The Big South Tournament is set to kick off March 5 in the HTC Center just outside of Myrtle Beach. The conference will announce their official awards this week but here are our season awards from Mid-Major Madness:
Player of the Year: John Brown, High Point
This wasn't much of a race this year, although Radford's Javonte Green was making a run for a while. John Brown makes the jump from Freshman of the Year to Player of the Year with 19.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.7 blocks, and 1.6 steals per game. Brown became the first sophomore in conference history to post 1,000 career points and he's quickly become a staple on the SportsCenter Top 10 for his high flying dunks. Brown missed the Big South Tournament last year due to injury, so look for him to be really hungry in Myrtle Beach.
Coach of the Year: Scott Cherry, High Point
Well I never thought I'd be typing that about two months ago... An injury to Allan Chaney five games into the season had the Panthers dead in the water and playing with no fire, that all changed in January for High Point. Dejuan McGaughy went down with injury and Jorge Perez-Laham was inserted into the starting lineup. Perez-Laham sparked the Panthers and secondary scoring options like Devante Wallace and freshman Anthony Lindauer. I'm not sure where the Panthers and Cherry would be right now if it wasn't for that change in early January. High Point was 12-2 after that mid-season change.
Freshman of the Year: Andrew Rowsey, UNC Asheville
For the second year in a row this was a pretty tight race. Instead of John Brown and Michael Kessens it was Asheville's Andrew Rowsey versus VMI's Q.J. Peterson. Peterson stormed on the scene and was among the nation's top scorers all year long but his production faltered a bit down the stretch. Rowsey's production did not fall and he ended up with the conference scoring crown averaging 19.9 points per game. The Lexington, Virginia native had a monster Big South season averaging 23 points per game and dropping 41 points on Radford, 37 on Winthrop, 35 on VMI and Charleston Southern, and 32 on Longwood.
Defensive Player of the Year: D.J. Cunningham, UNC Asheville
It was a battle of the D.J.s for Defensive Player of the Year. VMI's D.J. Covington had another impressive season but fell to Asheville's D.J. Cunningham when it came to rebounds and blocks. Cunningham finished the season averaging 9.4 rebounds and 3.6 blocks, good enough for fourth in the nation in terms of blocks. Big South coaches will be happy to see these two guys leave.
G- Andrew Rowsey, UNC Asheville
G- Tristan Carey, Longwood
F- John Brown, High Point
F- Javonte Green, Radford
C- D.J. Covington, VMI
G- Lucas Woodhouse, Longwood
G- Jordan Downing, Presbyterian
G- Josh Cameron, Coastal Carolina
F- Jerome Hill, Gardner-Webb
C- D.J. Cunningham, UNC Asheville
Honorable Mention: Rodney Glasgow (VMI), Q.J. Peterson (VMI), Jaron Lane (UNCA), Elijah Wilson (CCU), Keon Moore (Winthrop), Reco McCarter (Campbell), Warren Gillis (CCU)