EAST ORANGE, NJ – No. 16 ranked New Jersey City University men’s basketball team won twice last week -its third and fourth wins in a row – and sophomore shooting guard Denzel Banks (Newark, NJ/(East Orange Campus) had the biggest impact for the Gothic Knights.
After scoring 38 points in only 35 minutes of action over two games, Banks has been named the New Jersey Athletic Conference Player of the Week for week three of the 2018 season, the league office announced on November 26.
The award is for games played November 19-25 and is the first of Banks’ NJCU career after transferring to Jersey City after one season of junior college ball at Monroe College in New Rochelle, N.Y. He’s the first Gothic Knight to receive a weekly award this year.
In the preseason preview, head coach Marc Brown said Banks won’t start games because of his value coming off the bench, but he will finish games, and finish he did.
Banks, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound Global Business major, averaged 19.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 1.5 assists with huge shooting numbers from a guard-57.1 percent from the field (16-28), 66.7 percent three-point shooting (4-6) and 2-of-2 from the line.
In a 92-67 road rout of Kean in the NJAC opener on November 20, he scored 18 points in 16 minutes on 7-of-10 shooting (.700). He drained 2-of-2 three-point shots with a pair of foul shots and added a game-high eight rebounds.
In a matchup of two perennial Atlantic Region ranked foes on November 24, NJCU defeated Farmingdale State, 85-77. Banks came off the bench to score 14 of his game-high 20 points in the first half and finished with an incredible +/- of 26. He shot 9-of-18 overall (2-4 3FG) with six steals and five rebounds.
Banks helped ignite an 18-2 run that turned a 13-7 first half deficit with 14:26 to go into a 10-point, 25-15 lead with 7:38 left. Down 13-7, a steal by Banks led to a three-point play and after another FSC turnover, Banks grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a jumper. His triple with 11:36 left put NJCU in front for good (15-13) with 11:36 to go in the opening half. Banks then scored four of the next eight points to cement the lead. NJCU was later up 30-26 with 2:27 to go in the half but NJCU scored the final nine points of the half to claim a 13-point, 39-26 halftime cushion. Banks scored the first five, including a three with 1:42 to go to make it 35-26.