KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Appalachian Athletic Conference announced the 2014-15 Men's Basketball All-Conference Team on Wednesday, and Brandon Cole of Bryan is the Player of the Year.
Others receiving top individual honors include: Gerrard Newby of Union as the Defensive Player of the Year; Oteriah Lee of Bryan as the Freshman of the Year; and Kevin Burton of Union as the Coach of the Year.
Union also received the trophy for winning the 2014-15 regular-season championship after posting a 17-1 conference record.
Cole led not only the conference in scoring and rebounding but also the entire NAIA Division II this season. The junior center averaged 29.296 points and 11.296 rebounds per game this season. His 791 total points rank him second nationally, while his 305 total rebounds puts him third. Cole enters the AAC Tournament 41 points shy of 2,000 career points. He scored a season-high 51 points against St. Catharine (Ky.) on Nov. 3, making him one of only two players in the nation to net 50 or more points in a game this season.
Joining Cole on the All-AAC First Team are: Mickey Woods of Milligan; Corey Ricks of Reinhardt; Devente Jenkins and Stephen Kite, Jr., of Tennessee Wesleyan; J'Quayveon Williams of Truett-McConnell; and Dominique Hagans, Deante Johnson, J.D. Tucker and Fitzgerald White of Union.
Earning All-AAC Second Team honors are: Kyle Grisby of Bluefield; Julian Bailey and Morgan McLeod of Milligan; Melvin Irvin and Will Lewis of Montreat; Erik Fields of Point; Matt Porter of Reinhardt; Titus Gary and Aaron Smith of St. Andrews; and Xavier Holland of Truett-McConnell.
Newby snagged Defensive Player of the Year honors by leading the AAC in blocks. His 51 total blocks ranks him 12th in the nation while his 1.7 blocks per game puts him 14th. In addition, he averaged 8.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game to go along with 30 total steals.
Joining Newby on the All-Defensive Team are: Woods of Milligan; Williams of Truett-McConnell; and Hagans and Tucker of Union.
Lee finished the regular-season second in the AAC in assists per game (5.04) to help him earn Freshman of the Year honors. His 136 total assists rank him 20th nationally, and he averaged 7.33 points 2.74 rebounds per game. Lee also posted 34 steals on the year.
Rounding out the All-Freshmen Team are: Tyler Yoder of Bryan; Gabriel Logan of Milligan; Justin Simmons of Tennessee Wesleyan; Daniel Beausejour and David Campbell of Truett-McConnell; and David Kapinga of Union.
Making the Champions of Character Team this season are: Rodney Kasey of Bluefield; Cole of Bryan; Chris Ellis of Milligan; Ryan Bethoney of Montreat; Fields of Point; Porter of Reinhardt; Jibri Banner of St. Andrews; Arden Beeler of Tennessee Wesleyan; Rudy Deaza of Truett-McConnell; and Cody Krueger of Union.
Twenty-five individuals were named to the Academic All-Conference Team with Milligan leading the way with six representatives. Bryan, Montreat and Union each had three make the list.
To view the entire all-conference team and awards, please click here.