Men's College Basketball

Teams of the Decade: Hawks reach remarkable benchmarks

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 28, 2020 12:01 am

The ups and downs the Quincy University men's basketball program experienced throughout the last decade included two incredible highs.

In 2010, the Hawks reached the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional championship game, marking the first Sweet 16 appearance of the D-II era. In 2017, they won the Great Lakes Valley Conference West Division title and finished 25-7, which is tied for the second most single-season victories in program history.

Those highlights, along with the success in between and since, is the by-product of quality recruiting classes and the ability of the coaches to keep some of the best local talent at home.

And if the most recent recruiting class lives up to the hype, more success is on the way.

Until then, here is the QU men's basketball program's all-decade team from 2010-19, as selected by Senior Sports Writer Matt Schuckman:

Chris Babbitt, Guard, Class of 2014

Babbitt emerged as the Hawks' primary offensive weapon as a junior, when he was a first-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection and named to the league's all-defensive team. He averaged a team-best 15.4 points and 5.3 rebounds, while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and reaching double figures in scoring in 23 of 27 games. As a senior, he was a second-team All-GLVC pick as he led the Hawks in scoring with a career-high 16.2 points and ranked second in the GLVC in free-throw shooting at 86.7 percent. He ranks 11th in program history in scoring with 1,353 points.

Billy Baptist, Guard, Class of 2010

A first-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection who as a senior led the Hawks to their only NCAA Division II Sweet 16 appearance, Baptist was a dynamic offensive presence. He averaged 15.5 points and 7.6 rebounds, to go along with a team-leading 39 steals and 38 blocked shots. He shot 56.3 percent from the field and 45.1 percent from 3-point range and was second on the team with 74 assists. Since leaving Quincy, Baptist has played professionally overseas and played 42 games for the Bakersfield Jam in the NBA G-League during the 2013-14 season.

Courtney Belger, Guard, Class of 2012

Belger's ability to control a game from the point guard spot -- offensively and defensively -- has led to a successful and lengthy career playing professionally overseas. It's why he was one of the best point guards in the Great Lakes Valley Conference as well. A second-team all-conference pick as a senior, Belger averaged 11.3 points and 5.2 rebounds, dished out a team-leading 106 assists and finished in the top 10 in the GLVC in assists, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio. He was a member of the GLVC's inaugural all-defensive team and graduated with 415 career assists, which ranks fourth in QU history.

Justin Brock, Center, Class of 2012

A third-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection as a junior during the 2009-10 season when he averaged 15 points and eight rebounds per game, Brock helped the Hawks reach the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 for the first time in program history. A knee injury forced him to take a medical redshirt for the 2010-11 season, but he came back as a force as a senior. During the 2011-12 season, Brock averaged 17.7 points and 8.1 rebounds, earning first-team All-GLVC and second-team All-Midwest Region honors.

Josh Edmonds, Guard, Class of 2011

In QU history, there hasn't been a better free-throw shooter. As a senior in 2010-11, Edmonds set the single-season program record for free-throw shooting at 89.1 percent. He also established the career free-throw percentage record at 85.8 percent. He made 200 of 233 attempts. A third-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection as a senior, Edmonds averaged 12.9 points and 4.1 rebounds, while shooting 45.1 percent from the field. He finished his career with 1,024 points.

Godson Eneogwe, Guard, Class of 2016

One of the most electric players of the decade because of his ability to play above the rim, Eneogwe earned second-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference honors as a senior as he developed into a consistent scorer and high-quality defender. He averaged 10.8 points and 4.8 rebounds and finished the regular season 10th in the GLVC in blocks per game (0.89) and 11th in steals per game (1.50). Ten of his 12 double-digit scoring games came in GLVC play. He played briefly with the Windy City Bulls in the NBA D-League before signing to play professionally in Spain.

Evan McGaughey, Forward, Class of 2017

As a senior, McGaughey helped the Hawks to one of the best seasons in program history as they went 25-7 and reached the second round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional. He averaged 16.8 points and eight rebounds, while shooting 58.9 percent from the field and 52.2 percent from 3-point range. That ability to stretch the floor earned the 6-foot-8 McGaughey a pro contract and he's played the last three seasons overseas. A three-time All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection, McGaughey is fourth in QU history in scoring (1,574 points) and seventh in rebounding (831 boards).

Herm Senor II, Guard, Class of 2017

Overlooked when it came to postseason honors his senior season, Senor's teammates knew he was the catalyst of a team that tied the 1980-81 team for the second-most single-season victories in program history. The Hawks won the Great Lakes Valley Conference West Division title and their first postseason game since 2009 with Senor at the point. He averaged 11.6 points, 6.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game, while making 49 3-pointers and shooting 81.5 percent from the free-throw line. It opened the door to a professional career in England.

Joe Tagarelli, Forward, Class of 2017

A transfer from Kirkwood Community College, the 6-foot-5 forward was a dominant post player on two of the best teams of the decade. He broke the school's single-season scoring record with 632 points as a senior as the Hawks reached the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament. Tagarelli averaged 19.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game while shooting 56 percent from the floor, earning first-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference and first-team All-Midwest Region honors. He finished his career with 1,127 points and 459 rebounds before signing to play professionally overseas.

Von Washington III, Guard, Class of 2017

A transfer from Western Michigan, Washington filled a needed void on one of the best teams in program history. He was a second-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference shooting guard for a team that won 25 games during the 2016-17 season. He started all 32 games, averaged 13.9 points and made a team-leading 66 3-pointers -- the most single-season made treys of the decade. In two seasons at Quincy, Washington made 115 3-pointers and shot 39.1 percent from 3-point range.