2018 Lou Henson Award

April 2, 2018


SAN ANTONIO, TX -- Loyola’s Clayton Custer is the recipient of the 2018 Lou Henson National Player of the Year award.
The 6-foot-1 junior really emerged in his second season with the Ramblers. The former Iowa State transfer led the team in a number of offensive categories, including scoring (13.2 ppg), three-point percentage (.451), assists (135) and steals (50). 
He also ranked among the Top 10 in the Missouri Valley Conference in those four categories as well as field goal percentage (.544), free throw percentage (.806) and three-point field goals made per game (1.9).  
“Clayton Custer was robbed, not being named to the preseason All-Missouri Valley Conference team,” said’s Angela Lento. “His importance to the team’s success this season extended well beyond the box score. The Ramblers were a different team with him on the floor.”
Loyola was 2-3 when Custer was sidelined with an ankle injury at midseason. After his return the team went 22-1 before falling to Michigan in the national semifinals. 
Custer became the first Loyola player to be named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year and he helped lead the Ramblers to the Final Four for just the second time in school history.

The Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the nation's top Division I mid-major player.

Lou Henson coached 41 years. When he left the game in 2005 he was sixth all-time in career Division I wins with 779. He is the winningest coach at both Illinois and New Mexico State. He is one of only 12 coaches in the history of the game to take two schools to the Final Four.


Trae Bell-Haynes 6-2 Sr. Vermont
Bogdan Bliznyuk 6-6 Sr. Eastern Washington
Desonta Bradford 6-4 Sr. ETSU
Keith Braxton 6-4 So. Saint Francis PA
Tookie Brown 5-11 Jr. Georgia Southern
Joe Chealey 6-4 Sr. Charleston
Chris Clemons 5-9 Jr. Campbell
Clayton Custer 6-1 Jr. Loyola Chicago
Mike Daum 6-9 Jr. South Dakota State
Tre-Shaun Fletcher 6-7 Sr. Toledo
Blake Francis 6-0 So. Wagner
Jerrick Harding 6-1 So. Weber State
Brandon Goodwin 6-2 Sr. FGCU
Max Heidegger 6-2 So. UC Santa Barbara
Kevin Hervey 6-9 Sr. UT Arlington
Jordan Howard 5-11 Sr. Central Arkansas
John Konchar 6-5 Jr. Fort Wayne
Nathan Knight 6-10 So. William & Mary
Jock Landale 6-11 Sr. Saint Mary's
Zach Lofton 6-4 Sr. New Mexico State
Jairus Lyles 6-2 Sr. UMBC
Fletcher Magee 6-4 Jr.. Wofford
CJ Massinburg 6-3 Jr. Buffalo
Garrison Mathews 6-5 Jr. Lipscomb
Drew McDonald 6-7 Jr. Northern Kentucky
Matt Mooney 6-3 Jr. South Dakota
Matt Morgan 6-2 Jr. Cornell
Kendrick Nunn 6-3 Sr. Oakland
Vasa Pusica 6-5 Jr. Northeastern
Grant Riller 6-3 So. Charleston
Junior Robinson 5-5 Sr. Mount St. Mary's
Devin Sibley 6-2 Sr. Furman
D'Marcus Simonds 6-3 So. Georgia State
Andre Spight 6-3 Sr. Northern Colorado
Jonathan Stark 6-0 Sr. Murray State
Zach Thomas 6-7 Sr. Bucknell
James Thompson IV 6-10 Jr. Eastern Michigan
Seth Towns 6-7 So. Harvard
Reed Timmer 6-1 Sr. Drake
Bryce Washington 6-6 Sr. Louisiana


The Lou Henson National Player of the Year Award, which is presented annually to the top mid-major player in division I college basketball, honors the former Illinois and New Mexico State head coach who won 775 games in 41 seasons.
Henson is the winningest coach in Illinois basketball history with 423 victories. During his 21 seasons (1975-1996), Henson led the Fighting Illini to 16 postseason appearances, including 12 NCAA tournaments and a Final Four appearance in 1989.
Henson, who is also the all-time winningest coach in New Mexico State history with 289 victories, is one of only 11 coaches to take two different schools to the NCAA Final Four. His teams have made 19 NCAA appearances and four NIT appearances.
Players on teams from the following conferences are eligible for the award: America East, ASUN, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Coastal Athletic, CUSA, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, SWAC, Summit, Sun Belt, WAC, West Coast.
The recipient of the 2023-24 award will be announced in April, in Phoenix, AZ site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.

The Lou Henson award is presented annually to the top division I mid-major player as voted on by the award committee.

Eligible players must in the following conferences or leagues: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast and Western Athletic.

The 10-member voting committee consists of current and former head coaches, as well as two senior staff members of
The award is presented annually at the site of the men's Division I NCAA basketball championship. 
NOTE: The basis for mid-major designation is based on the criteria established by the Mid-Major Top 25 ® which was created by and is a registered trademark.

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