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RJ Cole headlines All-MEAC team as Player of The Year

Howard’s RJ Cole, Bethune-Cookman’s Cletrell Pope and Norfolk State’s Robert Jones claim the MEAC’s top honors.

RJ Cole headlines All-MEAC team as Player of The Year

Norfolk, Va. (March 8, 2019) – Howard sophomore guard RJ Cole has been named the 2018-19 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Year, the conference announced today. Florida A&M’s MJRandolph is the Rookie of the Year, while Cletrell Pope from Bethune-Cookman has earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Norfolk State head coach Robert Jones has been selected the MEAC Coach of the Year.

All awards were voted on by the conference’s head men’s basketball coaches and sports information directors.

Cole, a 6-1 sophomore guard from Union, N.J., is one of the most prolific scores and shooters in the MEAC, averaging 22.3 points per game in conference play and 21.7 in all games this season. He has scored in double figures in all 31 games he has played, scoring 20 points or more points in 20 games. Cole ranks 18th in the nation in assists per game, eighth in the nation in free throw attempts and free throws made, 16thin total assists, 29th in points per game and 23rd in total points scored.

Additionally, Cole was selected as the MEAC Player of the Week on five different occasions. He has also had three 30-point performances, with a high of 36 against Norfolk State in the regular-season finale. Cole’s 672 points scored this season is more than 100 points better than the next player in the MEAC. He is on pace to score over 2,000 points during his Howard career.

Randolph, a 6-4 freshman guard from Pensacola, Fla., is on pace to become one of the best players to ever wear the Rattler uniform. He earned MEAC Rookie of the Week honors five times this season, more than any other player. Randolph is shooting 51 percent from the floor, while averaging 7.2 points per game and 3.8 rebounds. He started in 20 of his team’s 29 regular-season games.

MEAC Cletrell Pope

Pope, a 6-9 junior forward from Northport, Ala., leads the nation in offensive rebounds per game and is 13th in defensive rebounds per game. He is the only player averaging a double-double in the MEAC with 13.8 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. He is ranked third in the nation in double-doubles with 20 this season. Pope is also among the tops in the nation in field-goal percentage (15th), rebounds per game (third) and he is fifth in total rebounds per game. Additionally, he has earned MEAC Defensive Player of the Week honors eight times this season. Pope gives B-CU back-to-back Defensive Players of the Year, as Soufiyane Diakite won the honor last year

In six years at the helm, Jones has led Norfolk State to the second MEAC regular-season title in school history, as the Spartans finished the regular season 19-12 overall and 14-2 in conference play. Jones coached the Spartans to their most wins in conference play since 2012-13. His team’s 14 conference wins this season mark just the second time since joining the MEAC that Norfolk State has surpassed the 14-plus win mark. Four of Jones’ players have earned either All-MEAC second or third team honors, with another on the All-Rookie Team.

Joining Cole and Pope on the 2018-19 All-MEAC First Team are North Carolina Central’s Raasean Davis, Howard’s Charles Williams and Florida A&M’s Justin Ravenel.

The 2018-19 regular-season champions, first team honorees and other award winners, including Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, will be recognized in pre-game presentations prior to the honorees’ first games in tournament play. Tournament play begins Monday, March 11, and runs through Saturday, March 16, at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va.

For more information, log on to www.MEACHOOPS.com.

2018-19 Men’s Basketball All-MEAC Teams
As voted on by the conference’s head men’s basketball coaches and sports information directors.

Player of the Year: RJ Cole, Howard
Rookie of the Year:  MJ Randolph, Florida A&M
Defensive Player of the Year: Cletrell Pope, Bethune-Cookman
Coach of the Year: Rob Jones, Norfolk State

First Team                                                                                                                      

Name                                  Pos.       Ht.        Class       School                                  Hometown

RJ Cole                                   G         6-1          So.         Howard                                Union, N.J.

Cletrell Pope                        F          6-9          Jr.          Bethune-Cookman          Northport, Ala.

Raasean Davis                    C          6-9        r-Sr.        N.C. Central                        Chicago, Ill.

Charles Williams                G         6-6          Jr.          Howard                                Richmond, Va.

Justin Ravenel                    G         6-1          Sr.         Florida A&M                       Lithonia, Ga.

Second Team                                                                                                                

Name                                  Pos.       Ht.        Class       School                                  Hometown

Derrik Jamerson, Jr.         G         6-5          Sr.         Norfolk State                     Detroit, Mich.

Damani Applewhite          F          6-8          Jr.          S.C. State                             Fayetteville, N.C.

Nic Thomas                          G         6-2         r-Jr.        Norfolk State                     Arlington, Texas

Dejuan Clayton                  G         6-2        r-So.       Coppin State                      Bowie, Md.

Malik Maitland                   G         5-9          Jr.          Bethune-Cookman          Daytona Beach, Fla.

Third Team                                                                                                                    

Name                                  Pos.       Ht.        Class       School                                  Hometown

Jordan Butler                      F          6-6        r-Sr.        Norfolk State                     Hartford, Conn.

Kevin Larkin                         G         6-5          Sr.         Delaware State                 Georgetown, Del.

Chad Lott                              G         6-4         r-Jr.        Howard                                Shreveport, La.

Steven Whitley                  G         6-3         r-Jr.        Norfolk State                     Norfolk, Va.

Shawntrez Davis                F          6-9          Sr.         Bethune-Cookman          Atlanta, Ga.

All-Rookie Team                                                                             

Name                                              Pos.       Ht.      Class     School                        Hometown

MJ Randolph                                   G         6-4        Fr.       Florida A&M             Pensacola, Fla.

Sherwyn Devonish-Prince, Jr.   G         6-1        Fr.       Morgan State           Bladensburg, Md.

Collins Joseph                                 G         6-0        Fr.       Savannah State       St. Thomas, USVI

C.J. Kelly                                           G         6-5      r-Fr.      Norfolk State            Long Island, N.Y.

Justin Steers                                 G/F       6-6        Fr.       Coppin State            Philadelphia, Pa.

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