For the first time in the history of the Delta State University men's basketball program, the Statesmen have won each of the top three season-ending awards from the Gulf South Conference: Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year.
Senior Willie Readus got the nod for GSC Player of the Year after coming in and making a huge impact for the Statesmen in a single year, proving to be an unstoppable force in the post. This marks the eighth time a Delta State player has earned the honor. The Morton, Miss. native is currently averaging 19.5 points per game in the regular season to go along with 11 rebounds. That makes Readus second in the conference in scoring and first in rebounding. Readus also tied the 2013-2014 scoring record for an individual player by posting 36 points against Shorter on Jan. 6. He has scored 188 field goals and has amassed 546 total points. He also is in the top 10 in free throw percentage, going 170-of-223 for 76 percent at the line.
The GSC Freshman of the Year went to Devin Schmidt after a standout first season with the Statesmen. He is No. 10 in the GSC in scoring, averaging 15.5 points per game. Schmidt is also in the top 10 in field goal percentage (.515, 3rd), free throw percentage (.833, 2nd), assists per game (4.1 apg., 3rd) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3, 7th). Combined with Readus, the pair has been a defensive rebounding power. Schmidt averages five boards a game and has pulled down 150 on defense so far.
Finally, completing the sweep, for the fifth time in his 28-year career as a head coach, Jim Boone earned Coach of the Year honors. It is the first time Boone received the accolade in the GSC, in just his second year at Delta State. The Gulf South is the third conference that has handed Boone the honor. It marks the sixth time a Statesmen head coach has been voted tops by his colleagues in the league. Boone led the Statesmen to a 23-5 regular season record, 16-4 in the Gulf South and a regular season GSC Championship for the first time since the 2005-2006 season. Taking the Statesmen into the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed, Delta State leads the league in scoring defense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, field goal percentage defense, 3-point field goal percentage defense, rebounding defense, rebounding margin, defensive rebounds and defensive rebounding percentage.