Winthrop University

Winthrop’s Keon Johnson voted Big South player of the year

Keon Johnson was voted preseason player of the year in the Big South, and on Monday claimed the actual award for the 2016-17 season.
Keon Johnson was voted preseason player of the year in the Big South, and on Monday claimed the actual award for the 2016-17 season.

Winthrop’s Keon Johnson was voted the preseason player of the year by the Big South back in October. He earned the real version of that award on Monday, when the league announced that the senior guard was voted the Big South player of the year.

UNC Asheville’s Nick McDevitt was named the league’s top coach, while Asheville’s MaCio Teague won the freshman of the year award. Teague’s Bulldogs teammate Ahmad Thomas was named defensive player of the year.

Johnson is averaging 21.8 points per game through 28 contests and is shooting 44 percent from 3-point range and 87 from the foul line. Johnson has scored 20 or more points 19 times, 30 or more five times, and hit 40 in a February loss at UNC Asheville. He’s been named the league’s player of the week a league-best four different occasions this season.

Johnson became Winthrop’s all-time leading scorer Feb. 9, topping Charlie Brunson’s 1,850 points, and is just 29 from hitting the 2,000-point threshold, which only nine other Big South players have ever reached. He’s also Winthrop’s first Big South player of the year since 2001-02 when Greg Lewis claimed the award.

Eagles junior Xavier Cooks joined Johnson on the All-Conference first team. The junior from Australia is averaging 15.9 points per game and 8.8 rebounds, as well as a team-high 2.7 assists. Cooks also leads the Big South in blocked shots per game (1.7) and is second in rebounding.

Winthrop redshirt junior Anders Broman was named to the league’s All-Academic team.

Big South All-Conference awards

Player of the year: Keon Johnson, Winthrop

Coach of the year: Nick McDevitt, UNC Asheville

Freshman of the year: MaCio Teague, UNC Asheville

Defensive player of the year: Ahmad Thomas, UNC Asheville

Scholar athlete of the year: Giacomo Zilli, UNC Asheville

First team

Keon Johnson, G, Sr., Winthrop; Xavier Cooks, F, Jr., Winthrop; Ahmad Thomas, G, Jr., UNC Asheville; Chris Clemons, G, Soph., Campbell; MaCio Teague, G, Fr., UNC Asheville.

Second team

LaQuincy Rideau, G, Soph., Gardner-Webb; Miles Bowman, F, R-Sr., High Point; Tyrell Nelson, F, Sr., Gardner-Webb; Ryan Kemrite, G, R-Jr., Liberty; Khris Lane, F, R-Jr., Longwood.

Honorable mention

Christian Keeling, G, Fr., Charleston Southern; Ed Polite Jr., F, Soph., Radford; Darrion Allen, G, Sr., Longwood; David Efianayi, G, R-Soph., Gardner-Webb; John Dawson, G, R-Sr., Liberty.

All-Freshman

MaCio Teague, UNC Asheville; Christian Keeling, Charleston Southern; Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz, Liberty; Myo Baxter-Bell, Liberty; Jo’Vontae Millner, Presbyterian.

All-Academic

Chris Clemons, Campbell; Patrick Wallace, Charleston Southern; Tyrell Nelson, Gardner-Webb; Austin White, High Point; Ryan Kemrite, Liberty; Christian Lutete, Radford; Giacomo Zilli, UNC Asheville; Anders Broman, Winthrop.

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