Thursday, March 10, 2011

Liberty's Warley, Radford's Ngongba earn Big South honors

We thought Liberty star Avery Warley should have been the Big South Player of the Year. But there was no doubt about her claiming Defensive Player of the Year honors, and the conference made it official Thursday night at High Point on the eve of the Big South Tournament.

Warley anchored the Big South's No. 1 defense, snatching a conference-best 10.7 rebounds a game while becoming just the fourth Liberty player to block 100 career shots.

Tajama Ngongba
There also shouldn't be much debate about Big South Coach of the Year. Radford's Tajama Abraham Ngongba  guided the Highlanders from 6 wins all of 2009-10 to 14 victories this season - including their first at Liberty since 1996 - and the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.

Charleston Southern's Katie Tull, the Big South's scoring leader and the Division I leader in 3-pointers per game, edged Warley for Big South Player of the Year honors. Interestingly, Warley finished with more first-place votes (5-4), but Tull had the edge in overall voting point total.

Along with Tull, Warley was joined on the All-Big South first team by teammate Devon Brown - both are two-time first-team selections, Radford's Da'Naria Erwin Spencer and Gardner-Webb's Dominique Hudson.

Liberty's Emily Frazier made the All-Freshman team; the Lady Flames' Rachel McLeod and Radford's Kaylyn Crosier were tabbed Academic All-Conference.

Click here for the complete list of All-Big South award winners.


  1. I totally disagree with your opinion concerning Tull not deserving to be Player of the Year. There are many things that Katie did for her team that stats are not even kept on, such as the number of charges she drew throughout the year, which easily might have been tops in the conference had such a stat been kept. Warley is a good player, but Tull deserved what she got.

  2. No disrespect intended to Katie, who clearly had an outstanding season. And I'm sure she did contribute in ways that don't show up in the box score, although most good players do so as well. My thinking was that Avery was the only player in the Big south to average a double-double and grabbed nearly 13 rebounds a game in league play. Shot a league-best 62.7 percent from the field. And her team finished first, which is the point of the whole exercise. Charleston Southern finished fifth. I guess I'm just surprised; I didn't even think it was close. So I had my say. But I'm not going to picket the Big South offices. Because you're right, Katie's a terrific player.