkeley's 72-61 loss to Davis College. Following the announcement of the awards, women's basketball Head Coach Alex Kuchar spoke.
"It is especially gratifying to see Ayana and Ashley get the credit they deserve," Kuchar said. "Ayana isn't just a tremendous offensive player, she is also an incredible defensive presence as well, and her versatility was invaluable for us during the 2017-2018 season. She exemplified heart, grit, and passion all year long, and the energy she brought with her to the court every game was unwavering. Ayana was an excellent player and an equally tremendous teammate, and I couldn't be more proud of everything she accomplished this season – including earning this prestigious billing. We're looking forward to having her back next season for her senior campaign. As for Ashley, she was an absolute pleasure to have on our women's basketball team for the past two seasons. She is the embodiment of a true college student-athlete. Ashley poured her heart and soul into everything she did at Berkeley. She held herself and her teammates to the highest standard, and that is something we will greatly miss with her not returning to us next season."
Michael Taylor has been incredible for the Knights during his one and only season with the team. He has played in 23 of Berkeley's 26 games, started 22 of them, and he leads the team in scoring with 18 points per contest. His 3.8 assists per game were a team-high, and his 1.6 steals per contest placed him second on the team in that category. His 68 three-point baskets led the Knights. Taylor - a 6'4, Brooklyn, NY native – has scored 20 or more points on eight difference occasions this season – while also reaching the 30 point mark twice. The guard was tabbed as the HVIAC Player of the Week twice, and the USCAA Player of the Week once. Most recently, he scored 31 points in the Knights' 93-82 victory over the Blue Angels of the College of New Rochelle in the HVIAC title game. Following the contest, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.
Johnnie Green earned HVIAC All-Conference honors thanks to his stellar senior season. A testament to his incredible durability – Green was the only Knight to appear in all 26 of the team's contests this season, as he started 25 of them. The Brooklyn, NY native averaged 13.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per night, while also posting six double-doubles on the year. Green was selected as the HVIAC Player of the Week twice this season, while also earning Honor Roll recognition once. Most recently, he scored 22 points and snatched a game-high 11 rebounds to help Berkeley win its fourth consecutive Regional title with a 93-82 win over the College of New Rochelle. Green currently has 998 career points, just two shy of 1,000 for his career.
Ricardo Ayuso earned HVIAC recognition thanks to his vital contributions to Berkeley College's men's basketball team this past season. Ayuso – who played in 23 of the team's 26 games – starting 22 of them – averaged 14.1 points per evening, while also leading the Knights in steals per game with two. His 45 three-point baskets were good for second-most on the team. Ayuso scored in double figures 18 times, while also netting 20 points or more on five different occasions. He currently has 620 points in less than two seasons as a Knight. Following the announcement of the awards, men's basketball Head Coach Jonathan Pena spoke.
"Michael, Johnnie, and Ricardo are truly our team leaders, and the unique aspect of it is that they all bring something different to the table," Pena said. "Mike brings that stellar scoring touch and that uncanny court vision. Johnnie brings that toughness on the glass and that hunger to dominate in the paint, and Ricardo brings that defensive tenacity and that knack for always coming up with a key steal. They're all vital to our team, and they've all played key roles in helping us advance as far as we have this season. They're all excited about next week, and they cannot wait to get to Uniontown!"