Jeff Griffith (@Jeff_Griffith21)
With the college basketball offseason well underway, it’s time to look back to the season that was among the area’s Division II and III programs. Throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, both levels of small-college ball produced a number of successful programs, several impressive individual seasons from upperclassmen and newcomers alike, and multiple NCAA Tournament appearances.
Here are our selections for the 2021-22 CoBL men’s small-college awards and honorees at the Division II level:
(Read more: D-II women)
Nazim Derry (above) hit 100 3-pointers in his sophomore season. (Photo courtesy Goldey-Beacom Athletics)
Nazim Derry, G/So., Goldey-Beacom
Derry was efficient, productive and did a little bit of everything as a sophomore at Goldey-Beacom. The Lightning’s top scorer, Derry nearly doubled his scoring output from year one (10.8 ppg) to year two (20.1 ppg) at the collegiate level, while also finishing third among all CACC men’s basketball players in scoring. Derry did most of his work from beyond the 3-point arc, shooting a blistering 42 percent from distance — the fifth-highest 3-point percentage in the CACC — and connecting on 100 attempts, which were good for fourth-most in the entire country.
Beyond his impressive scoring outputs, Derry sprinkled in 3.9 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game, and 2.1 steals per game.
Deondre Bourne (G/Jr., Jefferson)
One of two top-10 scorers on Jefferson’s 21-win squad, Bourne averaged 18.6 points and 4.0 rebounds, as well as 2.5 assists. He was efficient from the free throw line as well, connecting on 79.6 percent of his attempts. Bourne was a dominant scorer in stretches this season, but his consistency was especially notable in the second half of the year; in Jefferson’s final 15 games, Bourne never scored fewer than 10 points, and tallied 16 or more in all but three of those contests. In Jefferson’s conference semifinal loss to Dominican, Bourne had a team-high 25 points, with a perfect 11-of-11 free-throw mark. Bourne earned First Team All-CACC honors.
Justin Anderson (G/Jr., Bloomsburg)
Anderson was among the PSAC’s top five scorers, averaging 18.7 points on field goal and free throw shooting percentages that were both top 20 in the conference; he also tacked on 4.4 rpg. The junior guard never scored below 10 points in a game and had several breakout scoring outputs, including 25 against Lock Haven — to go with 10 rebounds, marking his only double-double — 35 at Mansfield, 29 against Kutztown and 25 at Goldey-Beacom. Anderson was tabbed as a First Team selection in the PSAC East.
Carlos Pepin (F/Jr. East Stroudsburg)
The PSAC East Athlete of the Year, Pepin filled the stat sheet for a Warriors team that finished one win shy of a 20-victory campaign. On the season, the junior averaged 14.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.7 assists. Pepin left it all on the floor in East Stroudsburg's final contest, putting up 25 points and nine boards in a conference tournament loss to Shippensburg. Pepin’s scoring and rebounding numbers both led the way for ESU, and his rebounding ranked seventh among all PSAC players.
Juran Ligonde (F/Jr., Goldey-Beacom)
A productive scorer and rebounder and efficient shooter, Ligonde was a major standout on Goldey-Beacom’s 14-14 squad. In his first full season as a starter, Ligonde led the Lightning with 8.4 rebounds — good for fifth in the CACC — and his 16.0 points were ninth in the conference and second among his teammates, behind Derry. Notably, Ligonde tallied five more offensive rebounds than defensive rebounds; his 4.3 offensive boards per game led the conference. Ligonde especially began to shine down the stretch, breaking 20 points in four of his last five games, including 31 points and 14 rebounds in a two-point win at Holy Family. Ligonde was selected to the All-CACC Third Team.
Antonin Kemkeng (C/So., Jefferson)
While Bourne and rookie Erik Timko buoyed the Rams’ scoring effort, Kemkeng was a monster on the glass — and by no means was he a slouch in the scoring column. Kemkeng averaged a double-double of 13.7 points and 12.5 rebounds; the latter was a conference-high by nearly two full rebounds per game. Kemkeng specifically shined on the defensive glass, hauling in 8.4 defensive boards on average. Kemkeng was a very consistent scorer as well, registering double digits in 22 contests, and breaking 18 points seven times. A Third Team All-CACC selection, Kemkeng logged a stunning 18 double-doubles in his sophomore season, his first receiving full rotation minutes.
Erik Timko (G/Fr., Jefferson)
Timko opened his Jefferson career with 29- and 34-point outings in his first four contests and never looked back, logging off-the-charts freshman numbers; the Methacton alum led all CACC scorers with 21.2 ppg. Also CoBL’s Rookie of the Year selection for the 2021-22 season, Timko added 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists to his final season stat line, and shot among the conference’s top 10 both from beyond the arc and at the free-throw line. Even Timko’s red-hot start paled in comparison to his final stretch; the first-year guard cracked 23 points in five of his last six full games, including two outings of 30 points or more.
Amir Warrick (above) scored a combined 41 points in the final two games of the season. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Clint Wright Jr. (G/So., Georgian Court)
While Wright was effective for the Lions in multiple ways, none were more impressive than his shooting; the sophomore, in his first year of full playing time, shot a blistering 43.6 percent from beyond the arc and 91.5 percent from the free throw line, both of which were top-two in the CACC. Wright had several red-hot shooting outings, with four-or-more made threes in seven different contests. In the span of two games over three days entering December, Wright connected on 13 of 22 attempts (59 percent), including an astounding 8-of-10 clip at Goldey-Beacom.
Jake Biss (G/R-Sr., Shippensburg)
Biss, a First Team All-PSAC selection, finished among the league’s top 15 scorers with a team-leading 16.7 ppg and 3.7 apg, as well as 3.6 rpg. The graduate student ranked seventh in the PSAC in 3-point percentage (38.1 percent) and tied for second in 3-pointers per game (2.5). As of mid-January, Biss was averaging just 12.6 points, but turned up the heat down the stretch, averaging 19.1 points in his last 15 games. In late February, Biss had a five-game stretch of scoring 20-plus points; within those five, the guard had a string of three games in which he totaled 85 points, made 16 3-pointers and shot 13-of-15 from the stripe.
Jaden Faulkner (G/R-Sr., Millersville)
One of four All-PSAC East selections — and one of two PSAC East First Teamers — on Millersville’s NCAA Tournament squad, Faulker led the way in scoring for the Marauders with 13.7 points while adding 4.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists, the latter of which ranked fifth in the conference. Faulkner’s peak performance came at Mansfield; he logged 39 minutes, shot 11-of-17 from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line, and tallied 33 points and 13 assists — his only double-double of the season.
Amir Warrick (F/Jr., Chestnut Hill)
Warrick was a consistent force for the Griffins, namely in the back half of the season. From mid-January on, Warrick scored in double figures in all but one game, including four 20-point showings during the season’s stretch run. The junior made his presence felt in the season’s final two games — including Chestnut Hill’s conference tournament loss to Felician — scoring 21 and 20 respectively while adding a combined 11 rebounds. On the season, he averaged 13.5 points and 5.6 boards, and shot just shy of 50 percent from the field.
Rashon Johnson (F/R-Jr., Shippensburg)
Johnson put up notable numbers in both the scoring (15.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.4 rpg) categories; the 6-foot-5 forward led his team on the boards and was tied for 12th in rebounding among PSAC athletes. His offensive rebounding average of 2.6 was good for sixth in the league, while his scoring output was 14th. As a whole, Johnson’s performance this season earned him a First Team All-PSAC East nod.
Matt Dade (14) posted seven double-doubles in his sophomore season with the Rams. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
Danny Walsh (G/Gr., Wilmington)
Averaging double-digits for the third season in a row, Walsh averaged a career-high 14.3 points in his final season Wilmington. Walsh was strong shooting from 3-point range (35.2%) and at the line (87.5%), and hit his peak with 29 points and four made 3s against Felician, one of seven games with 20+ on the season.
Nigel Haughton (G/So., Chestnut Hill)
Haughton’s scoring numbers were up and down throughout the season, but he showed on plenty of occasions that he could carry the scoring load, breaking 20 points four times and breaking 15 points eight times. He logged four double-doubles on the season and hauled in 15 or more rebounds three times, including an impressive 16-and-16 line in the Griffins’ regular season finale at USciences.
James Sullivan (G/R-Sr., Millersville)
Millersville’s second member of the All-PSAC East First Team, Sullivan tallied a little bit of everything for the Marauders en route to an NCAA Tournament bid, averaging 12.9 points, 3.4 boards, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals. His steals numbers were a team-high. Sullivan was a force in Millersville’s PSAC Tournament games — specifically its last two — scoring 30 and 16 points respectively in the Marauders’ semifinal win and championship game loss.
Khari Williams (G/R-Sr., Millersville)
Williams, an All-PSAC East Second Teamer, was Millersville’s second-leading scorer with 13.0 ppg and added 4.9 rpg. He also held the top free throw mark among the Marauders' starters at 73.3 percent. Williams had his fair share of breakout nights, including an explosive 39-point outing against Virginia Union.
Matt Dade (G/So., West Chester)
Dade, an All-PSAC East Second Teamer, averaged 12.7 points and 7.9 rebounds and logged seven double-doubles in his sophomore season while also pitching in 1.6 apg. Dade showed flashes of breakout scoring ability, including a 27-point showing against Bloomsburg in late January. Dade’s rebounding numbers led the way for the Rams.
Jesse McPherson (F/Sr., Lock Haven)
An All-PSAC East Second Team selection, McPherson was an efficient scorer at 49.6 percent field goal shooting. In all, he averaged a productive 12.1 points and 6.4 boards, and shot a crisp 78.7 percent from the line. McPherson was at his best in a Jan. 22 contest at Shippensburg, in which he logged one of his season’s three double-doubles with 20 points and 10 boards.
Caden Nadjawi (F/R-Sr., Millersville)
The PSAC East Defensive Player of the Year, Nadjawi logged an average of 1.6 blocks, which ranked third in the conference and first in the division by a decent margin. Nadjawi also earned a Second Team All-PSAC East nod, and chipped in 10.8 ppg and a team-high 7.5 rpg for the Marauders.
Erik Timko (above) found even more consistency in his game after January. (Photo courtesy Jefferson Athletics)
Erik Timko, G/Fr., Jefferson
Timko, a Methacton product, did it all for Jefferson in his first season with the Rams. He averaged a CACC-leading 21.2 points — 22.2 before logging zero points in just three minutes of the Rams’ season finale — 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Timko’s impeccable free throw rate of 91.2 percent ranked second in the conference, while his 53 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc were both among the league’s top 10.
The 6-4 Timko was productive right out of the gates for Jefferson, logging outputs of 29, 34, 27 and 34 points within his first eight games, but really developed consistency in the second half of the season. Only once after the calendar turned to January did Timko score in single digits, and only twice did he score fewer than 18 points in a contest. Timko was a picture of stamina as well, continuing to log efficient shooting numbers while averaging 36 minutes and logging more than a dozen 40-minute outings.
Justice Smith, G, Mansfield
Smith received Rookie of the Year honors in the PSAC East division, and was a Second Team selection overall. As just a redshirt freshman, Smith was the second-highest scorer in the PSAC as a whole, and led the East division by nearly two full points per game; he averaged 20.6 points on the season. His free-throw clip, 79.1 percent, was also sixth-best in the conference.
Robert Smith, G, West Chester
As a freshman, Smith earned Second Team honors on the PSAC East’s All-Conference list. The Philadelphia product was West Chester’s top scorer on the season with 14.2 ppg and logged double-digit scoring numbers in 21 contests. Smith, most notably, was lights out from 3-point range, connecting on 46 percent of his attempts — a mark which was second in the PSAC.
Manny Toha, G, Holy Family
Toha turned heads when he opened the season with 49 points in his first two collegiate contests. He cooled off from there, but averaged solid numbers at 12.0 points, 3.4 boards, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals for Holy Family and was his team’s top scorer. Toha was a solid free throw shooter at 79.1 percent, and scored in double figures in nine of his last 10 games and 18 in total.
MJ Iraldi, F, Chestnut Hill
Chestnut Hill’s leading scorer, Iraldi finished the season with 14.2 ppg to go with his 5.4 rpg and respectable 76.1 percent free throw shooting mark. In his first season with the Griffins, the 6-6 wing made his mark, especially down the stretch, with three 20-point games in Chestnut Hill’s final six games. He finished with a season-high of 25 points in a conference tournament loss to Felician.
Lakeem McAliley, F, East Stroudsburg
One of three freshmen to make the All-PSAC East Second Team, McAliley posted strong scoring and rebounding numbers this season at 14.2 ppg — second behind junior and PSAC East Athlete of the Year Carlos Pepin — and 5.6 rpg. McAliley ranked sixth in the PSAC in field goal shooting at 53.5 percent, and his scoring output was good for 22nd.
Casey Stitzell (above) led Millersville to its best season in more than a decade. (Photo courtesy Millersville Athletics)
Casey Stitzell, Millersville
In just his fifth full season at Millersville, Stitzell led the Marauders to an NCAA Tournament berth — the only local D-II team to achieve NCAA tourney status. In 2016, Stitzell took over a Millersville program that was fresh off of a dismal 4-22 season and turned the ship around with relative quickness, leading the Marauders to nine and 10 wins in his first two seasons, followed by back-to-back campaigns of 15-plus victories.
This past season was the breakout year, though. Millersville’s 25-7 record this season was its best since 2006-07 (28-5) and under Stitzell’s leadership, the Marauders earned their first NCAA Tournament trip in 14 years. This year’s edition of Millersville fought past midseason adversity as well; after dropping three of four in December to fall to 7-3, the Marauders lost just two of their remaining 18 regular season contests, including a streak of 12 wins along the way. Stitzell’s team was the epitome of balance as well, with all five starters averaging between 9.5 and 14 points.