Robinson, Butler Make Top 50 List for Francis Award

Robinson, Butler Make Top 50 List for Francis Award.

   BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – West Liberty University’s 1-2 scoring punch of Pat Robinson III and Bryce Butler have been voted onto the Top 50 Watch List for the prestigious Clarence “Bevo” Francis Award.

   The Clarence “Bevo” Francis Award is presented annually to the most outstanding small-college basketball player in America by the Small College Basketball national website. A 16-member coaches’ committee compiled the Top 50 list of the nation’s elite small-college basketball standouts after a thorough review of more than 15,000 players at the 1,100 NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA Divisions I and II, USCAA and NCCAA colleges and universities.

   "Congratulations to all 50 players who made the Bevo Francis Watch List," Small College Basketball founder John McCarthy said. "Each of these players is in the midst of a tremendous season and has helped lead their teams to tremendous success. The selection process is incredibly tough as there are so many fantastic college basketball players. I’m very grateful to our National Awards Committee for their time and insight.”

   The two leading scorers on the nation’s highest-scoring NCAA Division II team, Robinson and Butler have led Coach Ben Howlett’s Hilltoppers to a No. 2 national ranking and a two-game lead in the Mountain East Conference standings.

   Robinson, a 6-3 junior guard from Chesterfield, N.J. who transferred to WLU after one season at Holy Family (Pa.), has hit double-figures in every game this season and has twice been honored as the MEC Player of the Week. He has scored over 2,000 points in his collegiate career with more than 1,500 of them coming on the hilltop.

   The silky-smooth southpaw not only leads WLU in scoring (20.3 ppg.), steals (84) and assists (51) this season, he ranks among the Top 30 nationally in Points, Points/Game, Steals, Steals/Game, Field Goals, Free Throws Made and Free Throws Attempted.

   Butler, a 6-5 guard from Latrobe, Pa., had hit double-figures in 23 of West Liberty’s 24 games this year while also charting a team-high 7 double-doubles as the team’s leading rebounder. He was the Feb. 7 MEC Player of the Week after pouring in a combined 45 points to lead the Black and Gold to wins against West Virginia State and Charleston.

   The second-leading scorer (17.4 ppg.) and leading rebounder (7.3 rpg.) on this year’s WLU squad, Butler also ranks near the top of the national charts in multiple categories including Field Goals Made (17th with 178) and Field Goal Percentage (22nd, 178-290, .614).

   The Bevo Francis National Awards Committee will announce its 25 semifinalists on March 15. The 2022 finalists will be revealed on April 2 with the sixth Bevo Francis Award winner being crowned on April 4.

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