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Rodriguez names to America East All Rookie Team

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VESTAL, N.Y. - Freshman forward Willie Rodriguez has been selected to the America East Men's Basketball All-Rookie Team, the conference announced Monday afternoon. Already having won the America East Fans' Choice Player of the Year honor in online voting, Rodriguez is quickly adding to his first-year resume.

Rodriguez won two Rookie of the Week honors, including this week, and is the only player in the America East who is among the top-10 in scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals. His steady production in the starting lineup helped a young BU team post its highest conference win total in five years.

He becomes the eighth Bearcat to land on the All-Rookie Team in 14 years. It's also the fourth straight year that BU has had one of the top-five rookies, as voted by the conference head coaches.

"Willie is deserving of being selected," head coach Tommy Dempsey said. "He has continued to get better all season. We are really excited about his future."

Rodriguez finished the regular season in strong fashion with a game-high 21 points in BU's 76-69 win over UMBC on Saturday. In his last three games, Rodriguez is averaging 18.0 points and 7.6 rebounds. He ranks second in the America East in double-doubles (3) and only two other freshmen across the country have played more minutes.

He ranks eighth in scoring (12.7 ppg., 3rd among freshmen) and seventh in rebounding (5.7 rpg., 2nd among freshmen) in conference play. He has scored in double figures 18 times this season, including 14 of the last 17 games. Rodriguez has hit the 20-point mark four times, led by his season-high 25 points at Mt. St. Mary's on Dec. 22.

Rodriguez joins sophomore teammate Yosef Yacob as All-Rookie honorees in the program. Yacob made the team last season.

The sixth-seeded Bearcats, winners of two of their last three, travel to Long Island to face third-seeded Stony Brook in an America East quarterfinal game at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)