By TODD MOORE
Barton Sports Info
Four members of the 20th ranked Barton Community College men's basketball team have been recognized by region coaches in being selected to the 2023 Division I All-KJCCC/All-Region VI teams announced on Thursday.
Cougar Downing repeated his 1st team selection as cousin Mozae Downing-Rivers and Joseph Locandro landed on the 2nd team with Cooper Jackson being named the Defensive Player of the Year.
The four helped the Cougars to a second place conference finish in riding a nine game win streak to the Region VI title game last Saturday, falling just short of the trophy to end the season at 24-9.
Cougar Downing – 1st Team Selection
Downing averaged a region 6th best 17.0 points game to lead Barton in fourteen of the thirty-three. The 6'1" Olathe, Kansas, native scored in double digits in all but three games, eclipsing his average eleven times including lighting up the board for 29 points twice.
Closing out his Barton career with his name etched in eight different program all-time achievements, most notably Downing finished with 1162 points for the 6th most in 55 years of competition.
Knocking down a program 3rd best 161 career three-pointers, Downing was also silky smooth at the free throw line sinking a program 6th best 12-of-12 effort against NW Tech in February in finishing the year at 87.9% for the single season second best shooting and top all-time stripe shooter at 85.0%.
Joseph Locandro – 2nd Team Selection
The 6'9" sophomore from Victoria, Australia, posted 11 double-double performances during his 28 games.
Ranking 4th in the region with 8.3 rebounds per contest, Locandro grabbed 10 or more boards 11 times including a career high 15 against Independence on November 30.
Shooting 53% from the floor, Locandro also showed range from beyond the arc including going 6-of-11 in the last three games.
Finishing at 15.2 points per game, Locandro reached double figures in 20 of his games with a season high 30 points helping the Cougars to a November road win at Hutchinson.
Mozae Downing-Rivers – 2nd Team Selection
Downing-Rivers was a triple threat for the Cougars during the season posting three double-doubles and flirted with a trio of triple-double accomplishments.
Distributing a league best 5.7 assists per contest, the 6'6" guard from Lawrence, Kansas, closed out his freshman campaign with a program 8th most single season achievement of 189 assists.
Shooting over 40% from beyond the arc, Downing-Rivers averaged 10.8 points while grabbing 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
Cooper Jackson – Defensive Player of the Year
Jackson challenged for the nation's lead in thefts all season long, completing the year at a second best 3.4 steals per contest.
Jackson forced three or more turnovers in 24 of his 33 games, six games going over five thefts including a career most eight in a late February game against Colby.
Not only was Jackson a menace to opposing players from the defensive end of the floor, the 6'1" freshman from Lawrence, Kansas, scored in double figures in eight games including a season high 21 points against Garden City in finishing his inaugural collegiate season averaging 6.9 points with 3.7 rebounds and dishing out two assists per contest.