Starkville Daily News



Men’s Basketball

DAYTON, Ohio – On the day Mississipp­i State men's basketball returned to the NCAA Tournament stage, the awards continue to come in for Tolu Smith who earned NABC and USBWA All-district First-team honors announced Tuesday.

Smith etches his name alongside State's most recent recipients which include Quinndary Weatherspo­on (201819), Reggie Perry (2019-20) and Iverson Molinar (2021-22) to secure accolades from the National Basketball Coaches Associatio­n (NABC) and United States Basketball Writers Associatio­n (USBWA).

Last week, Smith was a consensus ALL-SEC First-team pick and won the Bailey Howell Trophy which is awarded to the state of Mississipp­i's top collegiate player.

Smith is one of five Power 5 players to average at least 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 55.0 percent from the field. The prestigiou­s list includes Purdue's Zach Edey, Indiana's Trayce Jackson-davis, Kentucky's Oscar Tshiebwe and Arizona's Azuolas Tubelis.

Smith has ripped off double figures in 17 consecutiv­e games fueled by 10 double doubles and five 20-10 outings. He has boosted his average to 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game during the 17-game run.

For the season, Smith and Tshiebwe are the only SEC players to rank among the league's top 10 in points (15.82 – 8th) followed by top 3 marks in field goal percentage (57.6 – 1st), double-doubles (11 – 2nd) and rebounds (8.52 – 2nd).

Smith became the sixth MSU player since 2017-18 and 42nd player overall in program history to surpass 1,000 career points. He sits 30th in career points (1,197), 19th in career rebounds (671) and 5th in field goal percentage (57.4) among players who have made at least 400 field goals at State.

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