AUGUSTA, Ga. – In late December Dip Metress was reevaluating his starting lineup, his offensive strategy, and even which drycleaner to use for his game-worn suits. Three months later, the head coach of the Augusta University men's basketball team brought the Jaguars to the NCAA Tournament for the 12th time in school history and the ninth time in the last 13 years.
The 2018-19 Jaguars finished the season 28-6, the third most wins in school history, and rode a 15-game win streak as one of the hottest teams to enter the NCAA Tournament. Augusta finished the year ranked No. 16 in the nation and the second-seed in the NCAA Southeast Region. After losing a regular-season game on Jan. 30 to rival USC Aiken in Christenberry Fieldhouse, the Jags won 15 in a row and made an epic postseason run all the way to the Sweet 16.
The Jags suffered regular-season road loss at North Georgia on Dec. 19, 2018, but then didn't lose another road game for three months. AU fell to top-seed Queens in the NCAA Southeast Region Championship game on March 19 to conclude the stellar year. It was the fifth time the Jags appeared in the championship game. Augusta beat Francis Marion 77-70 in the regional quarterfinal game on March 16 and came back against USC Aiken to win 93-89 on March 17 in the semifinal game after trailing by 21 in the second half with eight minutes left in regulation.
Augusta won the 2019 Peach Belt Conference regular season championship and the 2019 PBC Tournament title. The Jags took the regular season for the seventh time in school history and won the conference tournament for the fifth time. AU senior Deane Williams was named All-Region, the Peach Belt Defensive Player of the Year, the PBC Co-Player of the Year, and first-team All-Conference. AU rookie Miguel Arnold was voted the PBC Co-Freshman of the Year, Dip Metress was named PBC Coach of the Year for the third time in his tenure, and junior Rafael Monteiro was named second team All-Conference. Four players averaged double-digit points, while eight Jaguars turned in five or more points each game.
Williams and fellow senior Tyvez Monroe both reached 1,000 career points this year. Williams ranks second all time for AU in blocks, fifth in rebounds, and is 11th in scoring. Monroe is sixth all time in made three pointers and 19th in scoring. Senior Aaron Byrd ranks 14th in three pointers.
About Augusta Men's Basketball
The Augusta University men's basketball team is led by head coach Dip Metress. On May 10, 2004, Metress was introduced as the fifth head coach in program history. He previously led the Belmont Abbey Crusaders (1996-04) and was an assistant for the Jaguars under Clint Bryant (1989-95). He has never had a losing season in his 15 seasons at the helm of the Jaguars. A two-time Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year, Metress and the Jags hosted five straight NCAA Regional Tournaments from 2007-11 and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight three seasons in a row. He was named the South Atlantic Coach of the Year in 2007, the Southeast Region Coach of the Year in 2009, and the NABC Southeast District Coach of the Year in 2011.
Augusta men's hoops has retired four numbers in its 52-year history: Ben Madgen (1), Keshun Sherrill (10), Tyrekus 'AJ' Bowman (23), and Keenan Mann (32). The Jaguars have reached the NCAA tournament 11 times and won their region three times.
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