A 5-11, 170-pound point guard from Florham Park, New Jersey, Mitola is Dartmouth’s top scorer this season at 12.4 points a game while raining down 66 three-pointers at a 37.1 percent clip. He leads the Ivy League at the free throw line at 85.3 percent and in minutes played at 34:39 per game, plus ranks among the top 10 in three-pointers per game (2.4, second), assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2, second), scoring (seventh), three-point percentage (9th) and assists per game (76, 10th). The only player on the roster to start all 28 games scored in double figures 20 times, including a season-high 21 points in a buzzer-beating 68-67 win over IPFW back on Nov. 28. Mitola is just eight points shy of becoming the 27th player in Dartmouth history to tally 1,000 in a career, and his 197 three-pointers are tied for fourth all-time.
The Alvin F. “Doggie” Julian Award for spirit and enthusiasm was given to senior Gabas Maldunas, a 6-9, 230-pound forward/center from Panevezys, Lithuania. Last year Maldunas suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for the last 13 games and was expected to possibly miss some games this year. But he relentlessly went through rehab and returned in time to play every game, starting all but one, while averaging over 28 minutes. The second-leading scorer for the Big Green at 11.1 points per game, Maldunas became the 26th player in Dartmouth history to score 1,000 points in a career during a 61-49 victory over Columbia on Valentine’s Day. He is fourth in the Ivy League with 53 blocked shots, seventh in rebounding with 6.8 boards per game, eighth in field goal percentage (.480) and tied for ninth with 1.2 steals a night as well.
Junior Tommy Carpenter of Greensboro, North Carolina, received the John DiIorio ’56 Award for hustle, drive and determination. He may have averaged a shade under 14 minutes a game, but he made the most of those minutes as the 6-7 forward had the best field goal percentage (.563) of anyone on the roster that took more than one shot. His 4.0 points per game were supplemented by 2.9 rebounds (fourth on the team), 30 total assists (fifth) and nine blocks (third). Seven of his 14 steals came in the two games against the Ivy co-leader, Harvard, and during the Big Green’s five-game winning streak to end the season, Carpenter averaged 8.4 points while shooting 17-for-29 (.586) with 5.4 rebounds.
The duo of junior Malik Gill and freshman Cameron Smith shared the Rudy LaRusso ’59 Award as the team’s most improved players. Gill, a native of New Rochelle, New York, has been one of the Ivy League’s most disruptive players throughout his career, leading the team in total steals every year despite averaging no more than 18.3 minutes a game. But the 5-9 point guard was a consistent playmaker on offense as well this year, leading the Big Green with 89 assists (3.2 per game, eighth in conference) and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.7 (fifth) while posting 5.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per contest.
With Gill and Mitola seeing so many minutes, the rookie Smith was able to develop his skills in practice more than games. But in the few minutes the Bristow, Virginia, native logged on the court, he displayed solid ball-handling skills with a confidence that grew as the season progressed. Smith recorded his first collegiate points at Penn State with a bucket, stole a pass at Princeton and coasted in for a layup and popped his first long ball in a five-point victory over Penn.
Dartmouth completed the regular season 14-14 overall and 7-7 in the Ivy League to finish fourth in the conference standings and earn a bid to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The Big Green will play at Canisius on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in their first postseason appearance since last playing in the NCAA Tournament in 1959.