McCowan named SEC Player of the Year, Schaefer Coach of the Year

McCowan named SEC Player of the Year, Schaefer Coach of the Year
McCowan named SEC Player of the Year, Schaefer Coach of the Year. Source: Hail State Athletics

STARKVILLE, MS (WLBT) - Coaches and media across the Southeastern Conference have recognized the impressive season Teaira McCowan has put together as a part of Vic Schaefer’s SEC-champion women’s basketball team.

McCowan was named the league’s Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-SEC selection in the coaches’ voting. Schaefer earned his second consecutive SEC Coach of the Year award, sharing the honor with Matthew Mitchell of Kentucky. It is Schaefer’s third time winning the award in the last five seasons.

Anriel Howard was named First Team All-SEC along with McCowan. Jazzmun Holmes and McCowan each landed on the All-Defensive Team to give State a total of seven awards.

The Associated Press named Howard and McCowan to its First Team, with McCowan being the only unanimous selection on the ballot this year. McCowan also took home AP Player of the Year honors, and Schaefer won the media’s Coach of the Year award outright.

Schaefer’s squad became the first women’s team in MSU history to win back-to-back SEC regular-season titles and the first Bulldog team to do so since men’s golf accomplished the feat in the 1996 and 1997 campaigns.

State is the No. 5 team in the nation despite losing four seniors from each of the previous two seasons. Schaefer plugged in four new starters, then replaced one when Chloe Bibby was lost to a season-ending injury. Two of his starters are in their first year in his program.

Schaefer becomes just the fifth coach in SEC history to earn Coach of the Year honors three or more times in a career as voted on by the league’s coaches, joining Women’s Basketball Hall of Famers Pat Summitt, Van Chancellor, Joe Ciampi, Andy Landers and Dawn Staley

McCowan, who won last year’s inaugural Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award and shared the league’s defensive honor was selected to the All-Defensive team while collecting her second straight SEC Defensive Player of the Year award. She is the first MSU player to claim SEC Player of the Year honors as voted on by the league’s coaches since LaToya Thomas in 2003.

She led the SEC in rebounding at 13.4 rpg this season and was fifth in the league in scoring at 17.3 points per game. The Brenham, Texas, native has broken MSU’s career records for rebounds (1,404) and double-doubles (63) this year. She also holds State’s record with nine career SEC weekly honors. Her 65.4 percent field goal percentage is fifth in the nation.

Defensively, she is eighth nationally in blocks per game (2.4 bpg) and was second in the league in defensive rebounds (7.6 rpg). She totaled 25 steals and 71 blocks while averaging just 2.6 fouls per game.

Howard joined McCowan as a First Team selection. She finished ninth in the SEC in scoring (15.9 ppg) and fifth in rebounding (8.4 rpg), making her and McCowan the only teammates to rank among the top 10 in the conference in both scoring and rebounding. The Atlanta, Georgia, native recorded six games with 20 or more points this year and scored in double figures in 23 contests. She is sixth among active players nationally with 1,247 career rebounds.

Holmes rounded out the Bulldogs’ honorees, landing on the All-Defensive team with McCowan. She recorded a team-high 58 steals and ranked fifth in steals per game (2.0) while leading the league’s No. 2 scoring defense (57.0 ppg).

MSU holds the No. 1 seed in this week's SEC Tournament and will have a double-bye. The Bulldogs begin play on Friday, March 8 at 11 a.m. CT on SEC Network against the winner of the No. 8 Tennessee/No. 9 LSU game.

2019 SEC Coaches’ Awards

Co-Coaches of the Year: Matthew Mitchell, UK and Vic Schaefer, MSU

Player of the Year: Teaira McCowan, MSU

Freshman of the Year: Rhyne Howard, UK

Defensive Player of the Year: Teaira McCowan, MSU

6th Woman of the Year: Cierra Porter, MIZ

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Maci Morris, UK

All-SEC First Team

Sophie Cunningham, MIZ

Teaira McCowan, MSU

Chennedy Carter, TAMU

Caliya Robinson, UG

Anriel Howard, MSU

Rhyne Howard, UK

Ayana Mitchell, LSU

Maci Morris, UK

All-SEC Second Team

Tyasha Harris, SC

Chelsea Dungee, AR

Te'a Cooper, SC

Janiah McKay, AU

Rennia Davis, UT

Alexis Jennings, SC

Mariella Fasoula, VU

Crystal Allen, UM

All-Defensive Team

Taylor Murray, UK

Teaira McCowan, MSU

Caliya Robinson , UG

Janiah McKay, AU

Jazzmun Holmes, MSU

All-Freshman Team

Rhyne Howard, UK

Zaay Green, UT

Destanni Henderson, SC

Victaria Saxton, SC

Brinae Alexander, VU

Akira Levy, MIZ

Robyn Benton, AU

Blair Green, UK

2019 SEC Associated Press Awards

Coach of the Year: Vic Schaefer, MSU

Player of the Year: Teaira McCowan, MSU

Newcomer of the Year: Rhyne Howard, UK

All-SEC First Team

Chennedy Carter, TAMU

Sophie Cunningham, MIZ

Anriel Howard, MSU

Teaira McCowan, MSU (unanimous)

Caliya Robinson, Georgia

All-SEC Second Team

Rennia Davis, UT

Chelsea Dungee, AR

Tyasha Harris, SC

Rhyne Howard, UK

Maci Morris, UK

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