Gaines named to preseason All-America team


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Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa., junior Dan Gaines of Colts Neck was named to the Basketball Times preseason All-America team.

However, Gaines and his teammates will not have the opportunity to compete during the 2020-21 season as the Centennial Conference Presidents Council made the decision to cancel all winter sports due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Presidents Council had previously canceled all fall sports.

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According to a press release from the college, Gaines is one of only five juniors among the 24 players listed in alphabetical order on the preseason All-America team. He was coming off a 2019-20 season that earned him a spot on the All-Middle Atlantic Region second team and the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-Middle Atlantic District second team,

Gaines averaged 16.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.85 assists for the Mules in 2019-20. He led the Centennial Conference in assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2) and also ranked in the top 10 in the league in three-point percentage (third at .432), free throw percentage (third at .842), scoring (fourth), steals (sixth with 40) and field goal percentage (seventh at .521).

Gaines, from Colts Neck High School, finished in the top 40 in NCAA Division III in total assists (131), the most by a Muhlenberg player since 1976, and he ranks sixth among active Division III juniors with his career total of 230 assists.

The point guard was named the Centennial Conference Player of the Week three times and scored in double figures in all but four of the Mules’ 27 games, netting 20 or more points nine times and recording back-to-back 30-point games against Ursinus and Franklin & Marshall. His season total of 445 points was the highest by a Muhlenberg sophomore in seven years.

Gaines, the Lehigh Valley small college Player of the Year, led Muhlenberg to a 19-8 record in 2019-20 – its best season in almost two decades.

The Mules earned a Centennial Conference playoff berth for the first time in seven years and advanced to the semifinals, where they took top-ranked Swarthmore to the final buzzer before falling, 65-62.

Basketball Times is a monthly print publication that has covered college basketball for more than 40 years and dubs itself “The Real Voice of College Basketball.” Basketball Times is available by print or PDF subscription, or single print copies can be purchased on its site.

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