Two Keene State Owls have been recognized for their excellence on and off the court.
On Sunday, Jan. 15, co-captains senior Jeff Hunter and sophomore Octavio Brito were named to the Bevo Francis Top 100 Watch List.
Named in honor of the basketball player of the same name, The Clarence “Bevo” Francis award originated in 2015. Francis had a decorated career, becoming one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball history during his career at Rio Grande College, now known as the University of Rio Grande. He topped over 100 points on two occasions and held the NCAA record for points scored in a game from 1954 to 2012.
According to the Keene State athletic department website, The Top 100 Watch List consists of some of the top players from NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA, USCAA and NCCAA. The Clarence “Bevo” Francis Award is presented annually to the player who has had the finest overall season within Small College Basketball.
“Considerations will be season statistics and individual achievements, awards, personal character and team achievements. This is an incredibly prestigious award, as this award will only be given to one player within Small College Basketball per season,” said the athletic department website. Brito and Hunter have both had a decorated season, with both having been named the Little East Conference Player of the Week twice and to the D3hoops.com National Team of the Week once each.
The athletics website stated that Hunter has also been tabbed the national Player of the Week by the United States Basketball Writers Association twice.
According to the athletic department website, Hunter has averaged 19.7 points and 13.9 rebounds per game this season, while shooting 61.9% from the floor and averaging three blocks per game. He ranks in the top 10 nationally in blocks, blocks per game, double-doubles, field goals made, rebounds, and rebounds per game. Brito has come into his own as Keene State’s leading scorer this year, averaging 22.1 points per game on 49.4% shooting from the field and 45% from three-point range. He also makes free throws at a 78.8% clip and pulls down 6.3 rebounds per contest. Brito’s scoring average and three point percentage both rank in the top 25 nationally.
The athletic department website stated that on Wednesday, Feb. 15, the list will be reduced to the Top 50 players. One month later on Wednesday, March 15, the Top 25 players will be announced. On Saturday, April 1, the finalists of this year’s award will be announced, followed by the Bevo Francis Award winner being crowned on Monday, April 3.
Piper Pavelich can be contacted