Pat Kelsey on what makes Winthrop senior Xavier Cooks a special player
Winthrop University’s Xavier Cooks has been voted the 2017-18 Big South Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year.
The award was announced Monday evening.
In addition to his Player of the Year recognition, Cooks was an All-Big South First Team selection. Bjorn Broman earned All-Big South honorable mention. Anders Broman was named to the Big South All-Academic Team.
It was a career season for Cooks, a Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia native. He set career-highs in points per game (17.6) in blocks (58) and steals (30). Cooks ranks first in the Big South in rebounds per game, blocks per game, field goal percentage, and defensive rebounds while ranking second in assists per game and third in scoring average.
The 6-foot-8 senior forward, who earned his second straight first team appearance, achieved a number of milestones this season. There is one achievement where he stands alone. He is the first ever Big South player to achieve 1,500 points, 800 rebounds, 200 assists, 175 blocks and 100 steals. He is third all-time in Winthrop history with 1,754 points. Cooks also became the all-time leader in rebounds and blocked shots.
Bjorn Broman also had a career year. He set career marks in points, points per game, rebounds, assists, steals, field goal percentage, field goals made, three-point field goals made, and three-point field goal percentage. He led the Big South in assist/turnover ratio and finished the regular season fifth in assists per game. His 71 three-points put him at 159 in his career, which is just one shy of the program’s all-time Top 10.
Anders Broman was named to the Big South All-Academic Team for a second straight season. He has a 4.0 GPA working toward his master’s degree in sport & fitness administration. He earned a degree from Winthrop in exercise science with a 3.76 GPA.
2017-18 Mens All-Conference
Xavier Cooks, F, Sr., Winthrop; Chris Clemons, G, Jr., Campbell; Ahmad Thomas, G, Sr., UNC Asheville; Ed Polite Jr., F, Jr., Radford; MaCio Teague, G, Soph., UNC Asheville
Reggie Dillard, G, R-Sr., Presbyterian College; Liam O’Reilly, G, Sr., Gardner-Webb; Marcus Burk, G, Soph., Campbell; Carlik Jones, G, R-Fr., Radford; Bjorn Broman, G, Jr., Winthrop
Cory Gensler, G, Soph., Campbell; Christian Keeling, G, Soph., Charleston Southern; Patrick Zeck, F, Soph., Gardner-Webb; Jahaad Proctor, G, Soph., High Point; Ryan Kemrite, G, R-Sr., Liberty; Dominic Ezeani, G, Soph., Longwood; JC Younger, G, Soph., Presbyterian College; Caleb Tanner, G, Jr., Radford; Kevin Vannatta, G, Sr., UNC Asheville; Anders Broman, G, R-Sr., Winthrop