Photo by Tyler Lamb / Sports Editor
Middle Tennessee basketball continues their C-USA domination without even having played a tournament game. Wednesday morning, head coach Kermit Davis was named C-USA Coach of the Year while JaCorey Williams was awarded the conference Player of the Year.
While Davis has been awarded the conference coach of the year five other times in his 18-year Division I head coaching career (1989, 1990 Big Sky; 2003, 2012, 2013 Sun Belt), it is a first for him in C-USA.
With Wednesday’s award, the school now holds a total of seven coach of the year awards. Davis is already the school’s all-time leader in wins with 303 and looks to keep adding to the number as his team’s in Murfreesboro continue to improve.
In addition to his other accomplishments, Davis is still the Sun-Belt Conference’s all-time coaching leader with 117 regular season wins.
For Williams, he becomes the sixth Blue Raider to earn top player honors in their respective conferences, the last being Shawn Jones in 2014.
The senior was also named a first-team all-C-USA member on Monday following a regular season in which he lead MTSU in both scoring (17.5 points per game) and rebounding (7.4 boards per game).
Williams has accounted for 11 double-doubles this year, proving in one year to be mismatch for anyone in the post.
The Birmingham native came into his own during the Challenge in Music City Tournament that saw him account for a career-high 31 points to lead the Blue Raiders to a 73-70 overtime win over Toledo.
The following day, Williams scored 25 points to go along with 10 rebounds in his first double-double of the season against Evansville as Middle Tennessee swept all three games to win the tournament. Williams would take home MVP of the weekend.
Arguably his biggest highlight of the year, however, occurred on Feb. 26 when Williams connected on a 15-foot jumper against UAB with 4.4 seconds left to give his team the win and keep their at-large big hopes alive.
Both Davis and Williams are seeking their second consecutive C-USA Tournament title this week. The journey for the NCAA Tourney begins Thursday at 11:30 a.m. when they take on the winner of Wednesday’s first round game between Western Kentucky and UTSA.