February 27, 2012

Klukas Named SCIAC Newcomer Of The Year

Claremont, Calif. - Freshman Jack Klukas (Eden Prairie, Minn.) was named the SCIAC Men's Basketball Newcomer of the Year, it was announced today by the league office.

Klukas was also one of six players chosen to the All-SCIAC first team. He helped the Sagehens to a 16-10 final record and a 10-4 mark in the SCIAC, good for second place, a huge improvement from last year, when the team was 9-16 and did not make the conference tournament.

For the season, Klukas averaged 9.5 points per game, a number which improved to 10.9 against SCIAC foes. He also hit an impressive number of clutch shots for a freshman, including a tying three-pointer with six seconds left against then-undefeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS would go coast-to-coast for the winning basket right after).

In addition, Klukas came up big in one of the most important games of the year, as he was 10-15 from the floor for 28 points in a home win over Redlands, which solidified Pomona-Pitzer's hold on one of the top spots in the conference standings. He also had 13 points on 4-6 shooting in a win over Whittier that clinched a SCIAC Tournament bid, and then hit two important three-pointers late in the rematch with Whittier in the conference semifinals, one of which put the Sagehens ahead by five with less than two minutes to play.

Klukas was also a solid player with the ball in his hands all season long, as he had 49 assists and only 32 turnovers in 26 games at a forward position. He made 78.2 percent of his foul shots, and led the Sagehens with 39 three-pointers.

Klukas and Pomona-Pitzer came up just short of a SCIAC championship, falling to CMS 60-54 in Saturday's championship game. He and fellow freshmen Michael Cohen (10.9 ppg) and Kyle McAndrews (9.0 ppg) ended the year as the top three scorers on the team, with sophomores Jake Klewer (8.3 ppg) and John Weiss (7.7 ppg) ranked fourth and fifth.