C Spire Howell & C Spire Gillom Preview
The 2018 C Spire Gillom and C Spire Howell trophies will be awarded to the most outstanding college basketball players in Mississippi on March 5th. Many things can change in the coming weeks but through games played February 7th, here are players for consideration.
Mississippi State University holds the top record on both the men’s and women’s side of the ledger. State’s Lady Bulldogs are a perfect 24-0 and rank second in the nation. Victoria Vivians has won the last three Gillom Trophies but may be challenged by several contenders this year. Victoria leads the Lady Dogs with a 19.6 per game average and has improved in other areas of her game with higher rebounding average (5.7 per game), shooting percentage (.503), and three-point percentage (.400). Teammate Teaira McCowan is close behind at 19.3 points per game average while leading the team in rebounds and shooting percentage. Two other Lady Bulldogs, Roshunda Johnson and Blair Schaefer also average in double figures.
The USM Lady Eagles are 12-9 under Coach Joy Lee-McNelis and have three players averaging in double figures. Jayla King scores 15.8 points per game while grabbing 8.2 rebounds on average. Shonta Hailes and Megan Brown average 13.2 ppg and 11.9 ppg as well. Ole Miss is one game under .500 but Madinah Muhammed leads the Lady Rebels with an average of 17.3 ppg. Alissa Alston contributes 15.2 points per game for the Rebs.
Other notables include Delta State’s Alondrea Rush who averages 15.2 ppg, JSU’s Christina Ellis with a 13.7 ppg, Tia Sanders of Alcorn State University who puts up a 15.7 ppg, Dia Fortenberry of Millsaps who scores 15.2 ppg, Mata Cox of Blue Mountain College scores 16.3 ppg and Tugaloo’s Montoria Atkinson with her 14.5 ppg average to go with 12.7 rebounds per game.
For the men’s competition, the highest scoring average belongs to Tonzell Handy of Tugaloo College who puts up 20.5 ppg along with 12.2 rebounds average. He is also a 4X GCAC Player of the Week winner. MSU, with an 18-6 record is led by Quinndary Weatherspoon who averages 15 points and 6 rebounds per game and 3.9 assists per contest. Teammate Aric Holman is making almost 60% of his shots and averages 11.3 ppg and Q’s brother Nick scores 11.1 ppg. Ole Miss (11-13) is led by DeAndre Burnett and his 14.4 average. Terence Davis and Bruce Stevens also score in double figures for the Rebels.
USM which is enjoying coming out of the NCAA shadows is now 12 -12 on the season. Tyree Griffin, Cortez Edwards and Dominic Magee all average double figures for the Golden Eagles with Griffin topping the list with an average of 16.3. Brett Warner and PJ Davis score 16.3 and 15.9 respectively for Delta State which is 10 -13. Alcorn State is 7 – 17 and A. J. Mosby scores 14 per contest. At JSU, Wayne Brent’s team is 10-14 but offer a balanced attack with four players averaging double figures. At Belhaven University the 4 – 17 Blazers have Isiah Brown scoring 14.5 ppg and Millsaps at 7 – 15 are led by Michael Sullivan with a 14.7 average.
William Carey has been ranked throughout the season and are currently 16 – 5 on the year. Jaylan Moore with a 16.6 scoring average and Troy Salvant who averages 15 being the offensive leaders. At Blue Mountain College the Toppers are 5 -14 and are led offensively by Jayton Bardley who averages 17.6 ppg and Marcus Anthony who scores 16.6 ppg.
With the season winding to a close, the winners still to be determined. The luncheon to announce this year’s winners will begin at 11:30 on March 5th at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, 1152 Lakeland Drive in Jackson. Tables and tickets are available online here or at the Hall of Fame from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.