(Courtesy of yumacs.com) D3hoops released its All-America teams on its website, on Tuesday evening, and Yeshiva University is heavily represented. Sophomore guard Ryan Turell was selected to the D3hoops All-America first team, while senior forward Gabriel Leifer earned a spot on its All-America fourth team. Elliot Steinmetz was tabbed as the D3hoops National Coach of the Year.
Turell and Leifer become the first D3hoops All-Americans in school history, while Steinmetz is the first YU coach to earn National Coach of the Year accolades.
“What an amazing close to a season like no other,” Yeshiva University Director of Athletics Joe Bednarsh said. “What can I say about Elliot except that he’s done everything to make this program the national force that it is and has helped energize the entire Jewish world behind the Maccabees. I am so happy for, and proud of, all three of them and am excited to see what they will do next season!”
This year, Turell was named the Skyline Conference Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Skyline first team, on his way to leading Yeshiva to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA postseason, before the cancellation of the remaining winter and spring seasons. The Los Angeles native averaged a team-best 23.9 points per game this season, shooting an outstanding 63.6% from the floor and converting 46.2% of his shots from beyond the arc.
Turell scored 646 points, in 2019-20, which puts him in first place on YU’s All-Time Single-Season Scoring List. The second-year guard was selected to the Bevo Francis Award Top 25 Watch List and earned All-America status from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Turell was also named the D3hoops.com Atlantic Region Player of the Year. The former Skyline Rookie of the Year became the first sophomore in school history to eclipse the 1,000-career point mark and was the fastest player all-time at YU to do so, in just 47 games played. He is ranked No. 20 on Yeshiva’s All-Time Scoring List with 1,190 career points.
During Yeshiva’s two victories in the NCAA tournament earlier this month, Turell averaged 35.5 points per game, while shooting 77.4% from the field, including 83.3% from 3-point range. The rising star netted a career-best 41 points, while shooting 13-for-16 from the field and 7-for-9 from 3-point range, in Yeshiva’s NCAA tournament opening-round victory over Worcester Polytechnic Institute, back on March 6. In Yeshiva’s NCAA tournament second-round win over Penn State Harrisburg, the next night, Turell scored a game-high 30 points, while distributing seven assists and grabbing five rebounds, to help the Maccabees clinch their first-ever berth in the Sweet 16 round.
Leifer averaged a double-double (16.0 points and 13.7 rebounds) per game this season and dished out 6.6 assists per contest. The one-time U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Player of the Week generated four triple-doubles this year, the most in in all of NCAA Division III, including totals of 10 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in Yeshiva’s NCAA tournament second-round victory over Penn State Harrisburg, back on March 7. He also produced 16 points, 24 rebounds and 12 assists in YU’s Skyline Conference Championship victory over Purchase College, on March 1, on his way to being named the Most Outstanding Player of the conference’s postseason.
The D3hoops.com All-Atlantic first team honoree finished the 2019-20 season as the leader in the country with 11.8 defensive rebounds per game and has produced the second most double-doubles in the nation, with 23. Thanks to his strong year, Leifer was selected to both the CoSIDA Academic All-America second team and the All-Skyline first team. He is now ranked No. 16 on YU’s All-Time Scoring List with 1,230 career points.
Steinmetz has transformed the Yeshiva University men’s basketball team into a nationally recognized program in just his sixth year at the helm. The Maccabees finished the 2019-20 season ranked No. 8 in the country, according to the latest D3hoops.com Men’s Top 25 National Poll. The Macs earned their first two NCAA tournament victories in program history, on their way to the Sweet 16. Steinmetz led Yeshiva to the best record in NCAA Division III this year, at 29-1, including 29 consecutive victories since the season opener.
Under the leadership of Steinmetz, the Macs won their second Skyline Conference Championship in the past three years, and won every single league contest this season (16-0). YU earned its first national ranking in school history, back on January 27, and has risen in the rankings in each of the last six weeks in which a new poll was released (from No. 24 to No. 22 to No. 21 to No. 15 to No. 13 and now No. 8). Earlier this week Coach Steinmetz added to his resume the Glenn Robinson National Coach of the Year Award.
The Maccabees closed out the year first in the nation with a 53.1 field-goal percentage. Yeshiva averaged 20.2 assists per game, good for No. 2 in the nation, while also having the second-highest 3-point field-goal percentage in all of Division III (40.6).