Conference awards will be coming out all week long, but we wanted to dish out some awards of our own here at Mid-Major Madness. Here is a look at who we think should be taking home the hardware in the Southern Conference.
Player of the Year: De'Mon Brooks, Davidson
Brooks beats out Chattanooga's Z Mason in a pretty close battle this year for the SoCon Player of the Year. In the end it was Brooks 18.4 points, 7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists that was the catalyst for the Wildcats 15-1 conference mark, after going 4-10 in conference play with Brooks being hobbled for the early portion of the season. Brooks will leave the SoCon with quite the collection of hardware from his time at Davidson.
Coach of the Year: Will Wade, Chattanooga
The Mocs hadn't put together a winning season since 2008-09 but that change when former VCU assistant Will Wade took over and installed CHAOS in Chattanooga. Wade inherited some very talented players, like the aforementioned Z Mason, and took advantage of that leading the Mocs to a 12-4 conference record. The 12 wins in the SoCon are the Mocs highest since 2007-08 and the second highest mark in 20 years. Wade is now focusing on getting the Mocs to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since that 2009 season.
Freshman of the Year: Tevon Saddler, UNC Greensboro
This was an award between Saddler, Samford's Isaiah Williams, and The Citadel's Brian White. Saddler finished the year averaging 12.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.3 steals for the Spartans. The Baltimore native didn't take long to make his mark posting 34 points in the second game of the season against East Carolina. Look for Saddler to flourish in the "new" SoCon.
Defensive Player of the Year: Z Mason, Chattanooga
When you think Chattanooga's Z Mason you usually think of his 18.2 points per game but the Moc's star player finished the year leading the SoCon in rebounding with 9.5 per game and blocks with an even 3 per game. Simply put, Mason owns the paint in the SoCon. Mason had 14 double-doubles this year and had eight games where he had five or more blocks.
G- Trey Sumler, Western Carolina
G- Jelani Hewitt, Georgia Southern
F- Tim Williams, Samford
F- Z Mason, Chattanooga
F- De'Mon Brooks, Davidson
G- Stephen Croone, Furman
G- Tyler Kalinoski, Davidson
G- Karl Cochran, Wofford
F- Lucas Troutman, Elon
F- Kyle Cain, UNC Greensboro