Two Ole Miss men joined one Lady Rebel while Mississippi State and USM placed a finalist apiece in media voting for the Cellular South Howell Trophy and Cellular South Gillom Trophy which honor the state’s top men’s and women’s college basketball players.
MSU center Jarvis Varnado and Lady Bulldogs guard Alexis Rack join Ole Miss’ David Huertas, Terrico White and Bianca Thomas along with USM’s Pauline Love to complete the three finalists for each award.
CELLULAR SOUTH HOWELL TROPHY FINALISTS LISTED ALPHABETICALLY
DAVID HUERTAS: OM Junior Forward Humacao, Puerto Rico; led team in scoring after Chris Warren’s injury in game 11 and ranked fifth in the SEC (18 ppg); fourth in conference three-point shooting averaging 2.6 baskets/game and fifth in SEC free throw accuracy (81%); second team All-SEC selection. .
JARVIS VARNADO: MSU Junior Center; Brownsville, TN; led nation in blocked shots; first team All-SEC selection and SEC Defensive Player of the Year; led SEC tournament champions in scoring (12.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.8 rpg) while starting all 31 games.
TERRICO WHITE: OM Freshman Guard; Memphis, TN; averaged almost 14 points per game (second on team) while leading the Rebels in assists; named SEC Newcomer of the Year despite starting only 21 of 31 games; second team All-SEC selection.
CELLULAR SOUTH GILLOM TROPHY FINALISTS LISTED ALPHABETICALLY
PAULINE LOVE: USM Junior Forward Luxora, ARK; led team in scoring (16 ppg) and rebounding (10.5 rpg) while averaging a double-double; repeat All-CUSA first team selection as league’s no. 2 rebounder; finalist for 2008 Cellular South Gillom Trophy.
ALEXIS RACK: MSU Junior Guard Franklin, LA; started every game and led the Lady Bulldogs in several categories en route to the second round of the NCAA playoffs: minutes played, scoring (14.6 ppg) and assists while shooting 82% from the foul line; second team AP All-SEC selection.
BIANCA THOMAS OM Junior guard; Henderson, TN; second team AP All-SEC selection who led the Lady Rebels into the second round of WNIT play; led team in scoring (16 ppg); defensive rebounding, minutes played (more than 100 minutes more than the runner-up) and free throw percentage (82%).
The six finalists and their coaches are expected to be in attendance Monday March 30, 2009 when the trophy recipients are announced at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson, MS. The reception starts at 5:30pm with the program at 6:30 pm.
For ticket information, contact the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum at 1-800-280-FAME (3263).
OTHER PLAYERS RECEIVING VOTES HOWELL TROPHY (Listed Alphabetically): Chad Akins DSU; Courtney Beasley USM; Dee Bost MSU; Darrion Griffin JSU; Troy Jackson ASU; Ravern Johnson MSU; Oliver Mansour DSU; Grant Maxey JSU; Alton Robinson DSU; Barry Stewart MSU; Jeremy Wise USM
OTHER PLAYERS RECEIVING VOTES GILLOM TROPHY (Listed Alphabetically):
Moe Bell DSU; Shantell Black OM; Bug Cooper DSU; Erlexis Cooper JSU; Shawn Goff OM; Stephanie Helgeson USM; LaMaesha McAdory DSU; Veronica Walker DSU