Lou Henson Award

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Lou Henson Award
Given forNation's top mid-major men's player in NCAA Division I basketball
CountryUnited States
Presented byCollegeinsider.com
First award2010
Most recentFletcher Magee, Wofford

The Lou Henson Award is an award given annually by CollegeInsider.com 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, CollegeInsider.com 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 CollegeInsider.com 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, this team is open to all players regardless of their year of attendance or conference affiliation. The number of Henson All-Americans returned to 30 for the 2013–14 season and has remained at that number ever since (with the possibility of additional members should there be a tie in voting). From 2011–12 through 2015–16, players on the Olson All-America team, even if they came from mid-major schools, were not eligible for the Henson Award.

The above policy was modified for 2016–17, although CollegeInsider.com did not publicly announce all details. For the first time since the establishment of the Olson All-America team, members of that team were eligible for selection as Henson All-Americans. In that season, three players from Henson-eligible conferences—Alec Peters of Valparaiso, Justin Robinson of Monmouth, and Nigel Williams-Goss of Gonzaga—were selected to the Olson team.[2] When the Henson team was announced, Peters and Robinson (who ultimately won the Henson Award) were on that team, but Williams-Goss was missing—despite the Henson team including another player from Gonzaga's home of the West Coast Conference (specifically Jock Landale of Saint Mary's).[3] Williams-Goss was a consensus second-team All-American that season.

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, CollegeInsider.com has established its own definition of the term, which includes members of the following conferences, as well as any basketball independents (there have been none since NJIT joined the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2015):[4]

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.[5] 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 current 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 Keith Benson Oakland C Junior [6]
2010–11 Matt Howard Butler PF Senior [7]
2011–12 Kyle O'Quinn Norfolk State PF Senior [8]
2012–13 Matthew Dellavedova Saint Mary's PG Senior
2013–14 Langston Hall Mercer PG Senior
2014–15 Ty Greene USC Upstate PG Senior [9]
2015–16 Thomas Walkup Stephen F. Austin SG Senior [10]
2016–17 Justin Robinson Monmouth PG Senior [11]
2017–18 Clayton Custer Loyola (Illinois) PG Junior [12]
2018–19 Fletcher Magee Wofford SG Senior [13]

Winners by school[edit]

School Winners Years
Butler 1 2011
Loyola (Illinois) 1 2018
Mercer 1 2014
Monmouth 1 2017
Norfolk State 1 2012
Oakland 1 2010
Saint Mary's 1 2013
Stephen F. Austin 1 2016
USC Upstate 1 2015
Wofford 1 2019

Players from eligible conferences ineligible for the award[edit]

From the 2011–12 season, when the Olson All-America Team was established, through the 2015–16 season, players named to that team were ineligible for the Henson Award, even if they played at eligible schools. The following players were ineligible for the Henson Award due solely to being named to the Olson All-America Team. Individuals in bold were consensus first- or second-team All-Americans in the same season.



  • "Lou Henson National Player of the Year Award". CollegeInsider.com. 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  1. ^ a b c "Lou Henson Player of the Year Award". CollegeInsider.com. 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  2. ^ "The Lute Olson Award" (Press release). CollegeInsider.com. April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Lou Henson Award" (Press release). CollegeInsider.com. April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  4. ^ "Men's Mid-Major Top 25". Collegeinsider.com. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  5. ^ "CollegeInsider.com establishes the Lou Henson National Player of the Year Award" (Press release). CollegeInsider.com. January 27, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2011. Note that this source lists the conferences whose players are eligible for the award.
  6. ^ "Benson Receives Lou Henson Award as Mid-Major Player of the Year". The Summit League. 2 April 2010. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  7. ^ "Matt Howard wins the Lou Henson Award". CollegeInsider.com. 2 April 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  8. ^ "NSU's O'Quinn wins Lou Henson Award". Triangle Tribune. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Ty Greene named mid-major player of the year". Knoxville News-Sentinel. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Walkup Tabbed as 2016 Lou Henson Player of the Year" (Press release). Stephen F. Austin Athletics. April 5, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  11. ^ "Monmouth's Justin Robinson named Lou Henson national Player of the Year" (Press release). Monmouth Hawks. April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  12. ^ "Clayton Custer Named Recipient Of The Lou Henson Award" (Press release). Loyola Ramblers. April 2, 2018. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  13. ^ "Magee named Lou Henson Player of the Year" (Press release). Wofford Terriers. April 5, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  14. ^ "D.J. Cooper Named to Lute Olson All-America Team" (Press release). Ohio Bobcats. March 26, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  15. ^ "Ian Clark Named to Lute Olson All-America Team" (Press release). Belmont Bruins. March 26, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  16. ^ "Stauskas Adds to Honors, Named to Lute Olson All-America Team" (Press release). Michigan Wolverines. March 28, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  17. ^ "MBB: Baker, VanVleet Named Olson Award Finalists" (Press release). Wichita State Shockers. March 30, 2015. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  18. ^ "2016 Lou Henson Award" (Press release). CollegeInsider.com. April 4, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2017.

External links[edit]