By RENALDO DORSETT
WHAT a week it has been for Tristian Curtis.
First, the celebration of his career on senior night was highlighted by a surprise visit from his mother, and now the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers forward has been honoured for his prowess as a student athlete.
Curtis was named the Big South Conference’s Scholar Athlete of the Year and was also named to the All-Academic Team.
The 6’7” 220-pound forward and sport science major currently holds a 3.47 GPA. It was his second Big South All-Academic team selection and he made school history by becoming the first Coastal Carolina basketball player since 2008.
Curtis has matched that productivity on the court with the best season of his four-year collegiate career.
He has averaged 6.4 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 74 per cent from the floor and 62 per cent from the free throw line – all career highs.
Curtis shot perfect from the floor in 13 games this season. His rebounding average was No.9 in the Big South, seventh in both offensive and defensive rebounding.
Inspired by his mother and senior night, Curtis put up eight points and 13 rebounds in a 68-60 win over Charleston Southern.
In the season finale, Curtis posted eight points and 10 rebounds in 68-60 victory over the UNC Asheville Bucs.
With the win, the Chanticleers (18-10, 12-6 Big South Conference) clinched the third seed in the upcoming conference tournament.
After consecutive seasons where they advanced to the NCAA Tournament, Curtis and the Chants will begin their trek toward the tourney 8pm Friday, March 4.
They will open up play in the Big South Championships against the winner of the Gardner-Webb/Campbell match-up at Gore Arena/ Pope Convocation Center on the campus of Campbell University.
As a junior, Curtis averaged 4.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game and shot 54 per cent from the field in just over 21 minutes.
As a sophomore he played just under 10 minutes per game and averaged two points and three rebounds. His freshman season he scored 2.9 points and grabbed three rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game.