As the basketball season culminates with the playing of the national championship game on Monday in Houston, many names come to mind when talking about some of the best Division I basketball players in the country.
Two stand out.
Texas Southern redshirt freshman center Derrick Griffin and Howard junior guard James Daniel, III were named BOXTOROW Co-Players of the Year and lead the 2016 BOXTOROW All-America teams.
Both were leaders on their teams and their numbers helped put them at the top of the fray.
Griffin, the SWAC Player and Defensive Player of the Year, helped lead the Tigers to back-to-back SWAC regular season titles. He ranked third in the country in field goal percentage (66.2), 10th in rebounds (11.1) and tied
for 13th in double doubles (19). He averaged 13.3 points per game and becomes the first freshman named BOXTOROW Player of the Year and the first freshman to make the All-America team since former Tennessee State star and current Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington was named second team in 2010.
Daniel, the MEAC’s Player of the Year and a third team All-American last season, has led Division I in scoring the entire season, finishing with an average of 27.1 points per game. He scored 30 or more points in eight
games this season. He was also second in the MEAC in steals (2.1).
Griffin and Daniel were joined on the first team by Jamel Waters of Alabama State, Reginald Johnson, Jr. of Hampton, Keron DeShields of Tennessee State, Ladarius Tabb of Alabama A&M and Quinton Chievous of
Waters has been arguably the best point guard in the SWAC the last three years. Waters was a first team All-American last year and second team All-American in 2014, distinguishing himself as the second BOXTOROW
three-time All-American (Covington). Waters averaged a career-best 15.9 points per game, 4.4 assists per game (ranked fourth in the SWAC in both categories), was second in the SWAC in three-point field goal percentage
(.413) and was third in steals (1.8).
Pirate teammates Chievous and Johnson helped lead Hampton to back-to-back MEAC Tournament championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. Chievous is a tenacious scorer and one of the MEAC’s best all-around players. He averaged 17 points and 10.1 rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the field. He set the tone for the season opening night by recording 29 points and 23 rebounds against Winthrop. Chievous was the only player
in the MEAC in the top five in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.
Johnson was second in the MEAC in scoring (18.7), third in steals (2.0) and averaged four assists per game.
DeShields helped lead Tennessee State to a 20-win season by leading the Tigers in scoring (16.5). Tabb was a second team All-American last season for the Bulldogs. He led the SWAC in scoring (18.9) and was fifth in the
conference in rebounding (6.9).
Tennessee State head coach Dana Ford was tabbed BOXTOROW Coach of the Year. At 31, Ford is the youngest coach in Division I. He led the Tigers to a remarkable transformation from just five wins a season ago to 20 this
year; the 15-game turnaround was the best in the country this year. In this his second season at the helm, Ford led the Tigers to an 11-5 record in OVC play and a second-place finish.
Thirteen schools are represented on the 2016 BOXTOROW Division I men’s college basketball All-America teams. BOXTOROW has administered the All-America team since 2009.
First Team All-Americans
Quinton Chievous, Hampton (G/F, Gr., Chicago, Ill.)
James Daniel, III, Howard (G, 5-11, Jr., Hampton, Va.)
Derrick Griffin, Texas Southern (C, 6-7, r-Fr., Houston, Texas)
Reginald Johnson, Jr., Hampton (G, Sr., Chicago, Ill.)
Keron DeShields, Tennessee State (G, 6-2, r-Sr., Baltimore, Md.)
Ladarius Tabb, Alabama A&M (G/F, 6-5, Sr., Newbern, Ala.)
Jamel Waters, Alabama State (G, 5-9, Sr., Birmingham, Ala.)
Second Team All-Americans
Eric Eaves, South Carolina State (G, Jr., Columbia, S.C.)
Dominique Elliott, Maryland-Eastern Shore (F, Sr., Savannah, Ga.)
Adrian Rodgers, Southern (G/F, 6-4, Sr., Atlanta, Ga.)
Jeff Short, Norfolk State (G, 6-4, r-Sr., Bronx, N.Y.)
Chris Thomas, Texas Southern (F, Sr., Denver, Co.)
Third Team All-Americans
Dante Holmes, North Carolina Central (G, r-Sr., Baltimore, Md.)
Tahjere McCall, Tennessee State (G, r-Jr., Philadelphia. Pa.)
Jordan Potts, Bethune-Cookman (G, r-Jr., Columbus, Ohio)
Malcolm Riley, Texas Southern (F, Sr., Newport, Va.)
Raeford Worsham, Jackson State (G, Sr., Waynesboro, Miss.)
BOXTOROW Players of the Year: James Daniel, III, Howard and Derrick
Griffin, Texas Southern
BOXTOROW Coach of the Year: Dana Ford, Tennessee State