March 15, 2016 – All-time leading scorer and rebounder in Bryan Basketball history, Bryan Lions senior center Brandon Cole has been selected as the 2015-16 Academic All-America® College Division Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, as the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced the College Division Team Monday.
The CoSIDA Academic All-America® College Division basketball teams include student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian, and two-year institutions.
This is the first time any Bryan College student-athlete has been named Player of the Year by CoSIDA.
Hailing from Crossville, Tenn., Cole not only carries an impressive 3.83 G.P.A while majoring in exercise health science, but also has made history on Bryan Hill as the Lions’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder. During his four years he has compiled 2,799 points, 1,235 rebounds, 142 steals, 110 assists, and a remarkable 53.4 shooting percentage (991-for-1,857).
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 is 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). He raked in All-Conference First Team honors and was Bryan’s representative to the AAC Champions of Character Team this season.
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 (29.1), No. 1 in total scoring (815), No. 2 in offensive rebounds per game (3.92), No. 5 in total rebounds per game (10.92), No. 5 in total rebounds (306), No. 12 in defensive rebounds per game (7.0), and ended as No. 31 in field goal percentage after shooting 54.8 percent. He concluded the season with an AAC-leading 16 double-doubles.
“This award Brandon has won could not be more deserved,” remarked Head Bryan Men’s Basketball Coach, Don Rekoske. “On the court he has led the nation in scoring and rebounding twice. He has an extraordinary 3.83 G.P.A and to do that well in both the classroom and hardwood to receive this incredible honor is nothing less than impressive. But what truly sets Brandon apart is his character. He is humble, coachable, and a great teammate. He is a once in a lifetime young man, and I thank him for how he has represented this school and the Lord most importantly.”
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Written by Wesley Sanders ’15, sports information director.