Nyack, NY - The Nyack College men's basketball team experienced a highlight season in its recent basketball history. The Warriors finished the season with a 14-13 overall record and 9-10 in conference play which placed them fifth in the CACC North Division, missing a post-season spot only marginally.
The season didn't start as planned, as the Warriors dealt with tight losses to Roberts Wesleyan (75-78) and Daemen (74-80) on their roadtrip to upstate New York. Especially the loss to the Wildcats raised some eyebrows and was a projection of what was yet to come for Nyack as the Wildcats were handled as one of the strongest teams in the East Region at the beginning of the season. It was proof that Nyack they could compete with some of the best teams in the region.
After returning home from upsate the Warriors took a quick trip to Long Island to square off with the New York Tech Bears which should mark the first win for the Warrior squad in the 2019-20 season. It was the start of a four-game winning streak for Nyack with wins at home against Assumption, Mansfield, and District of Columbia, marking the longest winning streak since the 2007-08 season. The winning streak was snapped by a 92-96 triple overtime loss to the Queens College Knights at home followed by two tough conference losses to Dominican and Caldwell. But Nyack finished 2019 strong with two wins on the road against conference foes Felician and cross-bridge rivals Mercy College.
Nyack continued to have up and downs in 2020 starting the year off with back-to-back conference losses to Georgian Court and North Division rivals Post University. But Nyack bounced back with a comeback win against Holy Family University. In a game in which the Warriors trailed for the majority of the time, Nyack showed perserverance to edge out the Tigers 73-70.
Nyack continued their battle for that 4th spot in the North Division that would get them a post-season experience. The Warriors earned some crucial wins against Goldey-Beacom, Concordia, USciences, and Chestnut Hill but also experienced some disappointing setbacks in their race for a playoff spot against Caldwell and Felician.
With four games left the chances didn't look great for Nyack, but the Warriors once again showed that they could persevere under tough circumstances. Nyack first edged out Concordia on the road to keep their playoff hopes alive, followed by two important wins against Post at home and Bloomfield on the road. With one game left the Warriors faced a tough challenge in North Division leaders Dominican College. The Warriors needed to win and hope for a slip-up by either Bloomfield or Felician to make the CACC tournament for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
In a tough game, Nyack was upended by the Chargers 65-82, while both Bloomfield and Felician won their games. While the ending of the season is certainly a disappointment for the coaching staff and the team, the achievements of the season are a great indicator of what this Warrior team can achieve under head coach Valiant Jones.
- 2067 total team points is a new best since 2009-10 season (2191 total points)
- the team scoring average of 76.3 points per game is a new best since 2005-06 season (76.9 ppg)
- FG% of .435 is the best since 2009-10 (.438)
- 3FG% of .354 is the best since 2009-10 (.388)
- 440 assists is the best since 2005-06 (454)
- First over .500 record since 2004-05 (20-13, .606)
- Valiant Jones is the first head coach to post a .500 season record since John D. Jones
- nine conference win mark the most since the creation of the south and north division in 2007-08
- nine conference mark the most since 2005-06 (11 wins)
- 14 overall wins are the most since joining the NCAA Division II
- team led the CACC in 16.3 assists per game
- team was ranked 30th in the nation with 16.3 assists per game
Additionally, Nyack's Joel Bailey was named to the CACC All-Conference Third Team with 14.7 points per game which led to a total of 382 points on the season. Bailey also led the Warriors with 6.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. His 6.1 rebounds per game is the most rebounds pulled down by any Nyack player since the 2014-15 season (Nick Morre & Will Robinson 6.8 rpg). His 4.6 assists per game ranked him fifth in the CACC and is the most by any Nyack player since the 1999-00 season when Josh Thompson averaged 5.9 assists per game. Bailey is currently on track to become the next player in Nyack history to join the 1,000 points club with 635 total points at the end of his sophomore year. The last two Warriors to join this prestigeous circle of basketball alumni were Chris Hampton (1,375 points) and Khalid Samuels (1,294 points). Both of them wore the Warriors' jersey from 2011 until 2015. Additionally, Bailey's 130 made free throws earned him a spot in the Nyack College record books, ranking him 5th in a list that is led by current head coach Valiant Jones who converted 172 free throws in the 2008-09 season.
Furthermore, men's basketball senior Junior Graham represented the Warriors in the class room. Graham earned his third consecutive CACC All-Academic team recognition with a 3.8 GPA to finish his senior campaign on a strong note. It is no suprise that Graham also posted his career-high performance during the 2019-20 season in the 70-68 win over Post. Graham's performance was crucial as he not only scored the game winning basket, but also led the Warriors with a career-high 20 points, five blocks, and three assists.
Head coach Vaiant Jones states, "I am very excited to continue build our program. We have a great staff and players that are dedicated to getting better each and every day. Go Warriors!"