It is not every-day, or even every year for that matter, a 6' foot true post player is one of the best players in the country. However, Bryan College Basketball is able to claim six-footer Brandon Cole as one of their own.
It is not every-day, or even every year for that matter, a 6' foot true post player is one of the best players in the country. However, Bryan College Basketball is able to claim six-footer Brandon Cole as one of their own. As a junior, Cole leads the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in scoring at 29.4 points per game; he is also the top rebounder in the NAIA, averaging 11.0 per game, recording 18 double doubles in 27 games played.
Hailing from just up the road in Crossville, Tennessee, Cole impressed Bryan College Head Basketball Coach, Don Rekoske, from the first time he saw him as a junior in high school: "I was amazed the first night I saw him play as he went for 36 points and 22 boards against a much bigger and more athletic team," Rekoske says. "He immediately became our top recruit for our fall 2012 recruiting class."
Cole was runner-up for Mr. Basketball in the state of Tennessee and some argue he was the best high school player in the state his senior year. Cole was instrumental in leading Stone Memorial High School to the TSSAA High School State Tournament in both his junior and senior years. He would finish his career at Stone as the all-time leading scorer and rebounder. His high school coach, Mike Buck, had this to say about Cole's ability, "The best thing about Brandon is he is a better person than he is a player. He brought character and integrity to the program day in and day out. He set the standard for how we would carry ourselves off the court." Along with the Mr. Basketball recognition, Cole received First Team All-State, and was MVP of both the district and the region. He was also named the Tennessee Prep hoops "Player of the Year."
As a collegiate athlete, his growth as a player has been amazing despite his physical limitations. He averaged 13 points a game as a freshman and was named freshman of the year in the AAC; then 26 points per game as a sophomore and now nearly 30 points per game as a junior. His freshman year he shot 62 percent from the free throw line and this year he has made 243 for 319, which is over 76%. Coach Rekoske remains impressed, "Brandon is the most extraordinary kid I have watched play the game of basketball in my 28 years of coaching. What he does with what he has is a once in a lifetime thing to see."
Off the court Cole is leader for the Bryan Basketball Team as well. Cole has a 3.8 GPA and he helps local teens through the Y-CAP Program at the Dayton YMCA.
Brandon Cole hopes to lead the Lions to their first Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament championship under Coach Rekoske. Game 1 of the AAC Tournament is slated for 1:45 PM on Thursday against Reinhardt University. Check out Cole and his teammates by following along at www.bryanlions.com.