BALDWIN CITY, Kan. - Lincoln Memorial senior forward Emanuel Terry (pictured) has been christened as the winner of the prestigious 2018 Bevo Francis Award, it was announced by Small College Basketball officials on Monday night, April 2.
The Clarence "Bevo" Francis Award is presented annually to the player who has had the finest overall season within Small College Basketball, which includes all of the NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA Division I, NAIA Division II, USCAA and the NCCAA. Terry, who was chosen by a committee selecting from a pool of over 1,100 colleges and universities across the nation, is the third-ever winner of the Bevo Francis Award, following in the footsteps of Davenport's Dominez Burnett and Northwest Missouri State's Justin Pitts. The committee bases their selection on a combination of individual statistics, awards, milestones, team success and personal character. Emanuel Terry was just incredibly impressive and dominant on both ends of the court for Lincoln Memorial," said SCB Founder John McCarthy. "He helped lead a very talented Railsplitter team to a dominating 32-2 season that led NCAA Division II in field goal percentage defense and field goal percentage offense and average margin of victory. "You'll hear and read about the statistics, awards, milestones and records broken, which are all impressive. Additionally, his total impact on winning is practically immeasurable. As a human being, Emanuel is incredibly kind-hearted and empathetic. We are tremendously proud to present Emanuel Terry with the 2018 Bevo Francis Award." Winning the Bevo Francis Award puts a bow on arguably the most decorated individual season in program history. Terry was also the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year, the inaugural SAC Defensive Player of the Year, the D2CCA Southeast Region Player of the Year and an All-American honoree from the NABC, the D2CCA, the Basketball Times and Division II Bulletin. In addition to that, he was a member of the SAC and Southeast Region All-Tournament teams and an All-Southeast Region first team pick by D2CCA and the NABC. "I am thrilled for Emanuel to be honored with this incredibly prestigious award," said LMU head coach Josh Schertz. "I think it's totally appropriate, well deserved and it's great to see someone recognized for their impact on winning and not just their statistics." The Railsplitters did nothing but win during Terry's tenure. Since his arrival on campus prior to the 2014-15 campaign, Lincoln Memorial has compiled a remarkable 126-14 overall record with four straight SAC regular-season titles, two SAC tournament titles, four 30-win seasons, four NCAA tournament appearances, two Southeast Region titles and two trips to the national semifinals, including an appearance in the 2016 national championship game. Lincoln Memorial finished three of Terry's four seasons ranked No. 1 nationally and hosted the Southeast Regional thrice. This season, the Enterprise, Ala. native piled up 16.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game while shooting 71.1 percent from the floor, good for the second-best mark in the country. He also shot 70 percent from the free-thrown line and led the SAC with 16 double-doubles in 31 appearances. He scored at least 20 points 12 times, snagged at least 12 rebounds 11 times and recorded at least three blocks 13 times. The Railsplitters finished 32-2, won their sixth straight SAC regular-season title and fourth SAC tournament title, made their eight consecutive NCAA tournament appearance and advanced to the Southeast Regional title game for the third year in a row. Lincoln Memorial ended the year ranked No. 1 in the nation and reeled off 21 consecutive wins at one point. LMU also went a perfect 20-0 in SAC play. "We had a unique team this year in that we led the country in both field goal percentage offense and defense and no one had more to do with that than Emanuel," Schertz said. "He was remarkably efficient on the offensive end while defensively he was our fulcrum. He was able to combine being the nation's best rim protector along with its most versatile defender as he routinely and very capably guarded all five positions for us." Terry finishes his career with 1,157 career points, 854 career rebounds and a program-record 228 blocks. He is the program's all-time leader in career field-goal percentage with a ridiculous 70.4 percent mark. He is the only player in program history with over 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 200 blocks. "To see him grow from a role player as a freshman into the National Player of the Year as a senior is what college athletics is all about and it's a testament to the incredibly hard and productive work he and our assistant coaches have put in over the years," Schertz said. Terry will be remembered as one of the most physically gifted athletes to ever grace the Tex Turner Arena floor. His signature dunking ability landed him on the No. 1 spot on Sportscenter Top 10 earlier in the season, made him a fan favorite and a candidate for the Dark Horse Dunker competition. "I will close by saying the most impressive thing about Emanuel to me is that from his arrival on campus as a timid freshman four years ago to being National Player of the Year as a senior, who he is hasn't changed one bit," Schertz said. "He's still the same respectful, humble person with a heart of gold that he was when we signed him, and that's very hard to do when you've had as much success as he has. We know he will continue to represent both himself and LMU in a first-class manner at the next level and look forward to sharing in his many successes to come." Terry will be presented with the Bevo Francis Award on May 19 at the newly created National Awards Show in conjunction with the SCB Alumni Association's Celebration of the Game event at the Crowne Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught