Basketball players win NE-10 season awards
Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer
Desmond Williams, Mike Mallory, Austin Carter, and Joey Wallace all won major awards in the Northeast-10 Conference for their performances this season.
Williams won the most notable award, as he took home the NE-10 Player of the Year. On the season he stuffed the stat sheet averaging 22.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks.
Williams was proud that he was able to win such a prestigious award in a conference of this caliber.
“It means a lot to me,” said Williams. “There are a lot of great players in this league. I’m really humbled by it since there are three to four other guys that could have got it. Them selecting me is just a great feeling.”
One of those three to four other guys that Williams was referring to is his teammate and right hand man, Mallory.
Mallory enjoyed his best season as an Owl, putting up 22.8 points per game, which he jointly led the NE-10 Conference with teammate Williams. Additionally, Mallory’s performances on the court earned him a spot on the All-Conference First Team.
Williams and Mallory were expected to have great seasons for the Owls, but that was not the case for freshman guard Joey Wallace.
Wallace received a spot on the NE-10 All-Rookie Team, as he averaged 7.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Wallace was rarely playing early in the year, but as the season went on he became a more vital part of the team.
Wallace started to play such a prominent role on the team that Williams even pointed to him as a leader for them late in the year. Wallace was pleased that his hard work paid off when he heard that he earned a spot on the NE-10 All-Rookie Team.
“I didn’t expect this, but I knew it was possible due to my work ethic,” said Wallace. “My work ethic is crazy. My dad brought that upon me since I was little so I always drive to work my hardest.”
Wallace’s father, John Wallace, played in the NBA for seven seasons. Wallace credits a lot of his success due to his father being such a good role model for him growing up.
The last major award an Owls player received went to a player who has slowly improved into one of the best players on the team during his Southern career. Austin Carter, a junior forward, was named the NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year.
Carter led the Owls with 63 blocks, topping his total last year of 55. Williams joked that Carter is the one guy on the team that actually enjoys playing defense. Carter said that started long before he got to Southern.
“My AAU team always wanted me to guard the best players,” said Carter. “I was playing against Jabari Parker and Julius Randle and ever since then it’s always been my goal to guard the best player on the other team. I told myself if I can guard them then I can guard anyone in this conference.”
Carter also had his best season offensively in his Southern career as he averaged 9.8 points per game, which was good for third on the team behind Williams and Mallory. Carter credited his increase in scoring due to the work he put in during the offseason working on his shot.
The individual performances of Williams, Mallory, Carter and Wallace led the Owls to an overall 22-7 record. Next is the NCAA Tournament, with a possible spot for the Owls being announced in the coming weeks.
Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor