Winthrop Eagles Men’s Basketball takes Big South top honors: Kelsey, Coach of the Year; Vaudrin, Player of the Year

Pat Kelsey
Chandler Vaudrin

Rock Hill, S.C. – Winthrop’s Pat Kelsey was named the Big South Conference Coach of the Year while Chandler Vaudrin was voted the Big South Conference Player of the Year as the league office announced the annual men’s basketball awards Friday afternoon. The Eagles garnered a total of six honors.
Kelsey guided the Eagles to a 20-1 overall record and 17-1 league mark. The team got off to a 16-0 start and even broke a school record with a 21-game win streak dating back to the 2019-20 season. It is the 5th time under Kelsey the Eagles have won 20 or more games in a single-season.
Winthrop had three all-conference selections as Chandler was voted to the All-Big South First Team while D.J. Burns Jr. and Charles Falden were named All-Big South honorable mention. Kyle Zunic was named to the Big South All-Academic Team for a second straight year.
Vaudrin is the third player under Kelsey to earn player of the year honors and fifth in program history. The senior guard leads the team in points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game and steals per game. His 6.7 apg average leads the Big South and his 141 total assists on the year rank in the Winthrop Top 10 single-season. He was named the conference player of the week three times this season. He entered the season as the NCAA men’s basketball active leader in triple doubles and added two more to his resume this season (at USC Upstate and at home against Campbell). Vaudrin was a second team selection in 2019-20.
Burns Jr. averaged 9.6 ppg, 3.2 rebounds and shot 56 percent from the floor. Burns Jr. started 20-of-21 games and had nine games in double-figures including a career-high 22 points on Feb. 18 in a road win at High Point. Burns Jr. had a stretch of four straight games he posted double-figures. He adds to his accolades of 2019-20 Big South Conference Freshman of the Year and was a second team selection.
Falden averaged a career-high 9.9 ppg, third best scoring average on the team. He also averaged 3.2 rpg and had eight games with four or more boards. Falden was in double-figures 12 times and scored a season-high 18 points in the win over Furman. He had 11 games with multiple threes and recently moved into a tie for 15th on Winthrop’s all-time list with 126 triples in his career.
This is the first time in the history of the program the Eagles have been awarded the coach of the year and player of the year honors in the same season. It’s the fifth time Winthrop has had the coach of the year and the first time for Kelsey. This is the second straight season the Eagles have had three all-conference selections and just the fifth time in program history.
Winthrop captured the Big South Conference regular season championship and the number one seed for the Big South Tournament. The Eagles will open tournament play on Monday, Mar. 1 at 6 p.m. when they host the winner between 9th-seeded USC Upstate and 8th-seeded High Point.
First-Team All-Conference
Chandler Vaudrin, G, R-Sr., Winthrop
Phlandrous Fleming Jr., G/F, Sr., Charleston Southern
Davion Warren, G/F, Sr., Hampton
John-Michael Wright, G, Soph., High Point
Jaheam Cornwall, G, Sr., Gardner-Webb
Second-Team All-Conference
Cedric Henderson Jr., F, Jr., Campbell
Tajion Jones, G, Jr., UNC Asheville
Juan Munoz, G, R-Jr., Longwood
Rayshon Harrison, G, Fr., Presbyterian College
Jordan Whitfield, G, Sr., Campbell
Honorable Mention All-Conference
DJ Burns Jr., C, R-Soph., Winthrop
Tommy Bruner, G, Soph., USC Upstate
LJ Thorpe, G, R-Jr., UNC Asheville
Russell Dean, G, Soph., Hampton
Charles Falden, G, Sr., Winthrop
All-Freshman Team
Rayshon Harrison, G, Presbyterian College
Fah’Mir Ali, G, Radford
Justin Hill, G, Longwood
D’Maurian Williams, F, Gardner-Webb
Ahmil Flowers, G, High Point
All-Academic Team
Austin McCullough, G, Sr., Campbell
Kareem Reid, F, Soph., Gardner-Webb
Emmanuel Izunabor, C, Soph., High Point
DeShaun Wade, G, Jr., Longwood
Owen McCormack, F, Soph., Presbyterian College
Jordan Hemphill, G, Jr., Radford
Coty Jude, F, Jr., UNC Asheville
Nevin Zink, C, Jr., USC Upstate
Kyle Zunic, G, Sr., Winthrop
Player of the Year
Chandler Vaudrin, G, R-Sr., Winthrop
Freshman of the Year
Rayshon Harrison, G, Presbyterian College
Defensive Player of the Year
Phlandrous Fleming Jr., G/F, Sr., Charleston Southern
Coach of the Year
Pat Kelsey, Winthrop
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Nevin Zink, C, Jr., USC Upstate


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