Men's Basketball Earns Conference Honors

ANDERSON, S.C. – On the heels of its South Atlantic Conference regular-season championship, the Anderson University men’s basketball team is garnering postseason honors and accolades from the league. 

Denzail Jones, a versatile guard for the Trojans, has been named the conference’s Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, leading a list of award winners that was announced on Thursday. 

Jones, a junior, finished among the SAC leaders in numerous statistical categories, ranking first in steals, eighth in scoring, sixth in assists and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio.  He averaged 15.7 points-per-game for Anderson, which closed the regular season at 22-4 overall and 17-1 in the SAC.

The Tuscaloosa, Ala., native is one of three Trojans to earn All-SAC honors, joining center Taylor Shugart and guard Nick Trull, who were both named second team All-Conference.

Lincoln Memorial, which finished second in the regular season SAC standings with a 14-4 league record, placed three players on the All-Conference Team, including first-team selections Desmond Johnson and Brandon Armstrong.

Johnson, last year’s SAC Player of the Year, averaged 10.9 points and 6.9 rebounds during the regular season, helping the Railsplitters maintain a top-10 national ranking for much of the season.

Mars Hill’s Sammy Emile, the top scorer in all of Division II during the regular season at an even 25 points-per-game, earned a spot on the All-Conference First Team.  In addition to leading the SAC in scoring, Emile finished 11th in rebounding, fourth in assists, fifth in steals and seventh in three-pointers made per game.

Rounding out the All-SAC First Team were Catawba’s Keon Moore – last season’s SAC Freshman of the Year -- and Wingate’s Jaime Vaughn, who was a second-team selection each of the past two years.  Moore was the conference’s second-leading scorer at 21.7 points-per-game and also finished seventh in rebounding average, while Vaughn ranked 11th in the SAC in scoring average and ninth in assists.

In addition to Anderson’s Shugart and Trull, All-Conference Second Team accolades went to Carson-Newman’s Ishmael Sanders and Antoine Davis, LMU’s Vincent Bailey and Newberry’s Dondray Walker. 

Walker was also named the SAC Freshman of the Year after leading Newberry by averaging 16.5 points-per-game, the seventh-highest mark in the conference. Walker was especially lethal from long distance, averaging 2.92 three-pointers made per-game, finishing just behind Sanders for the league lead.

Joining Walker on the SAC All-Freshman Team were teammate Savad Garner, Catawba’s Tyrece Little, Mars Hill’s Terrell Harris, and LMU’s Lorenza Ross.

After leading his team to a SAC title in just the program’s second year of competing in the conference, Anderson’s Jason Taylor was named the league’s Coach of the Year. Taylor is in his sixth season at Anderson.

SAC Player of the Year:  Denzail Jones, Anderson
SAC Freshman of the Year:  Dondray Walker, Newberry
SAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year:  Nick Trull, Anderson
SAC Coach of the Year:  Jason Taylor, Anderson

All-SAC First Team
Brandon Armstrong, Lincoln Memorial
Sammy Emile, Mars Hill
Desmond Johnson, Lincoln Memorial
Denzail Jones, Anderson
Keon Moore, Catawba
Jaime Vaughn, Wingate

All-SAC Second Team
Vincent Bailey, Lincoln Memorial
Antoine Davis, Carson-Newman
Ishmael Sanders, Carson-Newman
Taylor Shugart, Anderson
Nick Trull, Anderson
Dondray Walker, Newberry

SAC All-Freshman Team
Savad Garner, Newberry
Terrell Harris, Mars Hill
Tyrece Little, Catawba
Lorenza Ross, Lincoln Memorial
Dondray Walker, Newberry

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