November 13, 2016
While the Howell Trophy might be wide open, that is not the case with the Gillom Trophy. Can anyone wrestle the trophy away from http://hailstate.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3826">Mississippi State University Guard Victoria Vivians?
The last two years have seen Vivians walk away with the award for best women’s player in the state of Mississippi. She is without a doubt the best player in the state and deserving of the award, and any other women’s player who wants to win it will have earned it if they best Vivians.
The MSU guard wasted no time in following up her incredible high-school career with a great start to her college one. As a freshman, she averaged 14 points per game, which was the best scoring output for any SEC freshman.
Vivians won the Gillom as a freshman and was the favorite to win it last year. She followed up a successful freshman season by averaging 17.1 points per game. It has hardly http://www.csopavoting.com/gillom">a surprise when she won the award for a second year in a row.
Now a junior, it seems Vivians is the frontrunner to take home a third Gillom Trophy. She is a http://hailstate.com/news/2016/11/3/womens-basketball-sec-coaches-tab-msu-second-vivians-dillingham-william-earn-all-sec-honors.aspx">preseason first-team All-SEC and leads a strong MSU that is nationally ranked and picked to finish second in the conference behind South Carolina.
Shandricka Sessom is the http://www.csopavoting.com/gillom">only other finalist for the Gillom to return this season. The University of Mississippi star had a breakout season as a sophomore.
Sessom should continue getting better this season and be even more of a scoring threat. To learn more about her, check out the http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/nov/10/shandricka-sessom/">Thursday, Nov. 10, Jackson Free Press Person of the Day.
Jackson State returns last season’s leading scorer http://themississippilink.com/2016/10/13/jsus-wiggins-named-to-all-swac-second-team/">Derica Wiggins, who averaged 12.2 points per game.
Coaches named her to http://www.swac.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27400&ATCLID=211222096">second-team All-SWAC in the preseason. She will be expected to help JSU exceed its sixth place pick in SWAC.
Mississippi Valley State University boasts two potential Gillom winners: Ashley Beals and Christina Reed, who were http://www.swac.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27400&ATCLID=211222096">both named to preseason All-SWAC teams.
Reed earned first-team All-SWAC honors after http://mvsusports.com/cumestats.aspx?path=wbball&year=2015&">averaging 16.5 points per game last season. Beals earned second-team All-SWAC recognition for http://mvsusports.com/cumestats.aspx?path=wbball&year=2015&">averaging 15.5 points a game that year.
Both Delta Devils might steal votes from the other by being teammates. Leading MVSU to the top of the SWAC after being picked to finish in ninth place would catch the eye of the voters.
Alcorn State University will turn to forward/center Henrietta Wells as its favorite to win the Gillom. Wells was named http://www.swac.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27400&ATCLID=211222096">SWAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the preseason.
She doesn’t score a ton, averaging just five points, but she pounds the glass for 5.3 rebounds per game. Wells is the Braves’ http://www.alcornsports.com/news/2016/10/12/womens-basketball-wells-tabbed-preseason-all-swac-first-team-co-defensive-player-of-the-year.aspx">rim protector, averaging 2.9 blocks per outing. She earned first-team All-SWAC honors for her defensive work in the preseason.
Vivians is the favorite, but any one of the women list here could upset her and win the Gillom. Or the trophy a woman not listed here could come out of nowhere and be the 2016-2017 Gillom Trophy winner.
One thing is for certain: This season features a deep pool of talented women’s basketball players. It could be a historic run for the Gillom Trophy with all the talent currently in women’s basketball.