Jones and Ryan headline Men's Basketball Players and Coaches of Year
May 6, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The NJCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Association announced their selections for the 2012-13 Coach and Player of the Year awards Monday for all three divisions.
DIVISION I PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Chris Jones (Northwest Florida State College)
Sophomore – Guard
Jones was named DI Player of the Year after leading the Raiders to their second consecutive national title game appearance. Ranking fifth in DI in scoring, Jones averaged a team-high 21.8 points per game in 2012-13. The sophomore also averaged 5.1 rebounds and a team-high 4.2 assists per game in his sophomore campaign. In the second round of the DI National Championship, Jones showcased his heroic leadership skills in bringing the Raiders back from a 17-point deficit with just over three minutes remaining. Jones would finish the game with 27 points and seven assists, propelling Northwest Florida State to an 88-87 overtime victory. Next season, Jones is set to join legendary head coach Rick Pitino and defending national champion Louisville.
DIVISION I COACH OF THE YEAR
Tim Ryan (College of Central Florida)
In just his 10th season as a head coach in the NJCAA, Ryan earned Coach of the Year honors after directing the Central Florida Patriots to a 34-3 record and their first ever national championship. Capping off a successful 2012-13 campaign with a victory in the Region 8 championship, Central Florida booked only their second trip to the NJCAA DI National Championship. In Hutchinson (Kan.), the Ryan-led Patriots earned four victories en route to the title. Ryan landed his first collegiate head coaching job with the Patriots after a successful high school coaching career and three seasons as associate head coach at Hillsborough CC (Fla.). After 10 seasons in Ocala, Ryan boasts a career record of 232-94.
DIVISION II PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Michael Harris (South Suburban College, Ill.)
Sophomore – Guard
Leading the Bulldogs to a 32-5 season and a 6th place finish at the DII National Championship, Harris was tabbed as the DII Player of the Year. The sophomore was the fourth-highest scorer in DII, averaging 23.5 points per game for the 2012-13 season. Harris also ranked fourth in DII with 3.3 steals per game, while averaging 7.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists. In a 93-85 win over Kankakee CC (Ill.), Harris had his best performance of the season with 50 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and four steals. At the national tournament, Harris and the Bulldogs suffered an 85-83 loss in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Rend Lake College (Ill.). Harris has reportedly received interest from East Tennessee State, Sam Houston State, North Carolina Central, Canisius, West Texas A&M and West Alabama.
DIVISION II COACH OF THE YEAR
Randy House (Rend Lake College, Ill.)
Despite entering the 2012-13 season at Rend Lake with a career record of 23-40, House completely turned things around in his third season. Driving the Warriors to a 30-3 record and the program’s first national title, House sealed his spot as the DII Coach of the Year. House led Rend Lake to the Region 24 title and their second consecutive national championship appearance. With his fourth seeded team trailing by 22 to South Suburban (Ill.) in the second half of the quarterfinals, House rallied the troops and brought Rend Lake back to claim an 85-83 win in overtime. Having survived the upset, the Warriors fought through the semifinals and claimed the crown with an 87-69 victory over Moraine Valley CC (Ill.) in the championship.
DIII PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Neil Thompson (Brookdale Community College, N.J.)
Sophomore – Guard
Leading the Jersey Blues to their first-ever national championship, Thompson was recognized as the DIII Player of the Year. On a roster featuring six freshmen, Thompson was only one of two Brookdale players entering this season with collegiate experience. The sophomore averaged 14.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and a team-high 6.4 assists per game on the season. Defensively, Thompson ranked fifth in DIII with 3.4 steals per game. Enjoying one of his best performances of the season in the first round of the DIII National Championship, Thompson posted 22 points and five steals en route to a 72-70 win over Rochester CTC (Minn.).
DIII COACH OF THE YEAR
Paul Cisek (Brookdale Community College, N.J.)
In his 21st season in Lincroft, N.J., Cisek directed the Jersey Blues to the program’s first-ever national championship. Finishing the 2012-13 season with the most wins in school history, Brookdale claimed their second straight Region 19 title with a final overall record of 33-1. In the DIII National Championship, Cisek’s Jersey Blues put their resilience on display by winning their first two games of the tournament by a combined five points. In the title game, Brookdale overcame a deficit at halftime to defeat Eastfield College (Texas), 61-55. With the 2012-13 national championship season under his belt, Cisek now has a career record of 377-160.