03.27.13: The CCRI basketball teams’ season ended March 9th in the District 2 Championship to the Tribunes of Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY in an 85-78 to end their season with a 20-12 record. Recently, the Knights did, however, receive some very good news with two of their stars earning All-Region XXI honors: Co-Captains: Desmond Williams (Torrington, CT) and Bryan Yarce (Cranston, RI) were both honored for the second year in a row as All-Region selections. The duo led the Knights to a 51-17 record as player for the Knights over their two years at CCRI.
As a sophomore Williams was a Co-Captain and was just as impressive as he was in his freshman campaign. He and Yarce led the Knights to an impressive 20-12 record and second Region XXI title in two years. Williams was a prolific scorer for the Knights who was ranked No. 6 in the nation this year by the NJCAA averaging 22.7 points per game and ended his career as No. 4 all-time scorer in CCRI history with 1,332 career points. In his sophomore year Williams scored in double-figures 26 of the 27 games he played in including erupting for 30 or more points five times and 20 or more points 17 times. For his efforts Williams was also honored as the Steve McDonald Award winner as the DIII/CC Co-Men’s Player of the Year by Cox Communications for the second year in a row.
As a freshman Williams came into the season as a mid-major Division I recruit and has quickly elevated his stock to a high Division I talent. Williams charted double-digit scoring in 33 of his 35 games played with his season-high of 41 coming in the NJCAA Division II National Championship semi-final 83-78 victory over South Suburban College where he put up the ridiculous stat line of 41 points, nine steals and eight rebounds to lead the Knights to the National Championship game. Williams averaged 20. 6 points per game ranking him No. 17 in the Division II NJCAA men’s basketball while adding 3.1 steals to rank No. 10 in the NJCAA. Williams and backcourt mate Bryan Yarce where a formidable one-two punch and quite possibly the best back court in the Nation. Williams also averaged 2.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game to help the Knights. Desmond was named NJCAA Division II men’s basketball player of the week for the week of February 1st. He was also named to the All-Tournament team at the NJCAA National Tournament in Danville, IL, where he helped lead his to a second place finish. In addition, he was named First Team All-American by the NJCAA.
As a sophomore Yarce continued to be “the creator” while starting 30 of the 32 games for the Knights. Yarce was ranked No. 7 in total assists with 191 and No. 8 by the NJCAA in assist per game with 6.4. Yarce was also ranked No 30 by the NJCAA with 70 steals on the year. In addition, he raised his scoring average to 12.3 points per game. Also during the year Yarce was named NJCAA Division II National Player of the Week for the week of November 12th-18th when he helped spearhead a Knight’s 22 point comeback versus Cuyahoga CC when he scored 22 points with seven assists and seven steals. The bottom line was whatever the Knights needed Bryan delivered!
As a freshman Yarce led the Knights’ offense as the floor general. Yarce is one of the most secure ball handlers in the nation as evidence in his eye-popping four to one assists to turnover ratio with an amazing 233 assists to just 58 turnovers in 34 games played. Yarce averaged 6.9 assists to just 1.7 turnovers over five more assists than turnovers per game. Not only did Yarce covet the ball well, but he, along with his backcourt mate Williams were instrumental in forcing turnovers, averaging 2.7 steals per game to rank him No. 14 in nation in steals. Yarce is usually one of the smallest players on the court in stature but one who leaves the biggest impression often times without putting-up the big scoring line though he does score 7.6 points per game his main objective is to get the ball in the hands of the best scoring opportunity for the Knights.
Head Coach Rick Harris commented about his talented duo “Bryan and Desmond will go down as one of the greatest backcourts in the long history of outstanding players/guards to play here at CCRI. The 51- 17 record with two N.E. Championships, one District Championship and a NJCAA DII National Finalist position over the past two years speaks for itself. On the court this tandem displayed a beautiful connection amongst each other. They complimented each other and the rest of the team perfectly as well. Most importantly their greatest interest was the success of the team first and not their individual accomplishments. My staff and I have been very fortunate to work with such a talented duo. Off the court you would never know how talented they were. They are gentleman and great people to be around. In my coaching lifetime I doubt I will ever coach such a talented all around duo again!”
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 students in credit courses and thousands more in non-credit and job training classes. Its athletic program boasts 12 varsity programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.