Bulldogs dominate Howell and Gillom lists

Published 5:50 pm Monday, February 26, 2018

JACKSON — It’s all but a given that a Mississippi State player will sweep the Howell and Gillom Trophies this season.

Five of the six finalists announced Monday — all three women and two of the three men — for the annual awards given to the best college basketball players in Mississippi play in Starkville.

The Southeastern Conference regular-season champion MSU women claimed all three finalist spots, a first in the Gillom Trophy’s history, with Victoria Vivians, Teaira McCowan and Blair Schaefer.

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Vivians has won the Gillom Trophy the past three years and is the only three-time winner in its history. She is averaging 19.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game this season, but doesn’t appear to be the favorite for the award.

McCowan is fourth in the SEC in scoring at 18.7 points per game, and leads the league with 13.5 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-7 junior center has a school-record 22 double-doubles and is third in the country in rebounding.

The Mississippi State men, who can finish as high as second in the SEC standings, have brothers Quinndary and Nick Weatherspoon as finalists for the Howell Trophy. Southern Miss’ Cortez Edwards is the third finalist.

Earlier this year, Quinndary Weatherspoon became the 37th player in Mississippi State history to score 1,000 points for a career.

The junior guard ranks 13th in the SEC with his 14.7 scoring average, and sixth in steals. He was a Howell Trophy finalist each of the past two years.

Nick Weatherspoon has established himself as one of the top freshmen in school history. His 11.1 scoring average is 10th-best all-time as an MSU freshman and currently second best on the team behind his brother. He’s scored in double-digits 21 times.

The Weatherspoon brothers have helped Mississippi State reach the 20-win mark for the first time since 2012.

Edwards has the highest scoring average among the men’s finalists, at 15.7 points per game.
Ole Miss players have won the Howell Trophy each of the past five seasons.

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 for their favorite players at csopavoting.com through March 3 at 5 p.m. The fan vote counts for 10 percent of the final total.

The Howell and Gillom Trophies will be presented March 5 at a luncheon at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson.

The ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $40, and are available online at msfame.com or by calling 601-982-8264.