Cole Named National Player of the Year; First-Team All-American
Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 23, 2006) - Rawlings and the NAIA named Brandon Cole of John Brown University their 2006 Player of the Year this week, at the same time recognizing him as a First Team All-American for the second year in a row. Cole, a 6-1 senior guard from Hector, Ark., is the best 3-point shooter in collegiate history with an all-time record 527 made 3-pointers. He averaged 21 points per game this season for the Golden Eagles (16-15) and led them to an NAIA tournament berth.
Cole broke two all-time collegiate records during the 2005-06 campaign and holds five JBU records. On Dec. 2, 2005, against Park (Mo.), he claimed the record for consecutive games with a made 3-point basket (112). He stretched the streak to 120 games before having it broken on Jan. 21 against St. Gregory’s (Okla.). That game was the only one of his career in which he did not make a 3-pointer.
Against Oklahoma Christian on Feb. 23, 2006, Cole hit his 517th trey, giving him more 3-pointers than any other collegiate player in the history of both the NCAA and the NAIA. He finished his career with 527. Both national records brought him recognition on ESPN’s SportsCenter. His second accomplishment was featured as SportsCenter’s No. 2 “Play-of-the-Day.”
Cole was the NAIA’s fifth-leading scorer this season as well as its top 3-point ace, hitting 134 treys for a 4.3 per-game average. He is JBU’s career scoring leader with 2,390 points, and his career average of 17.8 points per game ties Steve Matchell’s school record.
His 663 points last season superseded the previous JBU record of 648 set by Carlos Avrard in 1996. Cole also holds the school record for 3-pointers in a season with 136, which he set last year while leading the Golden Eagles to the 2005 NAIA Division I National Championship. He was named the NAIA Tournament MVP for his role in winning the championship and also claimed the school’s first-ever First-Team All-American accolade. He tied the school record for 3-pointers in a single game four times with 9.