NACOGDOCHES, TX (News Release) - For the second time in as many seasons, a representative of the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team is among those listed on the Lou Hanson Preseason All-America Team. The Lou Henson Player of the Year Award committee unveiled a full checklist of names late Monday and one of them was that of SFA senior Thomas Walkup.
Since 2010, the Lou Henson Award has been presented annually to the top mid-major player in NCAA Division I men's basketball.
The award is named in honor of Henson who retired after a spectacular coaching career that lasted 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.
Walkup, a product of Pasadena, Texas, secured Lou Henson All-American honors and went on to be a finalist for the award at the conclusion of a 2014-15 campaign in which he played the leading role during another successful production of Lumberjack basketball.
No man on the 'Jacks' 2014-15 roster bettered Walkup's numbers in terms of points per game (15.6), rebounding (6.5 per game) and field goal percentage (.567). Those figures helped SFA roll to a 29-5 record, which included a 17-1 showing in Southland Conference showdowns. Fueled by Walkup's consistency, the 'Jacks obtained a second-straight berth to the NCAA Tournament where they fell in the second round to eventual Sweet 16 team Utah.
About to embark on his final voyage as a collegian, the defending Southland Conference Player of the Year, Southland Conference Tournament MVP and AP Honorable Mention All-American stands poised to etch his name permanently in SFA's history books in any number of statistical categories.
With two more points, Walkup (1,129 career points) will elevate himself into the listing of the top 20 scorers in program history. The senior is also on the cusp of re-shuffling the all-time leaders in rebounds (521), assists (242), and presently ranks ninth all-time in career field goal percentage (.558).
The Lumberjacks' season gets underway with an in-state fracas at the Ferrell Center as SFA locks horns with No. 21/22 ranked Baylor. Tip-off in Waco is slated for 8:30 p.m. on Friday night and the non-conference clash will be televised on FOX Sports Southwest Plus.