Photo by Tyler Lamb / MT Athletic Communications
Middle Tennessee head coach Kermit Davis and forward JaCorey Williams were each honored today, as the Tennessee Sports Writers Association named Davis as their Coach of the Year and Williams as Player of the Year.
This is the second time in 2017 that the pair has been honored simultaneously, as they were given the same awards from Conference USA. Williams was also named Conference USA’s Newcomer of the Year after a season that saw him lead the team in scoring at 17.3 points per game and finish second in rebounding at 7.3 boards per game.
The senior was also named to the Conference USA All-Tournament team, as well as the All-Conference First Team.
Proving consistently that he could score at will, Williams finished his lone season on the court in Murfreesboro just two points shy of the single-season points record with 621. One of his best games of the year came in his hometown return to Birmingham, Alabama. In a game that clinched the regular season conference title for MT, Williams knocked down his patented top-of-the-key jump-shot to put the Blue Raiders ahead for good in a 66-64 win over the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
Davis’ Coach of the Year award adds to the momentous season he led the Blue Raiders to in 2017. In his 15th season in Murfreesboro, Davis’ team won a school-record 31 games and a 17-1 mark in conference play.
The 31 wins put MT in pretty elite company, as they join Cincinnati, Louisville and Memphis as the only teams to win 30 games while being a part of Conference USA.
Davis’ squad played into the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season, defeating the Minnesota Golden Gophers by a score of 81-72. The season came to an end just two days later in a 74-65 loss to the Butler Bulldogs.
With all of the recognition, Davis is continuing his mission of building a national brand for his team.
“This is truly a great honor in a state full of outstanding coaches at all levels of college basketball,” Davis said in an interview with MT Athletics. “Coach of the Year awards are a tribute to your players and staff, as well as the culture of winning you are able to build.”
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