Finalists Announced for the 2019 C Spire Howell and Gillom Trophies
Players from Mississippi State’s men’s and women’s basketball programs received four of the six finalist nominations for the 2019 C Spire Howell and Gillom Trophies, which are awarded annually to the best male and female college basketball players in the Magnolia state.
All three of the women’s nominees are from Mississippi State’s No.5 nationally ranked squad, and one of the three men’s finalists is representing the resurgent Bulldogs, who have 20 wins or more for the second straight year. This is the second year in a row that MSU has at least four of the six finalists.
Senior All-American center Teaira McCowan, senior guard Jordan Danberry and graduate transfer Anriel Howard are the ladies finalists. Defending 2018 Howell winner and senior MSU guard Quinndary Weatherspoon joins Ole Miss’ junior guard Breein Tyree and University of Southern Mississippi’s senior guard Cortez Edwards vying for the men’s award.
Eight different men’s players from seven schools received votes from sports media covering the teams. Ten different women’s players from five schools received votes. MSU broke a five-year consecutive win streak by Ole Miss for the men’s award in 2018 while former MSU great Victoria Vivians became the only four-time winner in the history of the C Spire Gillom Trophy last year.
The winners will be selected through a combination of another round of media votes and a fan vote conducted by C Spire. Fans may vote online for their favorite players from Tuesday, March 5 at 8:30 a.m. CT through Saturday, March 9 at noon CT. Each fan with a valid email address may vote up to three times daily. The fan vote counts for a weighted 10 percent of the final total and has helped decide the winner several times in recent years.
Through March 3, MSU’s Weatherspoon led the men in scoring with 18.6 points per game while Tyree averaged 18.3 points a game and Edwards scored at an 14.5 points rate. The ladies are led by McCowan’s 17.3 points per game mark followed by Howard ’s 16 points per game and Danberry’s 13.4 point average.
The Howell Trophy presented by C Spire is named after Bailey Howell, a two-time All American at Mississippi State University and a six-time NBA All-Star who played on Boston Celtics world championship teams in 1968 and 1969. Howell, a 1977 inductee to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and the first male Mississippi player inducted in the National Basketball Hall of Fame, still holds nearly a dozen season and career records at Mississippi State University.
The Gillom Trophy presented by C Spire is named after Abbeville, Miss. native Peggie Gillom-Granderson, Ole Miss’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder. She coached in the WNBA and the Olympics and retired after a seven-year stint as Associate Head Coach of the Lady Rebels basketball team at Ole Miss.
2019 marks the 24rd anniversary of the Outstanding Player Awards presentation. C Spire has served as title sponsor for 22 of those years since 1998. The Conerly Trophy in college football, the Howell Trophy in men’s college basketball, the Gillom Trophy in women’s college basketball and the Ferriss Trophy in college baseball comprise the four elements of the C Spire Outstanding Player Award series.
Tickets starting at $40 each are on sale for the March 11 awards luncheon at MSHOF offices and online here. For more information, call 601.982.8264. Former NCAA and NBA head coach Tim Floyd, the son of the late Lee Floyd, a member of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame after coaching basketball during two different tenures at the University of Southern Mississippi, will be the featured guest speaker.