Merrimack freshman guard Juvaris Hayes was named the NE10’s Rookie of the Year on Thursday while also being selected to the conference’s All-Rookie and All-Conference Second Team. Hayes’ sophomore teammate, Ryan Boulter, was selected All-Conference Third Team.
Hayes collected the first major award for the program since Darren Duncan ’10 and Darin Mency ’11 were picked as back-to-back Rookie of the Year recipients in 2007 and 2008. He also became the first freshman since Saint Anselm’s Mike McCahey in 2013 to earn an all-conference second-team selection. Hayes was also one of six freshmen selected to the All-Rookie Team.
Entering his first-ever postseason game Friday night, Hayes leads the conference and the country in total assists (264) and assists per game (9.4). With five helpers against New Haven in the first round, he will break the program’s all-time record for assists in a single season. The floor general is currently tied for fourth all-time in NE10 history in single-season assists. He distributed at least 10 assists in a game 16 times, including a nation-high 16-helper game against LIU Post.
Hayes also leads the NE10 in total steals (78) and steals per game (2.79), ranking second and fourth in the country, respectively. Scoring in double figures on 21 occasions, Hayes finished second on the Warriors with 14.4 points per game, shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 74.4 from the free-throw line. He also led the Navy and Gold with 6.4 rebounds per contest, ranking among the top-20 in the NE10.
He totaled 12 double-doubles through 28 regular season contests, the second most of any player in the NE10. He also recorded a triple-double, one of only 12 players nationally to accomplish that feat this season.
Merrimack’s leading scoring at 18.5 points per game, Boulter enjoyed a breakout year in his second season with the Navy and Gold. He led the Warriors in 3-pointers made (91), 3-point percentage (39.4) and free-throw percentage (85.7). Boulter finished the regular season as one of three players in the NE10 with at least 90 triples, and is tied for 12thnationally.
Boulter scored in double figures 24 times, the second most on the team. He finished the season with six straight games with at least 10 points, and totaled at least 20 points in 13 games. Against Southern Connecticut, Boulter posted a career performance with 40 points on 13 made field goals while tying the program record with nine triples.
Hayes, Boulter and the rest of the Warriors will host the program’s first postseason game in seven years on Friday night when Merrimack welcomes the University of New Haven to Hammel Court for a 7 p.m. tip-off in the NE10 Championship First Round.