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Jackson earns 1st GCAC honor; Simmons a repeat choice

Denzell Erves

Denzell Erves
     Chris Iles

Chris Iles
     Anthony Simmons

Anthony Simmons
     Coach Dannton Jackson

Dannton Jackson
     February 29, 2012


     NEW ORLEANS — The excellent resumé of Xavier University of Louisiana's Dannton Jackson got a boost late Tuesday when he was announced as 2011-12 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year — chosen by his men's basketball peers.
     It's the first conference coaching honor for Jackson, who is 201-88 in nine seasons with the Gold Rush. He's the third Xavier men's coach to win the award and the first since Dale Valdery in 2000-01.
     Xavier, ranked 18th in NAIA Division I and the regular-season co-champion with Tougaloo, had three of the 10 All-GCAC players. Junior Anthony Simmons made the team for the second straight year, and senior Chris Iles and junior Denzell Erves also were chosen.
     Jackson's award is the latest in a stellar career which includes seven 20-victory seasons, five appearances at the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship, two GCAC regular-season titles, two GCAC Tournament runner-up finishes and the conference's only victory since 2004 against a top-five seed at nationals.
     "I am grateful and humbled to receive this award," Jackson said, "but also thankful for and appreciative of my assistant coach, Alfred Williams, and the young men on our team who have worked hard every day this season to continue the excellence that Gold Rush basketball is known for. We still have a lot we can accomplish this season, and our guys are mindful of that mission."
     By winning the award, Jackson denied Tougaloo's Lafayette Stribling a chance to become the second men's basketball coach to win the GCAC award four times. Stribling, whose team is ranked 24th in the NAIA and seeded first in the GCAC Tournament — which begins Thursday at Jacksonville, Fla. — won the award three of the previous five seasons, including 2010-11. William Carey's Steve Knight won the award five times.
     Jackson's award also means that all five current XU head coaches — including Bo Browder (women's basketball), Joseph Moses (men's and women's cross country), Alan Green (men's and women's tennis) and Christabell Hamilton (women's volleyball) — have been GCAC Coach of the Year at least once.
     "We have an outstanding coaching staff," XU athletics director Dennis Cousin said. "That includes our assistants. All our coaches are capable of excelling at a higher level, but we're blessed to have them at Xavier."
     Simmons, a 6-foot-8 forward from Rochester, N.Y., and a graduate of Allendale Columbia School, averaged 9.5 points and six rebounds and shot a team-best 63.2 percent from the floor in 29 regular-season games. He was GCAC Player of the Week twice this season.
     Iles, a 5-11 guard from Houston and a graduate of Alief Hastings High School, averaged 9.8 points, four assists and made 50 3-pointers, all team bests, in 29 games. He made 44.6 percent of his 3-pointers to rank second in the GCAC and eighth in NAIA Division I.
     Erves, a 6-7 forward from Vicksburg, Miss. and a graduate of Vicksburg High School, averaged 9.4 points in 29 games and leads the team with 6.6 rebounds per game and 29 blocked shots. Erves is a three-time GCAC Player of the Week this season, and his six double-doubles are the most by a Gold Rush player since the start of 2003-04.
     Xavier (22-7) will play Fisk (4-24) at 4 p.m. EST Thursday in the GCAC quarterfinals.


2011-12 All-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Team
Name School Position Height Class Hometown PPG
Ken Brown Philander Smith Guard 6-1 Senior St. Louis, Mo. 31.9
Carlton Darling Edward Waters Forward 6-1 Junior Miami, Fla. 13.5
Kadon Day Tougaloo Forward/Center 6-5 Sophomore Fayette, Miss. 11.6
Denzell Erves Xavier Forward 6-7 Junior Vicksburg, Miss. 9.4
Kerry Harvis Talladega Guard 6-0 Senior Montgomery, Ala. 19.2
Chris Iles Xavier Guard 5-11 Senior Houston, Texas 9.8
Marquise Mems Tougaloo Guard/Forward 6-5 Senior Shelby, Miss. 21.1
Anthony Simmons Xavier Forward 6-8 Junior Rochester, N.Y. 9.5
Devin White SUNO Forward/Center 6-8 Junior New Orleans, La. 18.6
Horace Whitehead Tougaloo Forward 6-6 Senior Clarksdale, Miss. 10.6

Player of the Year:  Ken Brown, Philander Smith
Newcomer of the Year:  Ken Brown, Philander Smith
Freshman of the Year:  Kevin Dukes, SUNO
Coach of the Year:  Dannton Jackson, Xavier

 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and volleyball.

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