Sharp named finalist for Lou Henson Player of the Year Award

A day after the Southland Conference Tournament championship game, the honors continue to roll in for Northwestern State point guard DeMarcus Sharp.

Sharp, the Southland Conference’s Player and Newcomer of the Year, was named a finalist for the Lou Henson Award, given to the top mid-major player in Division I men’s basketball.

A senior guard from Charleston, Missouri, Sharp capped his first Northwestern State season with a 32-point, seven-assist performance in the Demons’ 75-71 tournament title-game loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday afternoon. That was part of a two-game tournament run in which Sharp averaged 31.5 points and eight assists per game, giving him his second set of back-to-back, 30-point performances of the season.

His first set of consecutive 30-plus performances at Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 1 and against Southern Miss on Dec. 4 earned him Lou Henson National Player of the Week honors from as well as Mid-Major Madness National Player of the Week acclaim.

Sharp helped lead the Demons to a 13-win improvement and their most wins in a season since 2012-13 as well as the most Southland Conference wins in a season for the program since 2014-15. He holds three top-20 statistical marks nationally – field goal attempts (544, 5th), field goals (251, 9th) and points (644, 16th).

Those marks are among the nine national top-100 numbers produced by the 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard.

His 644 total points rank fourth in school single-season history and his 40-point performance in a Feb. 25 loss at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was NSU’s first 40-pointer since Billy Reynolds dropped 42 on Lamar on Dec. 4, 1976.

Sharp finished his first season as a Demon leading the team in scoring, assists (165), steals (64) and blocks (26) while ranking second on the team in rebounding (5.0 per game) and third in free throw shooting (80.7 percent).

The winner of the Lou Henson Award, which is named for the longtime coach at Illinois and New Mexico State who won 775 games in 41 seasons, will be presented later this month in Houston, site of the men’s NCAA Final Four.