Season Recap: Highlander Men’s Basketball 2019 Season Ends at the Dedmon Center

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By Lucas Carr | lcarr15@radford.edu

The Radford Men’s Basketball team had yet another successful season to add to their continuous streak of winning seasons. The Highlanders were fortunate enough to make it to the Big South Conference Championship for the second year in a row.

Unfortunately, the outcome was not as bright as last season’s, as they fell to Gardner-Webb in a tightly contested battle.

The Highlanders’ home court was overflowing with fans from all over, including former Virginia Tech Hokies head football coach, Frank Beamer. Unfortunately, the boys in red were unable to respond to lights out shooting from Gardner-Webb’s on fire backcourt.

Ed Polite Jr guarded by two Defenders.

They posted a win percentage of .667 keeping an outstanding 11-2 for games inside the Dedmon Center and also sharing the Big South regular-season title for the first time since the 2008-09 season.The championship game ended with a final score of 76-65. In Ed Polite Jr.’s last time suiting up for the Highlanders, the 6’5 senior had 15 points, five rebounds, and three blocks.

Head Coach Mike Jones led the Highlanders to an impressive 22-11 overall record while remaining at the top of the Big South, tying with Campbell at a 12-4 against the rest of the conference.

They posted a win percentage of .667 keeping an outstanding 11-2 for games inside the Dedmon Center and also sharing the Big South regular-season title for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

The Highlanders can rest easy knowing they had one of the greatest to ever play for Radford in Polite Jr. He was awarded All-Big South First Team and Defensive Player of the year. He averaged a career-high 13.4 points a game, 9.5 rebounds per game and ranked top-10 in the Big South in steals (1.5) and blocks (1.2) per game as well.

Carlik Jones defends a Gardner Webb Player.

Before beginning conference play in January, the Highlanders were able to shock the nation two times as they defeated a couple of power five conference teams. Polite Jr. also became Radford University’s career leader in total rebounds with 1,119. He has also been selected to participate in the 2019 Dos Equis 3x3U National Championship game scheduled for April 5-7. The players will compete at a chance to take home a hundred thousand dollars in prize money.

Carlik Jones, as well as Polite Jr., have been named to the 2019 National Association of Basketball Coaches Division 1 All-District 3 First Team. This marks the first time in Radford history that more than one player has been named to an NABC All-District team in the same season.

Jones, who additionally won First Team All-Big South Honors, followed up his Freshman of the Year campaign quite impressively. He tallied 15.7, 5.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He tossed perfect dimes 181 times this season, ranking second most in program history while also being named Big South Player of the Week twice.

Before beginning conference play in January, the Highlanders were able to shock the nation two times as they defeated a couple of power five conference teams. On Nov. 30, they defeated the No. 17th ranked Texas Longhorns in Austin 62-59.

They were able to participate in the Gotham Classic also in November and beat the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame 63-60 in South Bend. The Highlanders went 3-1 in this mini-tournament with wins against Notre Dame, William and Mary, and UIC.

The Radford Men’s team had another impressive season, and they look to make another run at the championship next year for the second Big South Championship trophy for two times in three seasons.

Carlik Jones defends a Gardner Webb Player
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Photo Credit: (Chad Boxley | The Tartan)