The NJCAA Men's Basketball Coaches Association announced today that Gopher recruit Devron Bostick of Southwestern Illinois College has been named the Division I National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Player of the Year.
“We are excited for Devron because being named the player of the year is a tremendous way to conclude an outstanding junior college career,” said Gopher Head Coach Tubby Smith. “What really excites me as a coach is that I know he realizes individual honors in a team setting cannot be accomplished without the team. We are looking forward to having him as a part of the Golden Gopher program for the next two seasons.”
Bostick led Southwestern Illinois College in scoring at 18.2 points per game while also contributing 4.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest. He helped keep the Blue Storm in the Top 20 of the NJCAA Division I Basketball Poll throughout the entire season, including a No. 4 ranking during two weeks of the season, marking the highest ranking in program history.
For the second consecutive year, Bostick, a Racine, Wisc. native, was voted Region 24 Player of the Year after leading SWIC to a 28-5 record and a second place finish in the league. He earned First-Team NJCAA All-American honors this season and was a Second-Team NJCAA All-American selection as a freshman after averaging 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
Minnesota wrapped up the 2007-08 regular season with a loss to the University of Maryland on Mar. 18 in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament. This was the first postseason appearance for the Gophers since making the 2006 NIT Tournament.
The Gophers finished the season 20-14 overall and 8-10 in the Big Ten. The 11-game improvement in the win column from the 2006-07 season is the largest season turnaround in school history and is tied for the second-best turnaround in Division I. Also, the eight wins in conference play tied Purdue for the biggest conference turnaround.