PIKEVILLE – University of Pikeville senior men’s basketball player Macari Brooks was named to the 2015-16 Bevo Francis Award Watch List, according to a press release by SmallCollegeBasketball.com.
The initial list of 100 players will be dwindled down to 50 on Feb. 15, then down to 25 on March 15. On April 1, Small College Basketball will release a video of the finalists with the Bevo Francis Award to be presented in person shortly thereafter.
As of Jan. 17, Brooks is leading UPIKE at 15.6 points per game, along with 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists per contest. The Chicago native had started all 19 games, leading the Bears to an 18-1 record and No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Coaches’ Top-25 Poll.
Brooks was an NAIA All-American Honorable Mention choice last season and is currently just 164 points shy of reaching 1,000 career points.
The Bevo Francis Award will be presented annually to the player who has had the finest overall season within small college men’s basketball. Considerations will include season statistics, individual achievements, awards, personal character and team achievements. The award will be given to just one player within all of small college hoops, which includes NCAA Div. II and III, NAIA Div. I and II, USCAA and NCCAA levels.
Francis played at Rio Grande (Ohio) in 1952-53 and 1953-54. When he arrived on campus, the school had 38 male students enrolled in the school and was on the verge of bankruptcy, planning to close its doors at the end of the 1952-53 academic year. In the season before Bevo arrived at Rio Grande, the Red Storm had finished 4-19.
During his two seasons, Francis arguably became the most popular basketball player in the world and ultimately helped save the school from bankruptcy. During his first season, Rio Grande went 39-0 and Francis scored 1,954 points, averaging 50.1 per game. Against Ashland (Ky.), Francis scored 116 points, which included 55 in the final 10 minutes of the game.