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Ole Miss sweeps state basketball, football awards

JACKSON — Ole Miss posted a double-double at the C Spire sports award ceremony on Monday.

Ole Miss basketball players Devontae Shuler and Shakira Austin won the Howell and Gillom Trophies as the top men’s and women’s college basketball players, respectively, in Mississippi.

Then the Rebels’ football program added two more awards to the list as Elijah Moore won the Conerly Trophy as the best college player in the state and Royce Newman the Kent Hull Trophy as the top offensive lineman.

The awards were announced during a virtual program held by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Ole Miss dominated the show by claiming four of the five honors up for grabs. The only one it didn’t win was the Ferriss Trophy for the state’s top college baseball player. That award went to Mississippi State’s Tanner Allen.

Devontae Shuler

Shuler and Austin broke Mississippi State’s recent stranglehold on the college basketball awards. MSU players had won the Howell Trophy three years in a row, and the Gillom Trophy six consecutive seasons.

Shuler beat out finalists Tristan Jarrett of Jackson State and D.J. Stewart Jr. of Mississippi State to win the Howell Trophy. The first-team All-SEC guard led the Rebels in scoring (15.3 points per game) and assists (3.3 per game), and recorded eight 20-point games.

Austin made history as Ole Miss’ first Gillom Trophy winner. The award was first handed out in 2008.

Austin averaged 18.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, and she shot 51.9 percent overall. In total, she scored in double figures in 26 of 27 games, which included 13 double-doubles, 13 games with 20 points or more, 14 with double-digit rebounds and 14 with multiple blocks.

In the football awards, Moore became the third Ole Miss player in five years to win the Conerly Trophy and Newman the third Rebel to claim the Kent Hull Trophy since its inception in 2013.

Shakira Austin

Moore, who was selected in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, hauled in a school record 86 receptions for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns during the 2020 season.

Moore led the country in receiving yards (149.1) and receptions per game (10.8), and was No. 8 nationally in touchdowns. He’s the only Rebel to surpass the 200-yard receiving mark three times in a career, all of which came in 2020.

Newman joined Laremy Tunsil (2014) and Fahn Cooper (2015) as Ole Miss’ Hull Trophy winners. Newman started all 10 games in 2020 at right tackle. The redshirt senior appeared in 43 career contests for Ole Miss, including 22 consecutive starts, and allowed just three sacks in 847 pass blocks over the last two seasons.

In April, Newman was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round with the 142nd overall pick.