HOUSTON, TX (News Release) - Stephen F. Austin's Thomas Walkup is the recipient of the 2016 Lou Henson National Player of the Year award, which is presented annually to the nation's top mid-major player.
For the season, Walkup averaged 18.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists. Ranking among the top five in no fewer than seven statistical categories in the Southland Conference, Walkup also established new SFA single-season records in points (615), field goals made (217), free throws made (171) and steals (71).
The 6-foot-4 senior helped the 'Jacks to 28-6 record which included an 18-0 record in Southland Conference play as well as the most lopsided 14-seed over three-seed upset in NCAA Tournament history.
In the first round win over West Virginia, Walkup scored 33 points for the 14th-seeded 'Jacks in their 70-56 win over No. 8-ranked West Virginia, pushing SFA forward into the round of 32 for just the second time in program history.
Earlier this season he registered SFA's first triple-double in 43 seasons in an 84-58 win at Incarnate Word. He scored 12 points and added career-highs in rebounds (15) and assists (10) in just 28 minutes of work. He ended his career as the program's all-time leading scorer (1,744 points) and rebounder (754) as well as having the most field goals made (633) and most wins in a career (116).
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.