Sears Named First Team; Jones Selected As Coach of Year
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The honors continue to come in for the Ivy League champion Yale men's basketball team. The latest is the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District selections, and the Bulldogs are very well represented. Justin Sears was named to the District 13 first team for the third straight year, while Brandon Sherrod and Makai Mason both earned second team recognition. In addition, James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs, was selected as the District 13 Coach of Year for the second straight year.
Sears, who is scheduled to play in the 2016 Reese's College All Star Game next Friday at the Final Four in Houston, is a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year selection. He will graduate third in school history with 1,700 career points, fourth with 814 rebounds and second with 200 blocked shots.
Sears is the first two-time Ivy Player of the Year in school history and the first back-to-back winner in the league since Penn's Ibrahim Jaaber in 2006 and 2007. In addition, he was named first team All-Ivy for the third straight season, Yale's first three-time selection since Chris Dudley (1985-87).
This season Sears has been among the national leaders in offensive rebounds throughout the year and is in the top-10 in the Ivy League in a number of categories, including scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, assists, blocked shots and offensive rebounds.
Sherrod, who rejoined the team this season after spending a year singing with the Yale Whiffenpoofs, the world's oldest and best known collegiate a cappella groups, was a first team All-Ivy selection. In 14 Ivy games, he averaged 15.8 points, which tied for the team lead, and shot a remarkable 64.4 percent from the field.
Early in league play, he set an NCAA record by making 30 consecutive field goals. The streak started when he hit his final shot at home against Brown on Jan. 16. He then went 9-of-9 at Brown, 7-of-7 against Penn, 8-of-8 against Princeton and made his first five shots against Columbia.
Sherrod, who scored in double figures in all but one Ivy game, was among the league leaders in field goal percentage, rebounding and offensive rebounds.
Mason, who took over as the starting point guard this season, also was a first team All-Ivy selection. He was among the league leaders in scoring, assists and free throw percentage.
Mason hit perhaps the biggest shot of the season, a jump shot with five seconds left that forced overtime at home against Dartmouth, a game Yale would go on to win 76-71. In the Bulldogs' NCAA Tournament victory over Baylor, he scored a career-high 31 points.
The NABC is the latest organization to recognize the outstanding job turned in by Jones this year. He also was named the Ivy League Coach of the Year for the second straight year and was the United States Basketball Writer's Association District 1 Coach of the Year.
Jones guided Yale to its first NCAA Tournament victory in school history, 23 overall victories, the most in a season since the 1906-07 team went 30-7-1, and a second straight Ivy title. In addition, the Bulldogs won 18 of their final 20 games and lost only twice in the calendar year 2016.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity