Chris Jans Named WAC Coach Of The Year

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

DENVER, CO - New Mexico State head men’s basketball coach Chris Jans headlines the Western Athletic Conference end of the year awards with his second-consecutive Don Haskins Coach of the Year honor.

The second-year head coach led the Aggies to its second-straight WAC Regular-Season title and fourth in five years with a 27-4 overall mark and 15-1 record in league play. New Mexico State enters the WAC Tournament with a 16-game winning-streak to its name as well.

Jans joins a shortlist of WAC head coaches that have won the Don Haskins Coach of the Year honor in back-to-back seasons that include Jim Brandenburg (Wyoming, 1980-82), Mark Fox (Nevada, 2004-07), Stew Morrill (Utah State (2008-11) and Rod Barnes (CSUB, 2015-17). Of that list, Jans and Fox are the only two coaches to win back-to-back coach of the year honors in their first two seasons at the helm.

Joining Jans on the award podium is Terrell Brown, who earned First-Team All-WAC honors and All-Newcomer Team accolades. The 6-1 guard led the Aggies with 12.9 points per game in conference play while knocking down 48.5-percent of his shots from 3-point range. Brown kicked off the first-half of league play with double-digit points in 7-of-8 games – including a 22 point performance in his first conference game at California Baptist – before finishing with 11 games with double-digit points.

Redshirt senior Eli Chuha notched Second-Team All-WAC honors after averaging 9.9 points and 7.1 rebounds with a deadly .632 shooting clip in league play. This is the second all-conference honor for Chuha after earning Second-Team All-WAC distinction his sophomore year. Chuha’s final season has been highlighted with a game-winning lay-up at UT Rio Grande Valley, one of many this season for NM State. In addition, the Redlands, Calif., product also became the 35th Aggie to join the 1,000 points club against UTRGV at home on Feb. 23.

Last, but not least, is AJ Harris, who earned Second-Team All-WAC honors after averaging 9.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists this season. The Dayton, Ohio, product was named to the All-Defensive team as well. The Aggie floor general reached double-figures in half of the league games this season while shooting a .407 from the field and .404 clip from beyond the arc.

The top-seeded New Mexico State Aggies are set to take off this Wednesday for #WACvegas where they’ll begin their title defense against Chicago State in Orleans Arena on Thursday, March 14, at 1 p.m. (MT)/Noon (PT) local on ESPN+.

2018-19 WAC Awards
First Team All-WAC
Milan Acquaah California Baptist So. G 6-3 Bakersfield, Calif.
Terrell Brown NM State Jr. G 6-1 Hayward, Calif.
Michael Finke Grand Canyon Sr. F 6-10 Champaign, Ill.
Jarkel Joiner CSU Bakersfield So. G 6-1 Oxford, Miss.
Jake Toolson# Utah Valley R-Jr. G 6-5 Gilbert, Ariz.

Second Team All-WAC
Terrell Brown Seattle U R-So. G 6-1 Seattle
Eli Chuha NM State R-Sr. F 6-7 Redlands, Calif.
AJ Harris# NM State R-Jr. G 5-9 Dayton, Ohio
Carlos Johnson Grand Canyon Jr. G 6-3 Centralia, Ill.
Terry Winn III UT Rio Grande Valley R-Sr. F 6-7 Monroe, La.

All-Defensive Team
Myles Carter Seattle U R-Jr. F 6-9 Chicago
AJ Harris# NM State R-Jr. G 5-9 Dayton, Ohio
Javon Levi UT Rio Grande Valley So. G 5-11 Killeen, Texas
Gerard Martin Grand Canyon R-Sr. G 6-7 Manly, Australia
Brandon McKissic Kansas City So. G 6-3 Ferguson, Mo.

All-Newcomer Team
Milan Acquaah California Baptist So. G 6-3 Bakersfield, Calif.
Terrell Brown NM State Jr. G 6-1 Hayward, Calif.
Terrell Brown Seattle U R-So. G 6-1 Seattle
Michael Finke Grand Canyon Sr. F 6-10 Champaign, Ill.
Carlos Johnson Grand Canyon Jr. G 6-3 Centralia, Ill.

Player of the Year: Jake Toolson, Utah Valley
Newcomer of the Year: Milan Acquaah, California Baptist
Defensive Player of the Year: Javon Levi, UT Rio Grande Valley
Freshman of the Year: Wyatt Lowell, Utah Valley
Don Haskins Coach of the Year: Chris Jans, NM State