By: Carl Lut Williams
Editor - Black College Sports Page
A handful of guards stole the show in the 2017-18 men's basketball season.
From senior Tiwian Kendley of Morgan State, who led all black college scorers (26.1 ppg.) and would have finished behind only Oklahoma's Trae Young in
Div. I scoring stats had he played in the required percentage of games, to Howard .freshman R. J. Cole, who officially led the MEAC in both scoring (23.7 ppg.) and .assists (6.1 apg.), guards were at the forefront of every conference this season.
Morehouse senior Tyrius Walker won the SIAC scoring crown (22.8 ppg.) and led the Maroon Tigers to that conference's regular season title and the best
record (25-3) among black colleges. Texas Southern sophomore Demontrae Jefferson led the SWAC in scoring (23.3 ppg.) and the Tigers to the SWAC Tournament championship. Johnson C. Smith senior guard Robert Davis led the CIAA in scoring (21.2 ppg.).
And by the way, the five were the top five scorers in 2017-18 black college basketball.
Davis, Jefferson and Walker won conference player of the year awards. Cole, who became only the second freshman to lead the MEAC in scoring and first to lead in both scoring and assists, was picked as the MEAC's top freshman. Kindley played in less than 75% of MSU's game and therefore was not eligible to be a conference or national stats leader.
Tiwain Kendley, 6-4, Sr., G, MORGAN STATE; R. J. Cole, 6-1, Fr., G, HOWARD; Tyrius Walker,
6-1, Sr., G, MOREHOUSE; Demontrae Jefferson, 5-7, So., G, TEXAS SOUTHERN; Robert
Davis III, 6-1, Sr., G, JOHNSON C. SMITH
TOP PLAYER: Tiwian Kendley, Morgan State (D1); Tyrius Walker, MOREHOUSE (D2)
TOP COACH: Donte' Jackson, GRAMBLING STATE (D1) and Ricky Jackson, CLAFLIN (D2)
Brandon Tabb, 6-4, Sr., F, BETHUNE-COOKMAN; Jermaine Marrow, 6-0, So., G, HAMPTON;
Ivy Smith Jr., 6-0, So., G, GRAMBLING STATE; Brandon Morris, 6-8, Sr., F, BENEDICT; Martaveous
McKnight, 6-5, Sr., G, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF
Quincy January, 6-8, Sr., C, ST. AUGUSTINE'S; Kendarius Ash, 6-7, Jr., F, LANE;; Gary
Blackston, 6-2, Jr., G, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M; Charles Williams, 6-6, So., G/F, HOWARD; Savon
Goodman, 6-6, Sr., F, SHAW
A crop of stat-stuffers leads the 2017-18 "Baad Team" of black college women all-star hoopers.
Topping the stat list is 5-4 Texas Southern senior guard Joyce Kennerson who topped the black .college list all season long and led all of Div. I in scoring for most of the season before settling for fourth nationally at 24.2 points per game.
Grambling State junior Shakyla Hill tickles the twine at a 16.8 points per game clip (4th in SWAC), averages 7.5 rebounds per game (3rd), 5.7 assists per game (1st) and 4.8 steals per game (1st). And she's only 5-7. By the way, she also shoots 45.9% from the field (5th) and 69.8% from the line (9th).
Six-foot senior Alexis Johnson of Virginia Union doubled as the CIAA's player and defensive player of the year averaging a hefty 16.9 points per game (2nd) and 9.2 rebounds per game (4th), but she also led the league in blocks (3.3 pg.) and shot 50.4% from the floor (6th).
Coppin State senior guard Genesis Lucas takes a back seat to no one as a stat stuffer. Lucas averaged 16.1 points per game (3rd in MEAC), 4.2 assists (2nd), shot 81.1% from the line (2nd) and led the league in steals (2.8 spg.).
Spring Hill sophomore sensation Tiffany Valentine finished third at 17.5 ppg. behind teammate Jewel Hill's 18.4 points per game in the SIAC. Valentine pulled down 7.1 rebounds (12th), and shot 53.1% (3rd) from the field.
Joyce Kennerson, 5-4, Sr., G, TEXAS SOUTHERN; Alexis Johnson, 6-0, Sr., F. VIRGINIA UNION; Shakyla
Hill, 5-7, Jr., G, GRAMBLING STATE; Tiffany Valentine, 6-1, So., F, SPRING HILL; Genesis Lucas,
5-7, Sr., G, COPPIN STATE
TOP PLAYER - Joyce Kennerson, Texas Southern (D1); Alexis Johnson, Sr., F, Va. Union (D2)
TOP COACH - Tarrell Robinson, NC A&T (D1); Ann Marie Gilbert, Virginia Union (D2)
Najai Pollard, 5-11, Jr., F, DELAWARE STATE; Shala Dobbins, 5-6, Jr., G, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M; Jewel
Hill 5-9, Sr., G, SPRING HILL; Angel Golden, 5-9, Jr., G, BETHUNE-COOKMAN; Alexis Smith, 5-7, Sr.,
G, VIRGINIA STATE
Kayla Roberts, 6-1, Sr., G/F, NORFOLK STATE; Chance Graham, 5-11, So., C, COPPIN STATE; Tia Wooten,
6-0, Jr., F TENNESSEE STATE; Rachel Pecota, 6-0, Sr., F, VIRGINIA UNION; Briana Green, 5-11, Sr.,