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The All-Decade Team was compiled by staff from D3hoops.com All-American teams.
Guard Horace Jenkins,
Conference honors: 1999 Player of the Year, 2000 Player of the Year, 2001 Player of the Year
NCAA Tournament appearances: 1999 (Final Four), 2000 (sectional semifinals), 2001 (national runner-up)
Other honors: 1999 All-Final Four team, 2001 All-Final Four team
What others say: “Horace was indeed a special player. His greatest strength was his fierce competitiveness. Whether we were running a conditioning drill or competing for a national title his desires were the same: just WIN. He believed in doing whatever it took to win that game or drill. He elevated the play of so many of our players by instilling confidence in each of them. He never allowed his teammates to doubt the moment whether we were in practice or in a game. He earned admiration throughout the country for his play and for the way he respected his opponents. Horace left a legacy of being a winner and that is all he ever cared about.”
Career synopsis: The beauty of Horace Jenkins' game was that he was just as likely to amaze you with back-to-back 3-pointers as he was to sky high for a monstrous dunk. Jenkins ranks among the best players in Division III history, and among the best stories, returning to school after being away for nearly five years. There was almost no way to stop Jenkins, who played at a speed often unseen in Division III and impressed enough to earn him 15 games in the NBA. He scored 1,940 points despite playing just two and a half seasons for the Pioneers.
Guard Korey Coon
Conference honors: 1999 Most Outstanding Player, 2000 Most Outstanding Player
NCAA Tournament appearances: 1997 (national champion), 1998 (sectional semifinal), 1999 (first round)
Other honors: 1997 All Tournament Team, 1999 Jostens Award Finalist, 2000 Jostens Trophy Winner
What others say: “Korey Coon was the best clutch three point shooter that I have ever coached and maybe ever seen. Later in his career as teams desperately tried to take away the three, he learned to take the ball to the hoop which put him on the free throw line where he shot 90%. On the court he was a fierce competitor who as a freshman was a key player in Illinois Wesleyan's national championship. Off the floor he was like the Pied Piper inspiring young kids to line the floor before the home games as "Korey's Kids. In the classroom he never got a grade lower than an A.”
Career synopsis: Coon burst onto the scene as a freshman, starting at point guard on the Titans' 1997 national championship. He scored 17 points in the title game vs Nebraska Wesleyan and was named to the first all-tournament team of the Salem, Va. Era. Over the course of his career at IWU, the 6-0 Coon transformed from a pure, "pass first" point-guard into a prolific scorer. Coon averaged 15.0 points per game as a sophomore, 19.7 as a junior, and 22.0 his senior season. In 1999-00, he connected on 153 of 163 free throw attempts (.963), which is the Division III record for free throw percentage in a season. Coon earned the CCIW's Most Outstanding Player award in both 1999 and 2000. He excelled in the classroom at Illinois Wesleyan as well. He was the College Division Academic All-American of the Year in 1999 and 2000 and finished with a perfect 4.0 GPA. For his efforts as both a student and an athlete, he was awarded the Jostens Trophy in 2000.
Forward Devean George
Conference honors: 1998 Most Valuable Player, 1999 Most Valuable Player
NCAA Tournament appearances: 1999 (first round), 2000 (second round)
Other honors: First-round draft pick, Los Angeles Lakers, 1999
What others say: “Obviously, Devean had tremendous athletic ability and strength. At 6-7, he was a complete player who could score inside/outside or with penetration and could defend anyone on the court. He took it upon himself to shut down the other teams leading scorer. Our up-tempo, pressing style really allowed Devean's athletic ability to take over games. He could score while being double- and triple-teamed because of his strength as well.”
Career synopsis: George started well for the Auggies and only grew on them from there. He came to the Minneapolis school as a 6-2 point guard, but left as a 6-7 post player with uncommon ball-handling skills and perimeter ability for a big man. It was a combination that led the Los Angeles Lakers to select him in the first round of the 1999 draft. He scored 2,258 career points, had 868 rebounds and blocked 181 shots. He scored 40 or more points four times and 30-plus points 21 times in a 96-game career.
Forward Andy Panko
Conference honors: 1997 Most Valuable Player, 1998 Most Valuable Player, 1999 Most Valuable Player
NCAA Tournament appearances: 1997 (first round), 1999 (first round)
Other honors: 1999 Jostens Award Finalist
What others say: “While at LVC, Andy was a terrific player with unlimited ability. He could play on the perimeter or easily post a player up with his height of 6-foot-9. He continually improved as a player each year at LVC.”
Career synopsis: Panko was the Division III version of Larry Bird (who happened to be his basketball idol), a big forward who could will the ball into the basket from anywhere. His specialty was scoring and his 2,515 career points rank him 11th all-time in Division III. McAlester notes a particularly impressive performance: “In one game against Juniata, Andy scored 58 points in 29 minutes of play. He was 20 of 26 from the floor which included 8 for 10 from the three-point line.” Off the court, Panko was a good role model for the young fans who watched him. “Win or lose, he always was polite and energetic with the fans that followed LVC. When he met younger players in high school or below, he always talked about their school work and how important it was to do well,” says McAlester. NBA teams kept a close eye on Panko and he briefly played with the Atlanta Hawks in the 2000-2001 season. Panko has continued his basketball success overseas, currently playing in Spain’s highest league.
Center Derek Reich
Conference honors: 2000 Player of the Year, 2001 Player of the Year, 2002 Player of the Year, 2003 Player of the Year
NCAA Tournament appearances: 2000 (sectional semifinals), 2001 (sectional finals)
Other honors: 2003 Jostens Trophy receipient
What others say: “In one of the best Division III basketball conferences in the country, Derek Reich is pretty consistently considered the best player in league history. He has the statistics and accolades to back up this statement. He holds the season and career records in points and defensive rebounds and is the only four-time MVP in league history. Derek accomplished these things on very successful teams – winning two UAA championships, ending the 2001 regular season as the top ranked team in the country, and reaching the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament. Most importantly Derek is a great young man from a great family. He continues to be a visible figure around the program and continues to represent the best that University of Chicago student-athletes have to offer.”
Career synopsis: Reich has the four highest season point totals in University of Chicago history, en route to 2,254 career points. But he broke the mold as a big man, because he was not only comfortable banging underneath for rebounds at 6-7 but he could step outside and shoot the three, to the tune of 43.8 percent. The combination made him incredibly difficult for a Division III player to guard. And in case that weren't enough, he shot 76 percent from the foul line. And to think, he nearly settled for attending Illinois and playing intramurals.
Rankings and links
to all D-III teams