Rob Evans Named NABC District 6 Coach Of The Year

April 2, 1998

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Ole Miss head coach Rob Evans has been selected the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 6 Coach of the Year, as announced on Thursday by the organization. Senior forward Ansu Sesay has also been honored by the NABC, earning All-America second team honors from the organization.

Evans, who is also a finalist for the 1998 Naismith Coach of the Year award, was selected the NABC District 6 Coach of the Year in a vote by the district's coaches. The 1997 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, Evans guided the Rebels to a 22-7 overall record in the 1997-98 campaign and led the program to its second straight SEC Western Division title this season. The 20-plus win season was Ole Miss' second straight, marking the first consecutive 20-victory years since 1936-37 and 1937-38. The Hobbs, N.M., native also directed the Rebels to their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, which is the first time ever that Ole Miss has played in the NCAA postseason in back-to-back seasons.

In his six seasons at Ole Miss, Evans has compiled an overall record of 86-81. The 86 victories are the third most by a coach in Rebel basketball history. In 1996-97, Evans led the Rebels to a 20-9 mark, the SEC Western Division title and an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 1997 SEC Western Division title was the program's first-ever regular-season championship of any kind, while the NCAA Tournament appearance was the program's first since 1981. For his efforts, Evans was named College Hoops Insider 1997 National Coach of the Year.

"It's a great honor to be named the district's Coach of the Year," said Evans. "This award says a lot about the players that I have and my staff. Any time that you receive an honor like this it is a team honor. I am pleased to have been selected for this award."

The NABC All-America second team honor is the fifth All-America squad to which Sesay has been named. The Houston, Texas, native also earned All-America accolades from John R. Wooden Award, Associated Press (second team), Basketball Weekly (first team) and Basketball Times (second team).

"Ansu was one of the top players in the country this season," said Evans. "He worked extremely hard to get to this point, and he truly exemplifies what an All-America is."

Sesay, who was voted Southeastern Conference Player of the Year by Associated Press and the league's coaches, was a unanimous pick to the All-SEC first team for the second consecutive year. Sesay was also selected the United States Basketball Writers' Association (USBWA) District 4 Player of the Year and was named to the All-District 4 squad. He was named to the NABC District 6 first team.

The 6-foot-9 forward led the Rebels in scoring and rebounding with averages of 18.6 points and 7.6 boards, respectively, this year. Sesay finished the 1997-98 season among the league's leaders in scoring (2nd; 18.6), rebounding (5th; 7.6) and field goal percentage (5th; 45.6). He completed his career scoring in double figures in his final 53 consecutive games, and also recorded 11 double-doubles this season. Sesay is No. 8 on the Ole Miss career scoring list with 1,428 points.

The Rebels completed the 1997-98 season with a 22-7 overall record and a 12-4 mark in SEC play. Ole Miss won its second consecutive SEC Western Division title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.
The following is the NABC All-America teams:

NABC All-America Teams
FIRST TEAM: Mike Bibby, Arizona; Antawn Jamison, North Carolina; Raef LaFrentz, Kansas; Paul Pierce, Kansas; Miles Simon, Arizona

SECOND TEAM: Vince Carter, North Carolina; Pat Garrity, Notre Dame; Richard Hamilton, Connecticut; Matt Harpring, Georgia Tech; ANSU SESAY, OLE MISS

THIRD TEAM: Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State; Trajan Langdon, Duke; Lee Nailon, Texas Christian; Kenny Thomas, New Mexico; Robert Traylor, Michigan

 

 

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