ROCK HILL, S.C. --- Tusculum University's Trenton Gibson has been named the 2018-2019 South Atlantic Conference Men's Basketball Freshman of the Year announced league officials on Thursday.
Gibson was also named to the SAC All-Freshman Team while senior guard Donovan Donaldson garnered All-SAC second team recognition as selected by the league's 11 head coaches.
Gibson becomes the second Pioneer to be named SAC Freshman of the Year, joining former TU standout Keith Jumper who earned the accolade in the 2011-2012 season.
Gibson, a native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, led the Pioneers in assists and free throw shooting. The Blackman High School graduate finished with 104 total assists, averaging 3.6 helpers per contest which was seventh in the league. He also shot 76.1 percent from the charity stripe going 102-of-134. He scored 13.1 points per game (19th in SAC) which was the second best average on the roster.
He closed out the season averaging 19.5 points per game in his last four contests including a season-high 22 markers in Wednesday's SAC Quarterfinal game against Lenoir-Rhyne. In those four games, he posted 7.5 rebounds per contest, including 10 boards in the regular-season finale win over Wingate.
Gibson finished the season averaging 5.6 rebounds per game (18th in SAC) while shooting 43.3 percent from the floor and totaled 27 steals.
Donaldson led the Pioneers in scoring averaging 15.4 points per game which is the 11th-best average in the conference. He scored in double figures in 22 of his 28 games including nine outings with 20 or more. He scored a career-high 32 points in road wins at Wingate and Newberry. Last week, he averaged 25.5 points per game in leading the Pioneers to home wins over Lincoln Memorial and Wingate to garner AstroTurf SAC Player of the Week honors for a second time this season. He was also a two-time weekly College Player of the Week by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association (TSWA).
Donaldson shot a team-high 41.4 percent from three-point territory, which is currently 11th in the league and averaged 2.6 treys per contest (5th in SAC). He went 72-of-174 from three-point land this season while averaging 2.6 assists (15th in SAC) and 5.0 rebounds (25th in SAC) per game.
In his 55-game career at Tusculum these past two seasons, Donaldson totaled 813 points for a 14.8 points per game average. He also posted 197 assists, averaging 3.58 helpers per game which is the eighth-best average in school history. In TU's home win over Carson-Newman, Donaldson grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds which are tied for the seventh-most in school history.
Including his two seasons at Trevecca Nazarene where he totaled 436 points, Donaldson finished his collegiate career with 1,249 points.
As a team, Tusculum was declared the South Atlantic Conference statistical champion in scoring defense allowing a league-low 72.2 points per game.
2018-19 South Atlantic Conference Men's Basketball Awards
Shaun Willett, Queens
Marco Haskins, Wingate
Jameel Taylor, Catawba
Cornelius Taylor, Lincoln Memorial
Daniel Carr, Queens
Gage Ellis, Anderson
Djibril Diallo, Lenoir-Rhyne
Ja'Shawn Brooks, Mars Hill
Donovan Donaldson, Tusculum
Grant Teichmann, Carson-Newman
Lewis Diankulu, Queens
Marcell Haskett, Catawba
Cory Thomas, Lenoir-Rhyne
Angelo Sales Jr., Newberry
Frankie Johnson, Wingate
Kamaran Calhoun, Lincoln Memorial
Anthony Brown, Lincoln Memorial
Van Turner Jr., Queens
SAC All-Freshman Team
Trenton Gibson, Tusculum
Kenny Dye, Queens
Cameron Henry, Lincoln Memorial
Jarren Cottingham, Wingate
Courvoisier McCauley, Lincoln Memorial
SAC Player of the Year: Shaun Willett, Queens
SAC Freshman of the Year: Trenton Gibson, Tusculum
SAC Defensive Player of the Year: Jameel Taylor, Catawba
SAC Coach of the Year: Bart Lundy, Queens
SAC Statistical Champions
Points Per Game – Ja'Shawn Brooks, Mars Hill, 20.0
Three Pointers Per Game – Marco Haskins, Wingate, 3.5
Rebounds Per Game – Shaun Willett, Queens, 12.0
Blocked Shots Per Game – Bertrand Awana, Lenoir-Rhyne, 1.8
Field Goal Percentage – Kamaran Calhoun, Lincoln Memorial, 59.9
Assists Per Game – Shawn Bernard, Anderson, 6.1
Assist-to-Turnover Ratio – Josh Brodowicz, Queens, 3.1
Steals Per Game – Frankie Johnson, Wingate, 2.0
Three Point Field Goal Percentage – Darius Simmons, Lenoir-Rhyne, 60.8
Free Throw Percentage – Ja'Shawn Brooks, Mars Hill, 92.4
Team Scoring Offense – Queens, 90.1
Team Steals – Catawba, 236
Team Field Goal Percentage – Queens, 51.3
Team FG Percentage Defense – Lincoln Memorial, 38.8
Team Assists – Queens, 499
Team Rebounding – Queens, 1,204
Team Blocked Shots – Lincoln Memorial, 124
Team Three Point FG Percentage – Queens, 41.9
Team Scoring Defense – Tusculum, 72.2
Team Free Throw Percentage – Anderson, 75.8
Team Assist-to-Turnover Ratio – Lincoln Memorial/Lenoir-Rhyne, 1.26