BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Western Washington University senior guard Taylor Stafford has been named ot the third Watch List for the 2017 Bevo Francis Award consisting of 25 of the finest men's basketball players in the country who compete in the affiliations of NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA Division I, NAIA Division II, USCAA and NCCAA of the 2017 season.
Stafford (Chicago, IL/Eastern Arizona College/Evansville) put together an All-American worthy season in 2016-17, averaging 22.8 points per game, and scored a WWU single-season record 706 points. The redshirt senior was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player and Newcomer of the Year, a unanimous First Team All-GNAC selection and was the GNAC Tournament MVP. Scoring 20 or more points in a 20 of 31 games, and 30 or more points in 8 games, Stafford was also named a First Team All-West Region player by the D2 Conference Commissioners Association.
"The process of narrowing down the Watch List for the Bevo Francis Award just gets tougher and tougher as we move through the process," said Small College Basketball Founder John McCarthy. "There are just so many fantastic players that are having tremendous seasons on very good teams. Our Committee has done an excellent job of providing research and feedback, and I'd like to sincerely congratulate the 25 players on this Watch List. Obviously, they are very accomplished players, yet I also emphasize that team success is an important consideration as well.
"As we've stated from the beginning of this process, we're considering season statistics and individual achievements, along with awards, milestones, personal character and team success. We will release the video highlights of the finalists on April 1, and announce the winner of the Bevo Francis Award on April 3."
Stafford helped lead the Vikings to a 25-6 overall record, winning both the GNAC regular season and conference tournament titles, and advanced to the NCAA II Tournament as the No. 3 seed in the West Region.
Stafford's 2016-17 Awards & Accomplishments:
- GNAC Newcomer of the Year
- GNAC First Team All-Conference
- GNAC Tournament MVP
- CCA First Team All-West Region
- Bevo Francis Award Watch List (top 25)
- Four-time GNAC Player of the Week to tie conference record
- Averaged 22.8 points per game
- Set WWU single-season record for points scored (706) and 2nd-best scoring average
- Scored 20 or more points in 20 of 31 games (30+ points 8 times)
- Led WWU with 3.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game
- Scored 44 points vs. UC San Diego (12/12), 2nd-most points in a game in WWU history
Stafford's 2016-17 Game-by-Game Stats:
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Men's Hoops Edged 92-88 by Seattle Pacific
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Vikings Suffer First GNAC Loss to Saint Martin's, 94-82
Trey Drechsel leads Vikings with 22 points. WWU out-rebounded 36-24 in loss.