YUMA, Ariz. – Back-to-back Region I Championships, back-to-back District Playoff appearances, an Arizona Community College Athletic Conference title, 49 wins…The sophomores on the Arizona Western College men’s basketball team have racked up a ton of impressive wins. Now, three of them are headed across the country to continue their education and playing career. Daryl Adams signed with East Central University in Oklahoma, Lamont Traylor signed with St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and Dajuan Beard has committed to Union College in Kentucky.
Adams finished as the second-leading scorer for the Mats this year after averaging 13.7 points per game. The sophomore was consistent all season and closed the year strong by scoring at least 10 in his final six games. The 6’0 shooting guard hit multiple three’s in 23 of 33 games this year while knocking down 41% of his three’s. He poured in a career high 34 points on January 13 to lead the Mats past Scottsdale.
East Central University is located in Ada, Oklahoma, and the Tigers compete in the Great American Conference (NCAA Division II).
Traylor was a force inside for the Mats. The sophomore forward averaged 10 points per game and led the team with 5.9 rebounds per game to go with 29 blocks in 33 games. The 6’6 bruiser gobbled up offensive rebounds and grabbed 2.9 offensive boards per game (third in the conference). He set a season high with 21 points in the District Finals game, and he had at least three offensive rebounds a whopping 19 times.
St. Mary’s University plays in the Heartland Conference (NCAA Division II), and the college is in San Antonio, Texas.
Beard was one of the top three-point shooters in the conference all year, and he was always in attack-mode. The sophomore guard had a knack for hitting big shots on his way to averaging 12.4 points per game and shooting 44% from three. He scored in double figures 19 times, and he drained eight three’s while racking up 32 points on January 10 against Glendale. The 5’11 point guard also averaged 3.1 assists while working both on and off the ball.
Union College plays in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (NAIA) and is located in Barbourville, Kentucky.
The Mats finished the season 23-10 after winning the Region I Championship over Cochise and falling to Salt Lake CC on the road in the District Final. AWC has made it into the Region I Playoffs for 20 straight seasons.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,300 certificates and degrees in 2016-17.