PARKVILLE, Mo. – Small College Basketball has announced their initial watch list for the Bevo Francis Award and Nebraska Wesleyan has two players on the list. Junior guard Nate Schimonitz and senior forward Ryan Garver were among the 100 players on the 2018-19 Bevo Francis Watch List.
The list is made up of players that compete in the affiliations of NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA Division I, NAIA Division II, USCAA and NCCAA. The committee chose this elite group from over 1,100 colleges and universities and took into consideration individual statistics, previous awards, milestones and team success.
Schimonitz (Omaha, Neb.) is the leading scorer for the Prairie Wolves averaging 18.5 points per game. A preseason 3rd-Team All-American, he has twice been named American Rivers Conference Player of the Week. He ranks 3rd in the conference in scoring and 2nd in assists. Schimonitz missed two games with injury but returned to the lineup on Saturday.
Garver (Lincoln, Neb.) is among the nation’s leaders in several statistical categories. He is 4th in NCAA III in assists per game (7.3), ranks 7th in field goal percentage (67.6) and is 10th in steals (2.9). The preseason 2nd-Team All-American has six double-doubles on the year and now averages 16.4 points per game. Last week he was American Rivers Player of the Week and selected to the National Team of the Week.
This marks the fourth season of the Bevo Francis Award. On February 15, SCB will publish the next watch list with 50 players. The list will be narrowed down to 25 players on March 15 and the finalists will be announced in a highlight video that will be released on March 31.
Bevo Francis played at Rio Grande College in Ohio from 1952-54. When he arrived on campus the school had 38 male students enrolled in school and was on the verge of bankruptcy. During his two seasons at Rio Grande, Bevo became the most popular basketball player in the world and ultimately helped to save the school from closing. His first season, the Redman went 39-0 and Francis scored 1,954 points averaging 50.1 points per game.