Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
One of the best parts about running CoBL has been the exposure to the area's small-college hoops scene, especially the D-IIIs. There are a few more than 30 Division III programs located in the southeastern quadrant of the state –– State College to the Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg to Philadelphia –– and that's been the group we've included in our bi-weekly power rankings as well as those whose players and coaches we considered for our all-area honors (apologies to those programs in Jersey and Delaware).
Once again, there was a wealth of talent in the area amongst Division III programs, with a number of potential All-Americans and many other conference PoTYs, RoTYs, and all-conference first and second-teamers. We sorted through the best of the best and came up with five teams of six players, all of whom had seasons worthy of mention. All selections made by yours truly, though I consulted with several area head coaches to make a few tweaks and adjustments. Ultimately, all final decisions were my own.
Without further ado, our 2019-20 CoBL Division III All-Area honors:
York College senior Jared Wagner (above) is the 2019-20 Player of the Year. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
CoBL-Area D-III Player of the Year
Jared Wagner (Sr./G/York)
A Central Pennsylvania product through-and-through, Wagner went from a starring role at Central York to nearby York College, where he developed into one of the best players in a long list of Spartan standouts. As a senior, Wagner averaged 18.6 points and 7.0 assists per game, both tops in the Capital Athletic Conference, and his 6.1 rebounds per game were 10th in the league –– not too bad for a point guard.
A 6-foot-1, 185-pound guard, Wagner is effective with or without the ball in his hands, improving his 3-point shooting percentage from under 30% as a freshman and sophomore to 37.4% as a senior; he got his scoring on just over 11 shots per game, shooting 52.8% from the floor. He also is a tremendous defender, leading the CAC in steals per game (2.9). And so the 2019-20 CAC Player of the Year is also our all-area pick.
(More on Wagner: Read Michael Bullock's fantastic feature on the York senior)
Like a few others in this list, Wagner’s season is not over: The Spartans (22-5) play St. John’s Fisher (N.Y.) on Friday in a first-round NCAA Tournament Game; last year, they made it to the Round of 32 before losing to Randolph-Macon. Riding a winning streak a dozen games long into March Madness, the Spartans have their hopes on extending their star guard’s career a couple more weeks.
All-area teams listed in alphabetical order
Da'Kquan Davis (above) is already Arcadia's all-time leading scorer after just three seasons. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Da'Kquan Davis (Jr./G/Arcadia)
When it comes to putting a 29.5” ball into a hoop, there isn’t anybody around who does it as often or as impressively as Davis. The Arcadia junior and Roman Catholic product led all area players at 27.2 ppg, rocketing past the 1,000-point mark faster than any player in Knights history (62 games). The first team All-MAC Commonwealth selection topped 30 points eight times during the season, leading the conference in minutes per game (37.1) and also averaged 6.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per outing. A 6-1, 180-pound guard, Davis shot 46.5% overall and 33.7% from 3-point range this year; he’s got 1,571 going into his senior year, which is already the most in program history, and he’s well on pace to become its first 2,000-point scorer.
Rich Dunham (Sr./G/Gwynedd Mercy)
The pride of Pope John Paul II, Dunham finished his career at Gwynedd Mercy with 1,538 points, second on the school’s all-time list. That was thanks to a senior campaign that saw him set a new personal best at 20.6 ppg, along with 4.8 rpg, 3.5 apg, and 2.2 spg. An athletic slasher who could really get to the rim and took a team-best 161 foul shots –– hitting 90.7% –– Dunham was also a dead-eye shooter, knocking down 45.7% from deep and better than 50% overall. An Atlantic East all-conference first teamer, Dunham lead the AEast in free throw shooting, assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8) and steals per game.
Connor Laverty (Sr./G-F/Widener)
The MAC Commonwealth Player of the Year, Laverty led a Pride squad with five double-digit scorers at 13.8 ppg, averaging a team-best 6.5 rpg as well. The 6-6 wing/forward out of Ocean City (N.J.) hit 55 3-pointers at a 45.8% clip, finishing second in the Commonwealth in 3-point percentage. He also dished out 2.6 assists/game with a 1.5 assist-to-turnover ratio, making him one of the more efficient offensive players around. And perhaps most importantly, Laverty put up those numbers for a Widener squad which won the MAC Commonwealth regular-season championship, going 19-6 in the regular season (including a loss to Penn) before losing to eventual league champ Lycoming in the Commonwealth semifinals.
Zac O'Dell (Sr./F/Swarthmore)
Sure, his raw numbers might not immediately jump out at you: 10.8 points and 8.1 rebounds, plus 2.3 assists per outing. But O’Dell’s abilities in the post open things up for the rest of the Swarthmore offense, and he’s able to average nearly a double-double by playing in only 24 minutes per contest, no more than 32 any point this season. The muscular 6-foot-7 post player out of Schenectady (N.Y.), a chemistry major, is already a published scientist, and will be pursuing a doctoral degree as his next challenge. First up for the No. 1 Garnet, who went unbeaten the entire season until Johns Hopkins upended them in the Centennial Championship, is one final run through the NCAA Tournament, where they were national runner-ups last year and title aspirations yet again.
Jesse Turkson (Jr./F/Haverford)
Haverford enjoyed its best season since the 70s under third-year head coach Pat Doherty, and Turkson was a major reason why the Fords broke a string of eight consecutive losing seasons by going 16-10 and 11-7 in the tough Centennial Conference. A versatile 6-4 wing/forward out of the high-academic magnet Masterman School in Philadelphia, Turkson was the Fords’ only double-digit scorer (14.4 ppg) and leading rebounder (8.1 rpg), ranking seventh and second in the league in those respective categories. Hitting only 15 3-pointers on the season, Turkson did most of his damage from the midrange and closer, and he was also Haverford’s leader in steals (38) and blocks (22) and third on the team in assists (40).
Donyae Baylor-Carroll (So./G/Penn State-Harrisburg)
A 5-7 guard out of Milton Hershey, Baylor-Carroll has been a dynamic player from the first game of his college career, a 20-point effort. As a sophomore, the Harrisburg native brought his game to another level, averaging 18.1 ppg, 4.2 apg and 3.5 rpg, earning NEAC Player of the Year honors as the Lions won the league championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He scored in double figures in his last 16 games, with three 30+ outings in that span, and he shot 39.5% from the 3-point arc this season.
Darius Dangerfield (Jr./PG/Lycoming)
Dangerfield was the driving force behind a Warriors squad that made the NCAA Tournament for the first time under second-year head coach Mike McGarvey. The First Team All-MAC Commonwealth selection, a 5-8 guard from Abingdon (Md.), averaged 14.0 ppg and 4.7 apg, the latter of which was good for third in the conference in assists; he averaged 20.2 ppg and 6.5 apg over the last eight games of the year, and was the leading scorer on a team picked last in the conference preseason poll. Hit the game-clinching FTs in the Commonwealth championship game.
Dan Gaines (So./PG/Muhlenberg)
Gaines has had quite the first two years at Muhlenberg, as the Colts’ Neck (N.J.) native built on a Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year campaign (14.8 ppg/4.6 rpg) by upping his averages to 16.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg, plus 4.9 apg and an assist-to-turnover ratio north of 2:1. The Centennial leader in assists and ATO ratio, he was also fifth in the league in scoring and steals (40), shooting 52.3% overall and 42.5% from three. A 6-1 guard, Gaines will be the featured piece for head coach Kevin Hopkins the next couple years as they hope to build on this year’s 19-8 (11-7) campaign.
David Giuliani (Jr./F./York)
Giuliani didn’t have a huge impact for the Spartans in his first year at York last season, after starting his college career at D-II (now D-I) Merrimack. A 6-4, 210-pound forward Giuliani averaged only 3.5 ppg and 1.8 rpg in 18 appearances last year, but became a force in the post this season, averaging 14.8 ppg and 7.8 rpg, leading the CAC in field-goal percentage (56.1%), and finishing third in the league in rebounding and sixth in scoring. In conference play, he upped his efforts on the glass to nearly nine rebounds per outing.
Sam Majekodunmi (Jr./SG/Albright)
One of the most versatile players in the region, Albright’s 6-2 junior guard from Staten Island (N.Y.) averaged 19.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.0 apg, and 1.7 spg, shooting 44.8% overall and 38.9% from the 3-point arc, including 81.9% from the foul line. Majekodunmi had 12 games of 20+ points, topping out with a 44-point effort on 16-of-21 shooting against Cabrini. Already well past 1,200 points, Majekodunmi will have a chance at finishing inside the team’s top-five in scoring, with an outside chance at becoming the fourth 2,000-point scorer in school history.
Nate Shafer (Sr./F./Swarthmore)
The other half of Swarthmore’s impressive interior duo, Shafer –– a 6-6 big out of Langley (Va.) –– averaged 10.6 ppg and 7.1 rpg while playing only 24 minutes, shooting 58.0 percent from the floor. The Centennial leader in blocks (57), he was also second in FG% and third in rebounding, picking up four double-doubles, all within the last nine games of the season. Also had his best season from the line, making 74.6%, a nice improvement over his 60-ish percent mark coming into the year. Also had more assists (55) than turnovers (43).
Jordan Ambrose (Sr./G/Immaculata)
Bishop Shanahan product and 6-1 guard had his best individual career as a senior, averaging 17.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 2.1 apg, shooting 43.2% overall and 39.6% from 3-point range, setting the program’s single-season made 3-point record (72). Ambrose had a dozen games of 20+ points, and ended his career fourth in IU history in scoring (1,355).
Timmy Edwards (Jr./PF/DeSales)
An All-MAC Freedom First Team selection, Edwards went from key reserve to full-time starter for the Bulldogs as a junior, setting new career highs at 15.1 ppg and 6.2 rpg, shooting 60.1% from the floor and 75.3% from the foul line; he led his team in both categories. He closed the season strong, averaging 21.5 ppg and 8.1 rpg over the last eight.
Danny Frauenheim (Soph./G./Susquehanna)
On a 20-7 River Hawks’ squad that won the Landmark Tournament, this 5-11 guard from the Jersey Shore makes them go. Put up an impressive 2.9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio (151 assists, 52 turnovers) while averaging 10.8 ppg, 5.6 apg and 2.1 rpg. Shot 44.0% overall and 77.3% from the foul line, though just 32.1% from 3-point range.
Malachi Hall (Sr./G/Cairn)
This Lower Merion product, a 6-4 wing guard, averaged 15.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 4.7 apg and 1.9 spg for the CSAC champions. A stat-sheet stuffer, he had six double-doubles, ten games with 5+ assists, seven games of 20+ points, and 16 games of 5+ rebounds. Won CSAC Defensive PoTY for the second consecutive season in addition to first team all-conference honors.
Ryan Hughes (So./G/Ursinus)
The top scorer in the Centennial was this 6-4 lead guard out of Middletown Area (Pa.), who averaged 18.2 ppg, nearly doubling his output from last year, adding in 6.3 rpg and 3.0 apg while shooting 49.3% overall and 43.3% from deep. More than just a sniper, he also led the conference in foul shots made (113); nobody else in the league made more than 97.
Ryan McTamney (Sr./G/Ursinus)
Sliding in right behind his Bears teammate in scoring (18.0 ppg) and just ahead in rebounding (6.8 rpg) was McTamney, a versatile 6-5 wing/forward out of La Salle College HS. McTamney, who finished 8th in Ursinus history in scoring (1,380 points), had six games with 25+ points and had five double-doubles in the last seven games of the season.
Keith Blassingale (Sr. Guard/Cabrini)
The Rosemont College transfer was one of the few bright spots in a challenging season for the Cavaliers. Blassingale averaged 20.3 points and 4.6 assists per game while shooting nearly 36 percent from beyond the arc.
Dyson Harward (Fr./C/Lycoming)
In his first collegiate season, the Danville, Pa., native led the Warriors with 7.9 rebounds per game. A 6-7 forward, Harward shot 46.1 percent from the field and put up 13.2 ppg in just 24 minutes a game.
Voshon Mack (So./F/Cabrini)
The reigning Atlantic East Conference Rookie of the Year followed up his freshman campaign with another stellar year, putting up better than 17 points per contest with 9.1 rebounds despite standing at just 6-foot-5.
Brandon McCullough (Jr./G/Immaculata)
McCullough scored a career high 29 points in an 87-86 overtime loss to Cabrini, but the junior from Avon Grove was a consistent bucket-getter — he averaged 17.3 points per game and posted an impressive 93.8 free-throw percentage.
Connor Moffatt (Sr./F/Elizabethtown)
In his final season, Moffatt did it all for Elizabethtown. He led the Blue Jays in both points (16.5) and rebounds (10.4), all while shooting a team-best 51.6 percent.
Jared Peters (Jr./G/Widener)
Peters posted a rare triple-double during a January win against Hood, scoring 16 points with 14 rebounds and 10 assists. For the season, the Governor Mifflin alum averaged 13.0 points per game in 26 games.
Nate Curry (Fr./G/Penn State-Harrisburg)
It didn’t take long for this Curry to look a little like Steph — the Brooklyn, N.Y., native shot better than 44 percent from distance and averaged 14.4 points per game.
Ethan DuBois (Sr./G/Elizabethtown)
The senior, a 6-0 guard from Southern Regional (N.J.), led the Blue Jays in minutes, playing more than 34 per game, and DuBois averaged 11.1 points to go along with 5.3 boards.
Steve Pendleton (Sr./G/Arcadia)
It took a few years for the Lower Merion alum to break out, but the senior finished his career as the Knights’ second-leading scorer for the season (16.5 ppg), and the 6-1 guard added 6.0 rebounds per game.
Matt O'Connor (Jr./SG/Moravian)
The former Father Judge standout led the Greyhounds at 15.8 points per game and was just one of three players to average more than 30 minutes on the year.
Justin Thomas (So./SF/Alvernia)
The Golden Wolves’ leading scorer shot nearly 40 percent from distance and averaged a team-high 5.8 rebounds, starting 23 of 25 games.
Damian Washington (Jr./F/Del-Val)
Washington has just continued to perform since making the jump from Upper Moreland to Delaware Valley. He led the Aggies in scoring yet again with 19.0 points, and the junior also averaged a team-best 7.7 boards.
Lycoming freshman forward Dyson Harward (above) was the CoBL D-III Rookie of the Year. (Photo courtesy Lycoming Athletics)
Rookie of the Year
Dyson Harward (F/Lycoming)
Head coach Mike McGarvey knew he had a good one in his young post player, but it turns out the second-year Warriors' boss got a block to build his whole program around in the 6-7, 230-pound Danville (Pa.) product. A starter from Game One, Hardward started his college career with a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double, the first of six double-doubles on the season. That included a 17-point, 17-rebound effort against Union, and a 19-point, 12-rebound outing at Alvernia. He also set school records with his eight-block effort and 64 rejections on the season, and was named MAC Commonwealth Rookie of the Year for his efforts. In a year with a number of impressive freshman seasons, Harward's our pick for Rookie of the Year.
All-Area Rookie Team
Vinny DeAngelo (G/Swarthmore)
A Sun Valley product, DeAngelo started the season coming off the Garnet’s bench but eventually worked his way into the starting lineup, where he became one of the leading scorers (11.1 ppg) on the No. 1 team in the country. Led the Centennial in 3PT% (47.1%) and was second in foul shooting (87.2%). Also chipped in 2.3 rpg and 2.7 apg.
Nate Curry (G/Penn State-Harrisburg)
Curry wasted no time getting acclimated to college life under Don Friday, averaging 14.4 ppg while shooting 52% overall and 44.2% from 3-point range. An athletic 6-3 wing, Curry also grabbed 8.0 rebounds/game, his season earning him NEAC Rookie of the Year honors as well as a spot on the league’s first team. A product of Christ the King (N.Y.).
Collin Jones (F/Lebanon Valley)
A muscular 6-4 wing out of Central Mountain (Pa.), Jones was averaging about 5.0 ppg over the first half of the season but really turned it on in league play, scoring in double figures in the last 10 games, including a career-best 31 in the season finale, to raise his scoring average to 12.2 ppg and 6.2 rpg, shooting 54.9% overall and 43.6% from deep (17-of-39). Finished with four double-doubles.
Jimmy Kpadeh (G/Ursinus)
Kpadeh jumped right in as the Bears’ starting point guard, averaging 7.7 ppg and 4.8 apg, the latter of which tied him for tops in the Centennial Conference. He shot better from 3-point range (40.0%) than he did overall (38.7%), but was a solid 76.9% from the line on limited attempts. The 6-0 Ft. Washington (Md.) product had an assist-to-turnover ratio of nearly 2.0:1, plus 2.4 rpg.
Tyler Tillery (F/Immaculata)
A 6-5 post player out of Gerstell Academy (Md.), Tillery averaged 10.2 ppg and 8.7 rpg plus 1.9 bpg, finishing fourth amongst all freshmen in D-III for rebounding, and his nine double-doubles were third in the Atlantic East. He finished the season with a dozen double-figure rebounding appearances, which was also tops in the conference. Shot 42.7% overall.
Landry Kosmalski (above) is CoBL-Area Coach of the Year after guiding Swat to an unbeaten regular season. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Coach of the Year
Landry Kosmalski, Swarthmore
In just eight years, Landry Kosmalski has gone from a locally-unknown first-year head coach and former Division I assistant to the Jay Wright of the local small-college scene. Okay, so maybe Kosmalski doesn’t quite have Wright’s charisma –– and very few do –– but he’s got every bit the work ethic and sense of direction that the Villanova boss and two-time national championship coach has developed in the Wildcats, the even-keeled attitude that doesn’t get too high after wins or too low after losses.
Kosmalski has better his team’s record and finish in each of his first seven years, making it to the national championship game last April. This season they entered the preseason No. 1 team in the national poll, after making it to the national title game last April, and lived up to expectations, going perfect in the regular season. It took an outstanding effort and buzzer-beating shot by another Top 10 squad in Johns Hopkins to end Swat’s unbeaten season in the Centennial championship game, but the Garnet are still the No. 1 overall seed for the D-III NCAA Tournament.
For keeping Swarthmore on course all year long, despite ever-increasing attention from not just the local basketball world but the greater hoops community; for developing some impressive young talent around his experience, veteran core, and for not losing a beat from last season, Kosmalski is our 2019-20 CoBL-area Coach of the Year.
Chris Carideo, Widener
Pat Doherty, Haverford
Matt Hunter, York
Mike McGarvey, Lycoming