Men's Basketball

#BethelPilotTop10 – No. 2 Eric Brand

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Eric Brand’s record speaks for itself – he has made four national championship appearances in his four years at Bethel and he is the career scoring king. Brand was dominant.
Eric Brand is the all-time scoring leader at Bethel.
Eric Brand is the all-time scoring leader at Bethel.
He came to Bethel as a part of the famed 1996-1997 squad that went 34-5 and won the 1997 NAIA National Championship on Randy Romer’s game-winning shot. He only started two games that year, but he showed some of his potential as he was named the team’s Most Improved Player. The 1997-1998 season was when Brand broke out. He started all 40 games, which is impressive on its own. Add to that the fact that he led the team in scoring, rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage, and it becomes even more impressive. He averaged 18.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. His 63 percent field goal percentage set a school record for a sophomore. Oh, and he helped lead the Pilots to their second straight NAIA National Title. You could say that Brand’s junior year was a step back – he didn’t win a national championship…only national runner-up. But statistically, Brand’s junior season was outstanding. He averaged a double-double (21.5 points and 11.0 points per game) and, once again, started all 40 games. In the 1999 NAIA National Championship game, Brand set a title game scoring record with 38 points. The Pilots narrowly missed out on their third straight NAIA title, losing to Cornerstone University 113-109 in overtime. All of that was the opening act. Brand’s senior season might be the greatest individual season in Pilot history. He set a program record with an astounding 909 points in a single season. He averaged 23.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. Talk about a stat sheet stuffer. His 23.9 scoring average set a program single-season record, and he also set single-season records for free throws made, free throws attempted and double-doubles. Brand closed out his career on top with yet another championship – the 2000 NCCAA National Title. He ended his career with 2,696 points, 1,018 field goals made, 659 free throws made on 941 attempted, 157 games played and 68 double-doubles – all program records. He also ranks third on the all-time rebounding list with 1,313 total rebounds. Brand was inducted into the Bethel Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010, and his No. 55 jersey has been retired by the basketball team. The top ten was created by combining expert picks, statistics, championships and awards won, as well as the voting on Twitter. Some players may have been rated high by experts but did not receive as many votes as others. Others may have received votes but their statistics did not matchup against others. The top ten is comprised of the ten players who scored the best across all categories. To see the voting, visit the #BethelPilotTop10 page on the Beacon’s homepage.
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