Jones’s First Team conference award leads All-HCAC recognition for Transylvania men’s basketball

Jones’s First Team conference award leads All-HCAC recognition for Transylvania men’s basketball

Greenwood, Ind. – Transylvania men's basketball senior guard Alex Jones was named to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's First Team on Tuesday to cap off an extraordinary playing career and lead a list of Pioneers who achieved postseason individual accolades for the 2016-17 season.

In a release by the conference, Jones was one of six players named to the All-HCAC First team.

Also achieving postseason recognition was sophomore guard Cooper Theobald, who was named to the All-HCAC Second Team. Sophomore forward Kyle Gullett was selected as an All-HCAC Honorable Mention.

Jones, a senior from Louisville, Kentucky (St. Xavier HS), ranked in the top-10 in HCAC in scoring with 16.1 points per game, and led the conference in assists at 5.1 assists per contest. In his final season as a Pioneer, Jones shot 48 percent from the field and scored 434 total points. In his final career game in the HCAC Tournament Semifinals, Jones scored 31 points to become the 17th Pioneer in program history to reach the 1,500-point career scoring mark.

"Alex had a tremendous season," said Transylvania men's basketball head coach Brian Lane on his senior's award. "He became a strong leader and his ability to score and pass made him one of the best offensive players in the country. He was really hard to guard and he was a big reason we had a legitimate shot to make it to the HCAC Championship game."

Along with his team-high scoring average, Jones averaged 5.2 rebounds per game and started and played in all 27 contests for the Pioneers.

Theobald, a sophomore from Fort Mitchell, Kentucky (Covington Catholic), was the leading rebounder on the Pioneers at 6.5 rebounds per game, which ranked seventh in the conference. Theobald led the conference for the second straight season in free throws made and attempted; Theobald's propensity for getting to the line was exemplified on January 7, when he broke the NCAA Division III record in a win at Defiance for most free throws attempted by one player. His 29-for-32 mark at the free throw line in that contest also broke conference records for single-game makes and attempts.

"Cooper was one of the best defenders in the conference," added Lane. "He was our hardest worker in practice and games and left everything on the court each and every contest. He worked hard to improve his jump shot to compliment a tremendous ability to score off the dribble, and he is one of the best rebounding point guards in the country."

Theobald started and played in all 27 games for the Pioneers, averaging 15.6 points per game, three assists per game, and shot better than 53 percent from the floor.

Gullett, a sophomore from Paintsville, Kentucky (Johnson Central HS), transferred in to Transylvania from Division I Southeast Missouri State and made an immediate impact with the Pioneers. The 6-foot-6 forward led the conference in blocks with 2.6 rejections per game. Gullett averaged 13.2 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, and shot 49 percent from the field for the Pioneers.

"Kyle blocks shots; a lot of them," succinctly summed up Lane.

After scoring 42 points in two conference tournament games for the Pioneers and leading Transylvania to a near-upset of No. 1 tourney seed Hanover in the HCAC semifinals, Jones was also named to the HCAC All-Tournament team this past Sunday.

Capping off his Transylvania career with one final nod, senior forward Derek Jeffries (New Castle, Ky. / Henry Co.) was selected as the Transylvania representative to the HCAC All-Sportsmanship Team.

The Pioneers completed a 17-10 overall season last Saturday.

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