Photo courtesy of MTSU Sidelines
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raider men’s basketball team was recognized this morning at the Tennessee Capitol, on the heels of their outstanding 2016-17 season.
The team was called to the front of the senate chambers during this morning’s meeting and were awarded a plaque for their success this year, adding to the numerous awards and honors the team received during the season. Seniors JaCorey Williams, Reggie Upshaw and junior Giddy Potts were all named to all-conference teams, while Williams was named both the Newcomer and Player of the Year for C-USA. Head coach Kermit Davis also won the Coach of the Year award for a season that saw Middle Tennessee receive it’s first top 25 ranking in school history.
Davis knows that with every honor his team receives, it’s only improving the experience they’ve had as unit thus far.
“I just think that all the experience you take from it, basketball gives all our guys an unbelievable opportunity, and obviously be honored at the highest level at our state, which means a lot to our program,” Davis said in an interview with WKRN.
The Blue Raiders won a school-record 17 conference games and only lost one game in their Conference USA schedule (at UTEP). They earned the number one seed for the conference tournament in Birmingham, AL and defeated UT-San Antonio, UTEP and Marshall en route to their second consecutive C-USA Tournament Championship.
Middle Tennessee earned a 12-seed in the South region of the 2017 NCAA Tournament and played the fifth-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers in Milwaukee, WI on March 16. After a slow start to the game and a huge second half from senior forward Reggie Upshaw, the Blue Raiders advanced to the Round of 32 for the second consecutive year with a 81-72 win over the Gophers. Their magical season ended there once again however, as the Blue Raiders lost to the fourth-seeded Butler Bulldogs by a final score of 74-65.
The Blue Raiders will also be in attendance for tonight’s Raiders’ Choice Awards, which will begin at 7 p.m.