Ike Smith in contention to be named nation’s top mid-major player

Ike Smith shoots over a UT-Arlington defender last season. He was first-team all-conference last year and was name to the Lou Henson Award Watch List this week.

Thomas Jilk

Georgia Southern junior shooting guard Ike Smith was named this week to the 2017-18 Lou Henson Award Preseason Watch List. The award is given at the end of the season to the nation’s best Division I mid-major player.

‘Mid-major’ is a murky term, but essentially it includes all players not playing in major conferences such as the ACC, SEC and Big 12.

Smith is joined on the 51-player list by four other Sun Belt Conference players, including last year’s Sun Belt Player of the Year, Kevin Hervey of UT-Arlington.

Last season, Smith led the conference in scoring with 19.6 points per game. He also led the Eagles in total rebounds with 172, 5.2 per contest.

He finished his sophomore campaign with 998 career points, setting him up to break the 1,000-point threshold in just the first game of his junior campaign, this Friday at Wake Forest.

Catch the game tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. on watchespn.com or the ESPN app.