GCCC's Jones named freshman of year

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Community College's Denver Jones, right, drives past Allen County's Amadou Traore for a basket during a February game at Perryman Athletic Complex.

Denver Jones will go down as one of the most talented players to ever come through Garden City Community College. And it's no surprise that the Alabama native reeled in some postseason recognition this week.

On Thursday, Jones was named the Jayhawk Conference Freshman of the Year and a first-team all-conference pick while teammate Jasman Sangha was selected as an honorable mention.

"Those two guys have been a joy to coach," Head Coach Cole Dewey said. "I'm very proud of Denver, and all that he accomplished this year both individually and for us as a team."

Jones' numbers jump off the page. He averaged 19.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and one steal per game while shooting 47 percent from the field, 40 percent on 3's and 91 percent at the line. He was mere percentage points from the prestigious 50/40/90 plateau.

"When he was out during his injury, we really struggled," Dewey added. "I think that speaks volumes on his value to the team this year. The impact he brought on both ends of the floor speaks for itself."

While Jones was Garden City's best offensive player, he was also their top perimeter defender. He was the one that made everything work, and before he went out with a foot ailment, the Broncbusters were in second place in the Jayhawk West. During his five-game absence, they slipped to seventh.

"He did so many things for our team, and he created opportunities for others," Dewey explained. "That's what made him so great."

Jones scored 20 or more eight times and reached double figures in every game but one, tallying a season-high 27 points vs. Barton on Mar. 17 and vs. Neosho on Feb. 6 where he drilled the go-ahead 3-pointer: a 26-footer that gave the Broncbusters the lead for good. He finished 30th in the nation in scoring and third in the Jayhawk. He led the conference in free throws made (119) while setting the school record for attempts in a game with 19 on opening night vs. Cowley. He also drained four or more triples in a game four times including a season-best five vs. Allen on Feb. 20.

"Denver has a tough decision to make now on where he wants to spend the next four years," Dewey stated. "Wherever he chooses, there's not a doubt in my mind he is going to be successful."

Right from the start of the season, Sangha gave the Broncbusters something they sorely lacked in 2019: post scoring. The transfer from Pensacola State was magnificent, averaging 13.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game while shooting 53 percent from the floor. He recorded a season-high 25 points vs. Dodge City on Mar. 20. It was one of 13 games where he scored in double figures including four contests of 20 or more. He also posted three double-doubles.

"Jasman has been a joy to coach since day one," Dewey said. "Being honored within the conference like this is a direct result of the work he continuously put in. I've coached very few big men that could score and make plays so efficiently like he could from the block and elbows. He has a bright future, and his best basketball is without a doubt ahead of him."