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Lou Henson Award

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Title: Lou Henson Award  
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Subject: Keith Benson, The Summit League Men's Basketball Player of the Year, Lou Henson Award, American South Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year, Lefty Driesell Award
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Lou Henson Award

Lou Henson Award
Awarded for Nation's top mid-major men's player in NCAA Division I basketball
Country United States
Presented by
First awarded 2010
Currently held by Langston Hall, Mercer
Official website Website

The Lou Henson Award is an award given annually by to the most outstanding mid-major men's college basketball player in NCAA Division I competition. The award, established in 2010, is named for legendary Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Lou Henson.[1] Henson, who also coached at Hardin-Simmons and New Mexico State, compiled 779 all-time wins.[1] He is in the top 10 of NCAA coaching wins in men's basketball history.


At the same time the Henson Award was established, also created the Lou Henson All-America Team, consisting of the 30 players that its selection committee deems to be the top Division I mid-major players. Unlike most other All-America teams in basketball and other sports, the Henson All-America Team is not divided into different grades (e.g., first team, second team, third team, honorable mention)—all players are treated equally as All-Americans.[1]

Starting with the 2011–12 season, the number of Henson All-Americans was reduced to 25. This coincided with the decision of to establish a Lute Olson All-America Team in conjunction with its Lute Olson Award for the top player who has played at least two years at his current school. The Olson All-America Team also has 25 members; unlike the Olson or Henson Awards, the team is open to all players regardless of their year of attendance or conference affiliation. Players on the Olson All-America team, even if they come from mid-major schools, are not eligible for the Henson Award.

Definitions of the term "mid-major" in the context of college basketball vary widely. For purposes of both the Henson All-America Team and Henson Award, has established its own definition of the term, which includes the following conferences, as well as any basketball independents (the only such school is currently NJIT):[2]

The list of eligible conferences has always excluded all conferences that sponsor FBS football except for the MAC and the Sun Belt. The Atlantic 10 Conference, which has not sponsored football at all since 2006, has also been excluded throughout the award's history.[3] Following major conference realignment that peaked in 2013, the WAC, which dropped football after the 2012 season, was added to the eligible list, while both offshoots of the original Big East Conference—the FBS American Athletic Conference and the new non-football Big East—were excluded from eligibility


Oakland's Keith Benson (left) is the award's inaugural winner in 2010.
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has been awarded the Lou Henson Award
Year Player School Position Class Reference
2009–10 Benson, KeithKeith Benson Oakland Center Junior [4]
2010–11 Howard, MattMatt Howard Butler Power forward Senior [5]
2011–12 O'Quinn, KyleKyle O'Quinn Norfolk State Power forward Senior [6]
2012–13 Dellavedova, MatthewMatthew Dellavedova Saint Mary's Point guard Senior
2013–14 Hall, LangstonLangston Hall Mercer Point guard Senior

Winners by school

School Winners Years
Butler 1 2011
Mercer 1 2014
Norfolk State 1 2012
Oakland 1 2010
Saint Mary's 1 2013


  • "Lou Henson National Player of the Year Award". 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  1. ^ a b c "Lou Henson Player of the Year Award". 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Men's Mid-Major Top 25". Retrieved April 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ " establishes the Lou Henson National Player of the Year Award" (Press release). January 27, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2011.  Note that this source lists the conferences whose players are eligible for the award.
  4. ^ "Benson Receives Lou Henson Award as Mid-Major Player of the Year".  
  5. ^ "Matt Howard wins the Lou Henson Award". 2 April 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "NSU's O'Quinn wins Lou Henson Award". Triangle Tribune. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 

External links

  • Official site
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