STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State all-SEC sophomore forward Charles Rhodes has been named as a finalist for the 2006 Cellular South Howell Trophy, as announced Monday by the Jackson-based Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum.
Senior Jasper Johnson of Delta State and Jackson State junior Trey Johnson are also among the three finalists for this year's second annual award to be given next week to Mississippi's top men's college basketball player. Named after former Mississippi State All-American and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Bailey Howell, the 2006 Cellular South Howell Trophy will be presented next Monday night, March 27, at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. For ticket information, contact the Museum at 601-982-8264 or 1-800-280-FAME (3263).
A former standout at Jackson's Lanier High School, Rhodes earned second-team all-SEC honors this past season by both a vote of the league's head basketball coaches as well as from The Associated Press wire service voters after leading coach Rick Stansbury's youthful 15-15 Bulldogs in scoring (13.8 ppg), rebounding (7.1 rpg), blocked shots (32) and field-goal percentage (56.4%). The 6-foot-8-inch, 240-pound Rhodes currently ranks 12th among the SEC's leading scorers, eighth in rebounding and third in field-goal percentage for all games this season.
Having averaged 16.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game over his last 18 outings of the 2005-06 campaign, Rhodes ranked fifth in the SEC in both scoring (17.3 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 rpg), third in field-goal percentage (58.4%), and tied for eighth in blocks (1.4 bpg) for conference games only. In addition, he made 50 percent or better of his field goals in 13 of the 16 regular-season league contests this past year.
Former MSU All-American and current Memphis Grizzlies forward Lawrence Roberts was the recipient of last year's inaugural Cellular South Howell Trophy. This year's finalists and eventual award recipient are determined by media voters from radio, television and print outlets throughout the state of Mississippi. Voters will now choose from this year's list of three finalists in a second round of voting to determine this year's winner.