Saturday, January 16, 2016

Wright on watch list of 100 for Bevo Francis Award

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Morris Wright was announced Friday as one of 100 student-athletes on the first watch list for the inaugural Bevo Francis Award.

The award will be presented in April to the men's basketball player who has the finest overall season among small colleges in NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA Division I, NAIA Division II, the NCCAA and the USCAA.

Wright, a 5-foot-10 senior guard from Zachary, La., and a former Zachary High School and Baton Rouge Community College standout, ranks 20th in NAIA Division I through Thursday with 18.8 points per game. He ranks fifth in NAIA DI and first in Louisiana (all 4-year colleges) with 59 made 3-pointers. Wright is a two-time first-team All-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference selection and was the 2015-16 GCAC Preseason Player of the Year. He is the reigning GCAC Player of the Week and has won that award twice this season.

The watch list will be pared to 50 players Feb. 15 and to 25 players March 15. Finalists will be announced April 1.

The award is named for Clarence "Bevo" Francis, a 6-foot-9 center who was a prolific scorer for Ohio's Rio Grande College (now the University of Rio Grande) more than 60 years ago. Francis averaged 46.5 per points per game — still the NCAA all-division season record — in 1953-54. Francis also holds scoring records in the NAIA. Francis died in June at age 82.

The website is the sponsor of the Bevo Francis Award.

Xavier, 14-5 and ranked 14th in NAIA DI, will play No. 8 Talladega in a GCAC game at 5 p.m. Saturday at Talladega, Ala. The next Gold Rush home game will start at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Convocation Center against the GCAC's Tougaloo.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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