Colonel senior Corey Walden is one of four Ohio Valley Conference men’s basketball players that have been named to the Lou Henson Award Watch list by CollegeInsider.com. The Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the Division I “Mid-Major” Player of the Year.
Along with Walden, the OVC selections included Southeast Missouri senior guard Jarekious Bradley, Belmont junior guard Craig Bradshaw and Murray State sophomore guard Cameron Payne. The group are among 40 players nationally nominated for the award.
Walden, the 2014 OVC Defensive Player of the Year and OVC Tournament MVP, led the conference in steals per game (2.2) and ranked 16th in the nation with a total of 76 thefts. He enters his senior season 85 steals away from breaking the EKU career record (221). He is 76 points away from becoming the 33rd player to score 1,000 points as a Colonel, and he will have done it in just three seasons.
Bradley was named to the Preseason All-OVC Team after being an All-OVC selection following his junior year with the Redhawks. He also earned All-Newcomer honors a season ago after averaging 19 points per game and knocking down 75 3-pointers in his first year with the Redhawks.
Bradshaw had a breakout season as a sophomore, going from a 2.2 points/game average his rookie season to averaging 15.7 points/game with increased playing time in 2013-14. Bradshaw also averaged 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists/game while knocking down nearly 40 percent of his 3-point attempts in leading the Bruins to its second-straight OVC regular season championship.
Payne, the OVC Preseason Player of the Year, is coming off a tremendous freshman season with the Racers, one that led to him earning OVC Freshman of the Year honors, while he scored 16.8 points per game. He was just the second freshman in MSU history to score 500 points in a season. Payne was the MVP of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) as he helped the Racers win the championship.
The award is named in honor of Henson who retired after a spectacular coaching career that lasted 41 years. When he left the game in 2005 he was sixth all-time in career Division I wins with 779. He is the winningest coach at both Illinois and New Mexico State. He is one of only 12 coaches in the history of the game to take two schools to the Final Four.
The 2015 recipient will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 3 in Indianapolis, site of the 2015 men’s NCAA Basketball Championship.