(Editor's note: DCC Athletics release)
GLENDIVE -- Dawson Community College Men's Basketball Coach Joe Peterson was named NJCAA Division I Region XIII Coach of the Year. He was also named Mon-Dak Conference Coach of the Year at the end of the regular season.
The Buccaneers posted an impressive 27-7 record on the year while winning the Mon-Dak Conference Pre-Season Tournament, Mon-Dak Regular Season Title and the Region XIII Championship. They went undefeated in January and February rolling through the conference with a perfect 14-0 record with a 17 game winning streak before losing in the District Championship to Indian Hills Community College. After the win, Indian Hills was seeded as the 2nd overall seed in the Division I National Tournament.
Dawson won the conference for only the second time since 1987 and their Region Championship was the first one in 49 years for the Buccaneers.
"Awards like these come because of the players," Peterson said. "I didn't make one shot or get one stop on the defensive end all season. We had an outstanding, selfless group of players who bought into our system, competed hard every single day and just kept getting better as the season rolled on. It was a special group that will be remembered around here for a long, long time. The character, work ethic and togetherness of this team was outstanding. I was blessed to get to coach these guys."
Peterson has led Dawson to 100 wins in his 5 years at the helm of his alma mater; including an average of 24 wins a season over the past three years. The Bucs have been in the Region Championship Game three times in Peterson's five years in charge, but this year was the first time they won the championship. Four of his players this year earned All-Conference honors and two of them were selected as All-Region. So far five players from this year's team have signed to play at four-year schools.
They finished first in the conference in points per game (95.1) and in points allowed per game (73.5). They turned it over the least in the conference (12.9) and forced the most turnovers (21.6). The next closest in forced turnovers was five less than them. They led the league in defensive field goal percentage (40.9%), steals (13.9) and offensive rebounding (16.9) while finishing second in assists and second in rebounding margin. Dawson had the top two field goal percentage shooters in the league and three of the top four in Man Man Baker, Devin Collins and Beau Santistevan.
Out of 205 Division I teams in the country, Dawson finished the 2019-2020 season 7th in the country in points scored (3097), 9th in field goal attempts per game (72.9), 13th in steals per game (11.5), 14th in offensive rebounds per game (15.4) and 25th in total rebounds per game (43.6).
Peterson has his work cut out for him in preparing for next year. He will have to replace 9 sophomores, including his six leading scorers from this year.