Kingsport, Tenn. – Two Bryan College Men's Basketball players were named to the 2015-16 All-Appalachian Athletic Conference Team, announced by the conference Wednesday. Brandon Cole (SR/Crossville, Tenn.) was named to the All-Conference First Team, while Oteriah Lee (SO/Knoxville, Tenn.) earned All-Conference Second Team honors.
Cole, the All-Time Leading Scorer and Rebounder in Bryan College basketball history, is coming off a week where he was named AAC Player of the Week for the tenth time in his career and he continued to be recognized for his achievements at the tipoff of the AAC Conference Tournament yesterday. Cole's success on the court truly started to take form during his high school years.
As a high school senior, many people saw Cole as the best high school player in the state of Tennessee. Cole was Runner-Up Mr. Basketball and was the 2nd All-Time Leading Scorer and All-Time Leading Rebounder in Cumberland County history. His records still stand in both the scoring and rebounding categories at Stone Memorial High School (Crossville, Tenn.). During his junior and senior years as a Panther at Stone Memorial, he helped lead his team to the TSSAA State Tournament.
After watching Cole's performance for the first time, Head Bryan College Men's Basketball Coach, Don Rekoske explained, "I was instantly amazed when I saw him play as he went for 36 points and 22 boards at the state tournament. He immediately became our top recruit for our fall 2012 recruiting class."
Since joining the Lions squad in the 2012-13 season, the rest has been history for Cole. As a collegiate athlete, his growth as a player has been amazing despite his physical limitations, standing at a mere 6'2" as a true center. 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 then nearly 30 points per game as a junior. His freshman year he shot 62 percent from the free throw line and during his junior year he made 243 for 319, over 76%. During his junior year, he was recognized as a 2014-15 NAIA Div. II Men's Basketball All-American. Cole went on to receive AAC Player of the Year, leading the AAC and NAIA Div. II in scoring and rebounding as he averaged 29.14 points and 11.32 rebounds per game. His 816 total points ranked him second nationally as did his 317 total rebounds. He scored a season-high 51 points against St. Catharine (Ky.), making him one of only two players in the nation to net 50 or more points in a game last season. Cole reached the 2,000th point milestone less than two minutes into the second half of this year's season opener against Oakwood University (Ala.). This year, Cole's efforts gave way to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association recognizing him as the TSWA Men's Basketball Player of the Week. He also made the cut for the Clarence "Bevo" Francis Award Top 100 Watch List put on by Small College Basketball, which will be presented annually to the player who has had the finest overall season within Small College Basketball (NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA Division I, NAIA Division II, USCAA, and NCCAA). Cole finished up regular season action this year leading both the conference and nation in a myriad of stats. He ranks No. 1 in NAIA Div. II in points per game (29.03), No. 1 in total scoring (784), No. 2 in offensive rebounds per game (3.85), No. 5 in total rebounds per game (10.85), No. 6 in total rebounds (293), No. 12 in defensive rebounds per game, and ended as No. 26 in field goal percentage after shooting 55.3 percent. He ended the season in a tie for the most double-doubles with 15. Through his four years as a Lion and playing 116 games he has amassed 2,768 points and 1,222 rebounds, averaging 23.9 points per game in his career, 10.5 rebounds per game, and a remarkable 53.5 shooting percentage (979-for-1,831).
Cole was also the Bryan Lions representative to the AAC Champion's of Character Team.
Reigning AAC Freshman of the Year, Oteriah Lee, returned this year as the AAC's assists leader, averaging 5.67 assists per game and totaling 153. He ended with a 2.22 assist/turnover ratio, putting him at No. 3 in the conference. His numbers were good enough to rank him No. 11 in NAIA Div. II in assists per game and No. 13 in total assists. He is also one of the leading scorers for the Lions this year, notching double-digits in 16 games and averaging 10.3 points per game in scoring 277 points this season.
To view the entire list of All-AAC honorees, click here.