The South Puget Sound Community College men’s basketball team placed four players on the 2019-2020 Northwest Athletic Conference All-Western Region team, including first-team selections in sophomores CaCoa Chatman and Ben Janssan.
The Clippers also had second-team honorees in sophomores Branden Bunn and Anthony Braggs, who was also recognized as a member of the all-defensive team for the region.
This marks the second consecutive year SPSCC has had two players on the all-region first team and a player on the all-defensive squad. Demonte Malloy and Hunter Sipe both received first-team honors with Sipe earning defensive player of the year honors last year.
Lower Columbia’s Samaad Hector was named the region’s most valuable player, as well as the defensive player of the year. Highline’s Mahlik Hall, Green River’s Tanner Nygren and Alexis Angeles of Lower Columbia rounded out the all-region first-team recipients.
Under first-year head coach Andrew Green, the Clippers finished second in the NWAC West Division this season with a record of 22-6. It is the fourth consecutive year the program has won 20 or more games.
Chatman, a 5-foot-8 guard from Long Beach, California, started all 28 games and averaged 16.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.6 steals this season. He scored a season-high 26 points three times this year with the first coming during the Clippers’ 69-59 over Lane College on December 6.
Chatman also scored 26 points in a 67-65 win over Umpqua on December 7 and during South Puget Sound’s 84-75 victory over Centralia on January 29.
Chatman, who was a second-team all-region player last year, also finished third in the NWAC in average minutes per game with 35.8.
Joining Chatman on the first team was 6-3 guard Janssan. The Adelaide, Australia, native averaged 17.2 points and 7.5 rebounds a game this year for the Clippers, a drastic improvement over his freshman campaign where the Centralia High School graduate averaged 3.3 points an outing.
Janssan went for a career-high 31 points during the Clippers’ 87-83 win over Olympic on November 19. He would go on to score 20 or more points in 9 additional games, including a 30-point outburst in a 93-86 win over Pierce on February 15. He also scored 27 points against Chemeketa and 25 points against both Yakima Valley and Lower Columbia.
Bunn, a 6-2 guard/forward from the Bronx, New York, did a little bit of everything for the Clippers during the regular season. He averaged 16.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2 assists a game, while finishing third in 3-point field goal percentage in the NWAC after hitting 46 percent of his shots from long-range (64 of 139).
Few players in the NWAC closed out the regular season as strong as Bunn did. The sophomore scored 24 points against Pierce, 25 against Highline, 30 against Grays Harbor and a career-high 34 points during the Clippers’ regular season finale against Lower Columbia.
Braggs, a 6-4 forward out of Tacoma, provided SPSCC with a strong inside presence on both ends of the court this season. He averaged 14.5 points a game and was fifth in the conference in rebounding at 9.8 boards a contest. Braggs pulled down double digit rebounds 14 times this year and posted 11 double-doubles, while scoring a career-high 32 points in a 107-98 victory over Chemeketa.