Courtesy of sportswriters.net
Caleb Johnson of Berry College (Mount Berry, Ga.) and Kelly Williams of Randolph-Macon College (Ashland, Va.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending February 25.
Johnson, a 6-3 senior forward from Alabaster, Ala., led 8th-seeded Berry (11-17) to an improbable Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Tournament title and its first-ever NCAA Division III Tournament appearance. He averaged 28.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.0 blocks as the Vikings defeated three opponents in three days. Against top-seeded Centre on Friday, Johnson played all 40 minutes and totaled 21 points, three rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block as Berry defeated the Colonels for the first time in program history, 97-93. On Saturday, he had 20 points, seven rebounds, an assist, steal and block in a 95-76 win over Birmingham-Southern. Then, in the SAA Championship Game on Sunday, Johnson again played all 40 minutes and set a school record with 45 points (14-of-20 FG, 15-of-16 FT, 2-of-4 3FG) while adding eight rebounds, one assist, two steals, and a block in the title-clinching 88-78 victory over Hendrix. For the week, he shot 55.3 percent (26-of-47) from the field, 76.3 percent (29-of-38) from the line and 50 percent (5-of-10) from three-point range. For his efforts, Johnson was also named the SAA Tournament MVP.
Williams, a 6-3 sophomore forward from Garysburg, Va., wins the award for the fourth time this season. She averaged 26.3 points, 20.0 rebounds, 4.0 blocks, 1.3 assists, and 0.6 steals as the Yellow Jackets won their three Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament games and earned a berth in the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament. On Thursday, Williams scored 19 points (8-of-14 FG, 3-of-8 FT), collected 24 rebounds, had five blocks, and a steal in Randolph-Macon’s 76-59 win over Bridgewater. She then played all 40 minutes in Saturday’s 65-62 victory over Virginia Wesleyan, totaling 29 points (7-of-13 FG, 15-of-23 FT), 16 rebounds, five blocks, and two assists. In Sunday’s 72-68 title-clinching win over top-seeded Emory & Henry, Williams again played all 40 minutes and finished with 31 points (10-of-19 FG, 11-of-14 FT), 20 rebounds, two blocks, two assists, and a steal. For the week, she shot 54.3 percent (25-of-46) from the field and 64.4 percent (29-of-45) from the foul line. Williams, who set ODAC Tournament records with 79 points and 60 rebounds, was also named Tournament Most Outstanding Player and ODAC Player of the Year. She currently leads NCAA Division III in scoring (25.9), rebounding (18.3) and double-doubles (26).
Each Tuesday, the USBWA has selected men’s and women’s Division III National Players of the Week. This is the final selection of the fourth season in which the USBWA has recognized national players of the week from Division III.