2016 GMC Hoops Awards–Most Improved Player of the Year

Pierce Kokosinski of Timothy Christian Has Grown By Leaps and Bounds

Timothy Christian’s Pierce Kokosinski goes up for a layup against Piscataway Tech back on February 8th. The TCS sophomore was recognized by GMC Hoops as the 2016 Most Improved Player of the Year.

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–Normally, GMC Hoops awards the Most Improved Player of the Year to a senior or junior, but this year, there was an exception. Last season, Timothy Christian struggled through a very difficult season as youngsters such as Pierce Kokosinski had to step up for a Tigers squad that was depleted by graduation, transfers, and some key injuries.

Kokosinski, who was a freshman last year at TCS, struggled against much bigger and quicker opposition. Fast forward to a year later, and Kokosinski, still had some rough edges, but improved by leaps and bounds over a season ago. The improvement prompted GMC Hoops to award him as the 2016 Most Improved Player. His improved play along with a healthy Robert Saydee and the additions of Roselle Catholic transfer Tyler Mixson and A.J. Mhya, the Tigers made some strides back to respectability.

Timothy Christian’s Pierce Kokosinski fires up a three pointer in the fourth quarter against Piscataway Tech back on February 8th. Kokosinski showed improved range among other things this season.

Showing more of a perimeter game as well as more toughness and size down low, Kokosinski played in fewer games, but was more productive. A year ago, Kokosinski played in 24 games, made 29 field goals, 11 threes, and 27 free throws for a total of 109 points, or an average of 4.7 per game. This season, Kokosinski played in only 20 games, but had 110 points, or 5.5 per game. He made fewer two point field goals with 21, but struck for 15 threes, and sank 23 from the line. He also had twice as many blocked shots with 10.

Video: Watch Pierce Kokosinski in action against Perth Amboy Tech in a GMC Gold Clash on February 5th.

With the additions of Tyler Mixson and A.J. Mhya, Kokosinski came off the bench or spot started more. In that role, Kokosinski shined, and provided some much needed energy at times. In a loss to Perth Amboy Tech back on February 5th, Kokosinski came off the bench to make three field goals including one in the closing seconds of the first half that gave TCS a 26-25 lead. A little over a week later, in the GMCT Play-In round, Kokosinski helped the Tigers get off to a fast start with some perimeter scoring before South Plainfield eventually took control and won.

Video: Watch Timothy Christian’s Pierce Kokosinski in action in the GMCT Play-In Round match-up against South Plainfield on February 13th.

Although, there are no significant improvements in some of his numbers, and even a decrease in some, I could tell the difference in his play from last year was night and day. He played with much more confidence and aggressiveness on offense. The game had slowed down for him a bit. Teammate, Josh Alcoriza, the TCS point guard, also showed significant improvement from last year. With the likes of Kokosinski and Alcoriza coming back along with Saydee, Mixson, Mhya, Will Clemmons and Lucas Page, Timothy Christian will be in good shape to make further inroads back to the top of the GMC Gold next year.

Most Improved Team

  • Pierce Kokosinski–Timothy Christian
  • Josh Alcoriza–Timothy Christian
  • Harry Rutkowski–Woodbridge
  • Noah Westbrook–East Brunswick Tech
  • John Zanfordino–Edison
  • Tamaj Coleman–J.F. Kennedy
  • Daniel Peacock–Piscataway Tech
  • Patrick Waldrop–South Plainfield
  • Garrett Racz–Wardlaw