There is a learning curve for every new player at the Division 1 level. Unlike incoming freshman, Junior College players are expected to produce right away. Here’s a look at JUCO standouts that are producing in their first NCAA season.
Shakur Juiston (6’7, F) – UNLV
Juiston won a National Championship at Hutchinson CC and has proven to be an important piece for UNLV (14-6 record) this season. Juiston is one of the most efficient players in the country, averaging 14.4 ppg and 9.8 rpg while shooting 64% from the field.
Corey Davis (6’1, CG) – Houston
Davis (San Jacinto) has been consistent all year for the Houston Cougars averaging 12.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, and 3 apg while shooting 43% from 3. Davis is also a tough, physical defender and has helped Houston get to a 15-4 overall record (5-2 record in the AAC).
Jeremy Harris (6’7, Wing) – Buffalo
The former Gulf Coast State player has helped Buffalo to a 15-5 overall record and a 7-0 record in the MAC. He is averaging 13.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 2.6 apg. Thru 7 conference games, Harris is averaging 16.4 ppg and 6.9 rpg while shooting 45% from 3.
Isaiah Bailey (6’6, G/F) and Shawntrez Davis (6’8, PF) – Bethune Cookman
Bailey (Angelina) and Davis (Palm Beach State/South Plains) have helped new Head Coach Ryan Ridder to a 11-9 overall record and a 5-0 start in the MEAC. Bailey is averaging 15 ppg, 5 rpg, and 3.6 apg while Davis is averaging 13.2 ppg and 8.4 rpg.
Kyvon Davenport (6’8, PF) – Memphis
The former Georgia Highlands product has helped Memphis to a 13-7 overall record and a 4-3 record in the AAC. Memphis wasn’t expected to do very well this year due to the fact they had to recruit almost a whole new team. Davenport is averaging 12.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, and 1.8 bpg while shooting 36% from 3.
Jason Burnell (6’7, F) – Jacksonville State
Burnell (St Petersburg) has helped Jacksonville State to a 15-6 overall record. In just 25 minutes a game, Burnell is averaging 11.4 ppg and 5.8 rpg while shooting 41% from 3. The high energy forward is a reliable defender and gets 1.2 bpg.
Ivan Gandia-Rosa (6’1, PG) – North Florida
Gandia-Rosa (Central Florida) is leading North Florida in ppg (13.8) and apg (5.6). North Florida played one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country and Gandia-Rosa impressed. Gandia-Rosa only played one year of JUCO and will have 2 more years at North Florida after this season.
Shannon Bogues (6’3, G) – Stephen F Austin
Bogues (McLennan) has fit right in with the Lumberjacks and has helped Stephen F Austin to a 16-3 record. In 24 minutes/game, Bogues is averaging 14.2 ppg and 2.9 rpg while getting 1.6 spg.
Deishuan Booker (6’3, PG) – Long Beach State
Long Beach State found a good one in former College of Southern Idaho PG. Booker is averaging 10 ppg, 3.4 rpg, and 5.1 apg. The big PG is using his length well and getting 1.2 spg.
TJ Shorts (5’10, PG) – UC Davis
Shorts (Saddleback) has helped UC Davis to a 12-7 overall record. He is averaging 13.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, and 3.9 apg. Shorts is active defender and getting 1.8 spg.
Martaveous McKnight (6’4, G) – Arkansas Pine Bluff
McKnight (Itawamba) has really impressed for Arkansas Pine Bluff so far this season. He has helped the team get to a conference best 7-0 record in the SWAC. McKnight is averaging 19.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 3.1 apg for the Golden Lions.
Gary Blackston (6’2, G) – Prairie View A&M
Blackston has made the most of his first year at Prairie View A&M. The former Angelina College G is averaging 18.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, and 3.3 apg while leading the team in minutes played at 31.4 mins/game.
Brian Beard Jr (5’10, PG) and Trejon Jacob (6’4, SG) – Florida International
Beard (Chaffey) and Jacob (Seminole State) have both been immediate positive impacts for FIU and have become a dangerous backcourt. Beard leads the team in scoring (15.4 ppg) while Jacob is second in scoring (15.2 ppg). Jacob only played one year at Seminole State and will have 2 years to play after this season.
Roosevelt Smart (6’4, G) - North Texas
Smart (New Mexico) has made the new staff at very happy and North Texas a very competitive C-USA team. Smart averages 19.5 ppg and 4 rpg while shooting 40% from 3. Smart only played one year at New Mexico JC and still has 2 years to play after this season.
Zac Cuthbertson (6’7, G/F) – Coastal Carolina
The former Mineral Area/Lincoln Trail player has proved to be a versatile player for Coastal Carolina. Cuthbertson is averaging 16 ppg and 6.6 rpg so far this season and guarding multiple positions every night.
Rodrick Sikes (6’1, G) – South Alabama
Sikes (Southwest Mississippi) has provided instant offense for South Alabama this season. Sikes leads the team in scoring at 18.3 ppg and leads the team in 3 pointers made this season (54).
Roberto Gallinat (6’3, SG) and Jahlil Tripp (6’5, G/F) – Pacific
This duo from South Plains has helped Pacific to a 5-3 record in the West Coast Conference. Gallinat leads the team in scoring (13.2 ppg) while the versatile Tripp (scores 10.4 ppg) leads the team in rebounds (8.1 rpg) and assists (4 apg). Tripp only played one year at South Plains and will have 2 years to play after this season.
Other Notable Standouts (Name – NCAA School – NJCAA School)
Jared Wilson-Frame – Pittsburgh – Northwest Florida State
Jaron Cornish – Stony Brook – Broward
Lamar Morgan – Coppin State – Mineral Area
Daquan Jeffries – Tulsa – Western Texas
Kavion Pippen – Southern Illinois – Three Rivers
Tyler Kohl – Central Connecticut State – Mineral Area
Deion Bute – Central Connecticut State – Tallahassee
Jajuan Starks – Eastern Illinois – Wabash Valley
Daniel Kinchen – SIU Edwardsville – Coastal Alabama Monroeville
Diandre Wilson – NJIT – Mott
Kareem Brewton – Memphis – Eastern Florida State
Noah Horcher – North Florida – Eastern Florida State
De’Quon Lake – Arizona State – Iowa Western
Brandon Better – Southern Utah – Moberly Area
Bruce Stevens – Ole Miss – Jones County
Travis McConico – Charleston Southern – Florida State College Jacksonville
Francois Lewis – Presbyterian – College of Central Florida
Mike Amius – Western Carolina – North Platte
Charles Brown – Incarnate Word – Itawamba
Dante Scott – Mississippi Valley State – Howard (TX)
Darrian Ringo – Miami (OH) - Midland
Shawn Roundtree – Central Michigan – Mineral Area
Cecil Williams – Central Michigan – Moberly Area
Ty Cockfield – Arkansas State – Georgia Highlands
Alihan Demir – Drexel – Central Wyoming
James Batemon – Loyola Marymount – North Dakota SCS
Josh McSwiggan – Portland – Casper
Zach Hunsaker – Brown – Snow
Ricky Holden – Cal State Bakersfield – Jones County
Dante Thorpe – Northern Illinois – Triton