MSU players recognized All-SEC
It's not easy to be a successful student-athlete. They have to balance practice with class schedule and study time around road trips. That doesn't include trying to find moments to eat and sleep.
Former Starkville High School player Blair Schaefer has successfully navigated her life in that area as a member of the undefeated Mississippi State women's basketball team.
On Tuesday, Schaefer's efforts were rewarded as the Southeastern Conference coaches selected her as Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year.
It's an award that brings a smile to her face because she takes school work very seriously.
“Academics is something that I really try to focus on whether it was in high school or college,” Schaefer said. “I really take pride in having good grades. It's really just staying tough through it all. (With) away games and the grind of basketball, to come out with such a great honor for GPA is special to me.”
Schaefer is a threetime SEC Community Service Team member and she compiled a 3.63 grade point average in biological sciences with a minor in communication.
Other Bulldogs to receive All-SEC awards on Tuesday were Victoria Vivians and Teaira McCowan on the first and second team as selected by league coaches and The Associated Press. Morgan William made the coaches' second team All-SEC.
Conference coaches also awarded McCowan Co-Defensive Player of the Year and placed her on the All-Defensive Team, Schaefer also made the coaches' All-Defensive Team.
The eight honors for Mississippi State were the most among league teams.
“I'm proud of the kids because I know how hard they have worked and that the league coaches and AP have acknowledged them,” MSU women's head coach Vic Schaefer said. “The kids are very deserving.”
This is the fourth-straight year for Vivians to earn All-SEC and becomes the third State player to accomplish that feat. It's the thirdstraight time for her to make the first team.
Vivians leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 19.7 points per game and that average ranks third in the SEC, while McCowan is a close second at State with 18.7 points per outing. McCowan averages a double-double this season by adding 13.5 boards per contest.
Along with setting MSU's singleseason rebounding record with 405 boards, McCowan has 59 blocked shots and stands fifth in the SEC with two blocks per game.
This is the second-straight season for William to be a second-team All-SEC player. She is second in the conference with 4.7 assists per game and is No. 2 in the nation in assist/turnover ratio at 4.2.
“Her role on the team has changed with so many weapons,” coach Schaefer said. “She is still No. 2 in the country in assist to turnover ratio, but the most important stat next to her name is the W. I'm happy for her.”
Blair Schaefer has been known for her defense as a Lady Yellowjacket and a Bulldog. She is the MSU leaders in charges taken with 22.
“I couldn't take charges unless I had trust in my teammates,” Blair said. It's a complete team effort.”