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(Kansas City, Mo.) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has announced its list for 2017 NAIA Division 1 Men's Basketball All-Americans, with Dillard University leading the way with four NAIA All-Americans, including senior power forward Demetric Austin who earned Second-Team NAIA All-American honors for the second straight year. Teammates Dennis Hightower, Jalen McGaughy and Quinton Jackson earned NAIA All-American Honorable Mention honors.
"I am really happy for all four young men, particularly Demetric and Dennis, being their senior years," said Bleu Devils Head Coach Mike Newell. Demetric really had an outstanding year and did everything you could ask for from a senior. I am happy for all the others as well. Dennis was up and down all year but he has enough consistency to earn it, so that's good. Jalen and Quinton were add-ons for this season, and Quinton only played the second semester, so that is kudos to him. They have a lot of work to do over the offseason to be able to fill in the shoes for the two senior All-Americans that were just named so we can get back to NAIA nationals and hopefully 'third time's a charm' for the Bleu Devils."
The Bleu Devils had an outstanding season, winning a school-record 25 games and were ranked as high as seventh in the NAIA, tying a school record. Dillard fell in the round of 16 at the NAIA tourney, just one round away from making history and going farther than no other Dillard men's basketball team has gone before. As a team they finished the season ranked in the top 10 (NAIA D1) in 13 different national categories, including first in the nation in total assists, second in scoring offense per game and assists per game, third in assists/turnover ratio and total scoring offense, fifth in total rebounds offense, seventh in field goal percentage and total rebounds per game, eighth in total blocks, blocks per game, 3-point field goal percentage and defensive rebounds per game, and ninth in total rebound margin.
"It's a great sign of respect to Dillard from the NAIA and the rest of the basketball world that we have an NAIA-high four All-Americans this season," said Newell. "It goes to show that if you have talent, and if you come to Dillard to play ball, you can be successful and become an All-American. It's a great recruiting tool."