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February 26, 2019 | Basketball (M)

From left - Monge, Armstrong, Simon, Simeunovic and Popovic.

Monge, Popovic top RSEQ men's basketball honour roll

Two members of the Concordia Stingers were recipients of major awards when the RSEQ announced its men's basketball all-stars and conference honours on Tuesday afternoon.

Fifth-year guard Ricardo Monge was named the outstanding player and Rastko Popovic was named the Coach of the Year.Monge, a fifth-year captain from Gatineau, Que., finished the season with an average of 15.5 points (4th in the RSEQ) and led the league in steals (2.3) and assists (5.5). He was the second best free-throw shooter in the conference at .831.

“I am extremely proud of Ricardo for winning the MVP award this season,” said Popovic. “His outstanding work ethic, dedication and commitment to becoming a complete player have clearly been illustrated over the last five years. To go from not being highly recruited out of cégep to becoming a university league MVP is a tremendous success story.”

This is the third year Monge has been recognized by the conference. He was a second team all-star in 2018 and named to the all-rookie team in 2015.

Monge becomes the first Stinger to win MVP honours since forward Evens Laroche in 2012.

Popovic, who has been in charge of the Stingers’ program since the 2015-16 season, earns his first Coach of the Year honours.

In 2018-19 he led Concordia to its first regular season championship since 2011-12. The team finished in first place in the RSEQ with a 11-5 win-loss record and spent six weeks ranked in the U SPORTS Top 10, peaking at the No. 8 spot.

On offence, Popovic’s team averages 80.2 points a game which ranks first in Quebec. Defensively, the Stingers allow 75.2 points a game which is second best in Quebec.

Joining Monge on the first all-star team is fourth-year guard Adrian Armstrong. He was the second leading scorer in Quebec with an average of 16.4 points a game. He also made the most three-pointers with 56 in 16 games and had a .361 shooting percentage.

Third-year forward Olivier Simon was named to the second all-star team. He scored 14.8 points a game and averaged 6.3 rebounds. He was fifth in the league in both categories. Simon led the RSEQ in three-point shooting percentage making 23 of 46 shots for .500.

Finally, forward Aleks Simeunovic was named to the all-rookie team. He played in nine games and averaged 4.3 points coming off the bench.You can catch the Stinger stars in action on Wednesday at 8 p.m. when they host the Bishop’s Gaiters in the RSEQ semifinals.

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