The NJIT Highlanders' record-setting 2018-19 season came to a close on March 28, 2019, in the CIT Quarterfinals.

Head Coach Brian Kennedy's team finished in fifth place of the ASUN Conference with a 22-13 (8-8 ASUN) record, the third-best overall record in the conference. Kennedy's overall record in three seasons as NJIT's head coach improves to 47-49 (.490) and 117-105 (.527) in his seven seasons as a member of the Highlanders' coaching staff.

NJIT's 22 wins included 11 road wins, 13 non-conference wins, the program's first ASUN Championship win and a CIT First Round win.

Preseason All-ASUN and First Team All-ASUN forward, Abdul Lewis, led the team in double-doubles (9) and rebounds (9.1 rpg). The senior eclipsed 1,000 career points (1,015, NJIT & 232, South Alabama) and reached 1,000 career rebounds (773, NJIT & 237, South Alabama) in his final game against Lipscomb in the ASUN Championship Semifinals. Lewis' 773 rebounds in his three years at NJIT broke Tim Coleman's (762) record, while his incredible 21 rebound game versus Jacksonville broke his own program record. The Newark, N.J., native finished his NJIT career averaging 11.5 ppg and 8.8 rpg, with 22 career double-doubles for the Highlanders, a program record.

Second Team All-ASUN guard, Zach Cooks, followed up his ASUN All-Freshman season with an impressive sophomore year, ranking nationally in steals (88, 7th NCAA), steals per game (2.5, 12th NCAA), total minutes (1,304, 6th NCAA) and minutes per game (37.3, 14th NCAA). Cooks led NJIT in scoring, averaging 17.6 ppg, which ranked third in the ASUN. His 34 point-performance in the CIT First Round tied Damon Lynn's single-game scoring record. The sophomore earned his first double-double at Jacksonville (24 points, 13 rebounds) and scored 20+ points in 15 games this season.

ASUN All-Tournament Team selection, Diandre Wilson, finished his senior season in style. Ranking 15th in ASUN scoring at 11.9 ppg, Wilson led the team in scoring in both the ASUN Championship Quarterfinals and Semifinals, including a career-high 26 points in the program's first ever ASUN tournament win at FGCU. The senior was clutch throughout the year, scoring game-winning shots against Colgate and Brown, and led the team in free throw percentage (77.6%).

Two-time ASUN All-Academic Team selection, Shyquan Gibbs, started all 35 games in his junior season, providing consistency on offense and defense throughout the year. NJIT's co-captain led the team in assists per game (2.2) and ranked sixth in ASUN assist/turnover ratio (2.0). The junior ranked second on the team in free throw percentage (77.2%) and displayed his ability to take over a game against Cornell, which featured a career-high 25 points, and in NJIT's second game at Lipscomb, inspiring his team in a second-half comeback with 19 points. Gibbs was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, which recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances on the court and in the classroom.

Sophomore San Antonio Brinson played in all 35 games this season, including 32 starts. The athletic forward finished second on the team in blocks (18) and was one of NJIT's most efficient players shooting from the field at 45.6%. Brinson led the team in points twice and had his best performance of the season against Duquesne, which featured his first career double-double (15 points, 15 rebounds). One of NJIT's most athletic players, Brinson frequently delivered highlight-reel dunks and will be a key player for the Highlanders next season.

Senior Mohamed Bendary provided consistency off the bench throughout the 2018-19 season. The forward started eight games this season and led the team in field goal percentage (61.9%). Bendary shined against Drexel, which featured 12 points and four blocks (both career-highs), as well as NJIT's final game at Jacksonville with eight points, six rebounds and a team-high +16 plus/minus in a must-win game for the Highlanders. The senior played 128 games for the in his four-year career, finishing with an astonishingly efficient 65.1% field goal percentage.

Senior Donovan Greer was also a key player off the bench for NJIT this season. The guard was NJIT's most efficient three-point shooter at 43.3% from the perimeter. Greer's most memorable performances this season came at Stetson where he finished a perfect 5-5 from the field (4-4 3FG) for 14 points and at home against North Alabama, when he drained the game-tying three pointer to send the game to overtime with five seconds remaining, a game NJIT eventually won. Greer finishes his three-year career with NJIT having played 55 games and shooting a career 37.4% from beyond the arc.

NJIT co-captain, Reilly Walsh, had his senior season cut short by injury. The Preseason Fan-Voted ASUN Defensive Player of the Year started and played three games for the Highlanders. In the opening game of the season, Walsh scored a career-high 21 points against Colgate, shooting 6-9 from the field, including 5-6 from three-point range. In his three games, he shot 50% from the field and 62.5% from the perimeter. In four years at NJIT, Walsh has played 60 games.

Sophomore Shawndale Jones played in all 35 games for the Highlanders this season and has appeared in every game for NJIT since the 2017-18 season. The guard finished as one of NJIT's most efficient shooters with a 44.3% field goal percentage and 34.9% three-point field goal percentage. Jones averaged the sixth most minute per game on the team (15.1).

Freshman Souleymane Diakite, Kjell de Graaf and Diego Willis all enjoyed successful rookie seasons, playing their role in NJIT's historic year. Diakite played 16 games, scoring a season-high 11 points and nine rebounds at Binghamton and tied his nine rebounds again in the CIT First Round against Quinnipiac. Inside-outside threat, de Graaf, played 26 games, including two CIT starts, and scored a career-high nine points on 3-4 three pointers against ASUN regular-season champions, Lipscomb. Willis established himself as a dependable three-point shooter in his 28 games played, including one start, and like de Graaf, also recorded a season-high nine points on 3-6 three pointers against Lipscomb.

Sophomore Patrick Jamison and junior Taj Price made their presence felt on the bench this season and take aim at earning more minutes next year. Price, a 6-7 forward, played in four games this season, bringing his career total to 33 appearances for NJIT. Jamison, a 5-9 guard, played in three games this season, shooting a perfect 100% on 2-2 field goals and 1-1 three pointers.
Team Records
  • Overall Wins: 22
  • Regular-Season Wins: 20
  • Road Wins: 11
  • Non-Conference Wins: 13
  • First ASUN Championship Win
  • Best D-I Men's Basketball Record in New Jersey: 22-13
Individual Records
  • Single-Game Rebounds: Abdul Lewis (21)
  • Career Rebounds: Abdul Lewis (773)
  • Single-Game Points: Zach Cooks (34)
  • Preseason Fan-Voted ASUN Defensive Player of the Year: Reilly Walsh
  • Preseason ASUN All-Conference: Abdul Lewis
  • First Team ASUN All-Conference: Abdul Lewis
  • Second Team ASUN All-Conference: Zach Cooks
  • ASUN All-Academic Team: Shyquan Gibbs
  • CoSIDA Academic All-District Team: Shyquan Gibbs
  • ASUN All-Tournament Team: Diandre Wilson
AP Top-25 Poll
  • NJIT received its first AP Top-25 Poll vote on Dec. 10, 2018
  • ​The Highlanders received one vote for three consecutive weeks (Dec. 10-24)