Cortez Edwards named finalist for C Spire Howell Trophy
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss junior Cortez Edwards has received statewide distinction as a finalist for the C Spire Howell Trophy, presented annually to the best men's basketball player in Mississippi.
The junior from Kissimmee, Fla., is the first Golden Eagle on the ballot since Chip Armelin in 2015, and joins Quinndary and Nick Weatherspoon of Mississippi State as finalists.
Edwards had four double-doubles in league play, with the Golden Eagles winning all of them. Three were points-rebounds, and another was points-assists. His 63 overall steals are one away from tying the school’s single-season record, and he has improved his free-throw percentage nine points from last year to register a 76.5 percent mark. He leads the team in scoring (15.4 ppg), rebounding (6.4 ppg) and steals.
Edwards also recorded six steals against Rice, the most by a Golden Eagle since 2012, and he is one of two in C-USA to average 36 minutes/game in league play the last two years. As a team, Southern Miss has its most wins since the 2012 season and currently rank No. 5 nationally for fewest turnovers per game. The squad's 44.4 percent field goal shooting is its highest of the past four years.
The winners will be selected through a combination of another round of media votes and a fan vote conducted by C Spire. Fans may vote for their favorite players by going to www.csopavoting.com from Monday, Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. CST through Saturday, March 3 at 5 p.m. CST. Each fan may vote up to three times daily – via Twitter, by text and through Facebook. The fan vote counts for 10 percent of the final total and has helped decide the winner several times in recent years.
The Howell Trophy presented by C Spire is named after Bailey Howell, a two-time All American at Mississippi State University and a six-time NBA All-Star who played on Boston Celtics world championship teams in 1968 and 1969. Howell, a 1977 inductee to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and the first male Mississippi player inducted in the National Basketball Hall of Fame, still holds nearly a dozen season and career records at Mississippi State University.
2018 marks the 23rd anniversary of the Outstanding Player Awards presentation. C Spire has served as title sponsor for 21 of those years since 1998. The Conerly Trophy in college football, the Howell Trophy in men’s college basketball, the Gillom Trophy in women’s college basketball and the Ferriss Trophy in college baseball comprise the four elements of the C Spire Outstanding Player Award series.
Tickets starting at $40 each are on sale for the March 5 awards luncheon at MSHOF offices and online. For more information, call 601.982.8264. Former NBA star Maurice “Mo” Williams, a Jackson native, Murrah High star and University of Alabama alumnus, will be the featured guest speaker.