EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part three of a five-part series that recognizes some of the most talented young men and women that have represented the Northeast Mississippi Community College athletic department over the last 10 years.
BOONEVILLE, Miss. – A pair of All-Americans and professional standouts highlight the all-decade team for Northeast Mississippi Community College’s tradition-rich men’s basketball program.
Student-athletes that suited up for the Tigers between the 2009-10 and 2018-19 seasons plus garnered Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference (MACCC) All-State honors qualified for a spot on this prestigious listing.
However, a majority of these six honorees secured additional awards from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for their efforts in keeping Northeast in the countrywide spotlight over the previous decade.
Players were chosen based upon the overall impact they made on their respective teams plus statistical analysis. Consideration was also given to any significant accomplishments that each student-athlete made after leaving Northeast.
A panel of six individuals, which included past and present athletic department staff and members of the local media, participated in this process. The selections were made with no regards to specific positions.
Leroy “Shaq” Buchanan (Madison, MS): 2017 NJCAA All-American…2017 NJCAA All-Region 23…Two-time MACCC All-State (2017 first-team/2016 second-team)…17th All-American in program history…2017 NJCAA All-Star Game selection…Third Northeast student-athlete to ever compete in the national all-star event and the first since 1960…Started 57 consecutive games over two years…Top scorer for Northeast as a sophomore with 18.4 points per game…Also paced the Tigers with team-high averages of seven rebounds, 1.7 steals, 1.5 blocks and 32.1 minutes…Scored in double-digits during all but one outing in his final campaign… Saved his best performance for last during the 2017 NJCAA Region 23 championship contest against Jones with a career-high 34 points…Averaged 14 points and 5.7 boards during freshman campaign in which Northeast qualified for the NJCAA Division I National Tournament…Exceeded 30 points in a single matchup four times throughout his tenure in the City of Hospitality and surpassed 20 points in a game on 17 times as well…Three-time MACCC Player of the Week winner throughout the 2016-17 campaign…Accumulated six double-doubles over his two-year stint at Northeast, including two during his sophomore season in matchups with Northwest and Volunteer State (Tenn.)…Reached the prestigious 500-point plateau for his career during Northeast’s victory over West Kentucky on December 1, 2016…Went on to compile totals of 927 points, 361 rebounds, 169 assists, 104 steals and 58 blocks in a black-and-gold uniform…Finished collegiate career at Murray State (Ky.)…Captured Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Defensive Player of the Year and All-OVC first-team honors while leading the Racers to two consecutive NCAA Tournaments…Won 2019 NBA Summer League championship with the Memphis Grizzlies…Signed professional contract with the Memphis Hustle (G League).
Wesley Harris (Jackson, MS): 2016 NJCAA All-Region 23…2016 MACCC All-State first-team…Compiled team-best averages of 18.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks during his lone season with the Tigers…Had the second highest field goal percentage on the squad at 47.1 with 5.5 made buckets each outing…Scored in double figures during 23 of the 24 contests that he participated in…Added eight double-doubles to his resume as well…One of only two players in the state to receive the MACCC Player of the Week award three times during the 2015-16 season… Became the first Northeast standout to ever claim NJCAA Division I Player of the Week honors following his inaugural double-double that consisted 26 points and 15 boards in a victory against Columbia State (Tenn.)…Captured his final MACCC weekly prize after totaling 64 points and 24 rebounds over three games to guide the Tigers to the 2016 NJCAA Region 23 championship and a berth to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament…Originally signed with West Virginia, but finished collegiate career at Tennessee State…Helped the Mountaineers reach the Big 12 Tournament championship game and the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament as a sophomore in 2018.
Dimario Jackson (Brusly, LA): 2015 NJCAA All-American…2015 NJCAA All-Region 23…Two-time MACCC All-State (2015 first-team/2014 second-team)…16th All-American in program history…Topped Northeast in the category of points per game for two consecutive seasons…Averaged 18.9 points as a sophomore, which was second best in the state…Reached double digits in all but one of the 25 contests in which he participated, including in 20 straight outings to conclude the 2014-15 campaign…Scored 20 or more points on 11 separate occasions as well…Had a flair for the dramatic by accounting for the game-winning points during five matchups that were decided by two possessions or less…Tallied career-highs of 30 points and 11 made field goals in a thrilling come-from-behind triumph at Coahoma on January 22, 2015…Ranked sixth in the NJCAA and third in the Magnolia State with an 87.4 percent mark at the free throw line…Led Northeast with 30.9 minutes, 3.8 assists and 1.2 steals per contest as well…Four-time MACCC Player of the Week selection during his sophomore campaign…Captured his final such award with a game-high 19-point effort in a triumph over defending national champion Jones in the MACCC Tournament…Passed the illustrious 500-point plateau during Northeast’s final tilt before the Christmas break at Columbia State on December 15, 2014…Totaled 776 points during his tenure on the Booneville campus…Paced the Tigers with 15.2 points each outing and a 41.5 field goal percentage as a freshman…Career 31.5 percent shooter from behind the arc…Finished collegiate career at North Alabama.
Denzel McDuffey (Jackson, MS): 2019 NJCAA All-Region 23…Two-time MACCC All-State (2019/2018 first-team)…Averaged team-highs of 14.4 points as a sophomore and 14.3 points during his freshman campaign…His field goal and three-point percentages both improved by nearly 10-percent during his second season at the collegiate level…Reached double figures during 15 of the 22 contests that he played during the 2018-19 campaign…Recorded five 20-plus point performances as well…Had three sensational games in a row to conclude the 2018 fall semester portion of Northeast’s schedule with an average of 27.6 points in victories over Lawson State (Ala.), Mid South Prep (Tenn.) and Wallace State-Hanceville (Ala.)…Pieced together four double-doubles during his final year in a black-and-gold uniform, including a 20-point, 11-rebound effort during the Tigers’ triumph at Northwest…Career averages include 14.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game with a 47.5 overall shooting percentage…Currently on the active basketball roster at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
Kendall Stafford (Corinth, MS): 2017 MACCC All-State second-team…Wielded one of the most accurate shots from beyond the arc for the Tigers with a 34.8 three-point percentage…Racked up 10.7 points per outing during his sophomore season…Pieced together a memorable game versus Southwest in the 2017 MACCC Tournament with a career-best 27 points plus a thunderous one-hand slam-dunk that sealed the win with only 13 seconds remaining…Achieved double figures 21 times while at Northeast with 15 of those coming during his final campaign…Also had big performances in wins over Arkansas Baptist with 25 points and Arkansas State Mid-South with 19 points…Placed second on the team in rebounding with an average of 5.4…Recorded his lone double-double of the 2016-17 season in a home victory over Mississippi Delta with 12 points and 11 boards…Finished collegiate career at North Alabama…Signed professional contract with Baskets Vilsbiburg of Germany.
Acie Vance (Ripley, MS): Two-time MACCC All-State (2013 second-team/2012 first-team)…Led Northeast in scoring per game during his sophomore campaign with 16 points to go along with averages of four rebounds and two assists…Shot over 50 percent from the floor and 49 percent from behind the arc during the 2012-13 season…Scored in double digits in 14 of the Tigers’ 24 games…Started the season off with a team-high 21 point effort to help Northeast knock off East Central on November 5, 2012…Scored 20 points or more in five appearances for Northeast…Produced a season-high of 29 points on 8 of 11 shooting from the floor and a 10 of 13 showing from the free throw line against Holmes on January 24, 2013…Second leading scorer in the state during his freshman season with an average of 16.8 points per game…Shot 38 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the charity stripe during his inaugural year with the Tigers…Also led the team with 74 total assists…Finished collegiate career at West Alabama…Helped the Tigers qualify for the 2019 NCAA Division II Tournament and win their first game in that event since 1982.
NOTE – Head shots for all athletes and action photos for a majority of players selected to Northeast Mississippi Community College’s all-decade men’s basketball team are available for your publication by contacting sports information director Blake Long at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-720-7448.