Following a standout junior season, Coastal Georgia’s Jaylen Smallwood has been recognized as one of the top basketball players in the country by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Smallwood was named an NAIA Honorable-Mention All-American on Thursday when the Division II All-America Teams were announced by the league’s national office.
“I am very proud of this young man,” Coastal Georgia men’s head coach Jesse Watkins said in a statement. “His work ethic is paying off. He is a competitor and he continues to get better. We are expecting big things from him next season.”
Hailing from Kingsland, Smallwood led the Mariners in scoring this season as he averaged 20.5 points per game — a figure that ranked him second in The Sun Conference and 20th in the NAIA’s Division II. The season scoring average is the third-best single-season mark by a Coastal Georgia player, while his 637 total points this past season rank second in program history and 25th in the league.
The forward is just the fourth Mariner to earn an All-American honor. Two others — Haylen Washington last year and Dominic Early — were also honorable-mention picks, while Reggie Burke was named to the second-team.
Smallwood was also named first-team All-Conference after the season and was voted to the All-Tournament Team after leading Coastal Georgia to the conference tournament title game last month.
The former Camden County standout scored 20-plus points in 16 games this season, and he poured in 30 or more five different times. Smallwood went for a career-high 35 points in the Mariners’ conference tournament semifinal win over top-seeded Warner University.
Additionally, Smallwood finished the season with top-five marks in Coastal Georgia single-season history in 3-pointers made (71; second), field goals made (204; second) free throw percentage (.893; second) — by far the highest figure in a season with more than 50 attempts — free throws made (158; third), free throws attempted (177; fifth). He also tied Burke’s record for 3-pointers in a single game with 10 in a victory over Brewton-Parker on Nov. 8.
With 1,088 career points through three seasons at Coastal Georgia, Smallwood is just two points shy of Kentorey Johnson for second on the program’s all-time scoring list. To match Burke’s career scoring record, the 6-foot-2 Smallwood must score just one more point his senior season than he did this past year.