USA South 2017-18 Men's Basketball Awards Announced

USA South 2017-18 Men's Basketball Awards Announced

The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its 2017-18 All-Conference awards for men's basketball. Averett University's James Contreras, Jr. was named Player of the Year while his coach, Berea College's Torell Carter earned Rookie of the Year honors while Maryville College's Randy Lambert collected Coach of the Year accolades to close out the individual honors. Finally, the USA South recognized an All-Sportsmanship Team consisting of one member from each competing school.

All awards are voted on by the men's basketball coach at each institution. The awards will be presented to individuals from teams competing in the semifinal round of the USA South Men's Basketball tournament immediately following the conclusion of the first semifinal contest.

Contreras, a Virginia Beach, Virginia senior guard, becomes the second consecutive Cougar to be named USA South Player of the Year as it was Charles Bryant who took home the honor last season. Contreras concluded the regular season as the League's second-leading scorer, averaging 23.2 points per contest, while compiling the most amount of points scored (581). Additionally, he led the Conference in minutes played (849), field goals made (193) and free throws made (178). Contreras contributed 4.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals for the Cougars per game. In League-only contests, he lead the Conference in scoring, averaging 23.9 points per game. For his efforts this season, Contreras earns his second consecutive first team all-conference honor as he also accumulated two USA South Player of the Week awards during the winter.

Carter, a Whitesburg, Kentucky freshman guard, becomes the first Mountaineer to be named USA South Rookie of the Year as the program is in its first year of Conference membership. He began his collegiate career with a bang as he notched a triple-double of 16 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists versus Spalding. Carter concluded the regular season leading all League rookies in scoring, averaging 16.5 points per game, and assists with 109, good for an average of 4.5 helpers per contest. He ranked in the top-ten in the League in several different categories including minutes (815), field goals made (149), free throws made (89), defensive rebounds (130), total rebounds (178) and steals (43). Finally, Carter was named USA South Player of the Week once and Rookie of the Week four times this season.

Lambert, in his 38th season as the head of the Scots, collects his second USA South Coach of the Year honor. Maryville was picked to capture the League's West Division title in the preseason coaches poll and the team did just that. The Scots finished with a 14-2 record which earned the program's second consecutive regular season title, this year of the divisional kind, and set a new USA South record for League wins in a single-season. Maryville now has earned three USA South regular season championships in the past five years. The Scots currently own a 20-6 overall record and head to the USA South Tournament semifinals as the host West Division top seed and host.

Player of the Year Rookie of the Year Coach of the Year

James Contreras, Jr.

Torell Carter

Randy Lambert

The 2017-18 USA South Men's Basketball All-Conference Team:

First Team Second Team Honorable Mention
Davion Ayabarreno, Methodist
Emier Bowman, Maryville
James Contreras Jr., Averett
Adrian Moore, N.C. Wesleyan
Justin Vallejo, Piedmont 
Alex Bonner, LaGrange
A.J. Frye, N.C. Wesleyan
Caleb Haynes, Covenant
Calvin Songster, Maryville 
Jackson Whitley, Methodist
Elijah Alston, Piedmont
Dante Hoppa, Maryville
Brandon McLean, Huntingdon
Robert Wilson, N.C. Wesleyan
  All-Sportsmanship Team  
  Brandon Baker, Averett
Gabe Hinton, Berea
Stevie Williams, Brevard
Berto Dryden, Covenant
RJ Turner, Ferrum
Demetrius Tilley, Greensboro
Wyatt Popovich, Huntingdon
Nate Rosetti, LaGrange
Malcolm Walker, Maryville
Dante Jackson, Methodist
Mitch Layton, N.C. Wesleyan
Brian Harper, Pfeiffer
Landry Assinesi, Piedmont
Maurice Canady, William Peace