CORPUS CHRISTI – Head Coach Royce Chadwick has been named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year, while senior transfer Jasmine Shaw earned Southland Newcomer of the Year, the league announced today. Shaw also collected Second Team All-Southland honors for her efforts this season.
Chadwick took a team that had won 15 games in its last three years combined into one that saw 18 wins during the regular season. He is the first Islanders coach to earn Coach of the Year laurels, and Chadwick becomes the first coach to win the award from the Southland at two different institutions, as he was tabbed as the top coach at Stephen F. Austin in 1997.
Now in his second year at the Island University, Chadwick took a team that won four games his first year to 18 this year for a win differential of plus-14. That is the best turnaround by any program in the nation this year.
Coming into the year, A&M – Corpus Christi was tabbed to finish on the outside looking in when the conference tournament came around, as the coaches picked the Islanders to finish ninth while the SIDs had them slotted at 10th. However, Chadwick coached his team to eight consecutive victories to finish the year after sitting at 3-7 in conference play to finish in a tie for fourth in the league. This marks the first appearance in the bracket for the Islanders in four years.
Shaw is the first Islanders player to be named Newcomer of the Year and she is the first member to be named to any all-conference team since Jade Davis did so in 2009-10. Shaw, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, came to the team from Marshall where she also played for Chadwick prior to his time at the Island University.
Shaw has made an incredible impact this season for the Islanders and has been vital in the team's turnaround, as she was seventh in the Southland in points per game with 15.2. This was the highest average by any player at the Island University in eight years. She also became just the sixth Islander to record at least eight 20-plus point games in a single season.
Part of her ability to score comes from her pinpoint accuracy from behind the arc, as she led the conference by making 40.7 percent of her shots from long range. Her 74 made threes put her at second place in the category, ranking her only behind teammate Brittany Mbamalu, who has canned 78 this year. Shaw's mark also puts her behind only Mbamalu and Nicole Duncan (75, 2006-07) in the Islanders' record book for threes made in a single season.
The senior can do more than just shoot, though, as she has tallied three double-doubles so far this season. Shaw's most impressive came on Nov. 21 against Tennessee State in which she registered 14 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, falling just one dime short of the first Islander triple-double on either the men or women's side.
Defensively, Shaw led A&M – Corpus Christi with 44 steals to average 1.5 a game, a mark that was 11th-best in the Southland. She also is poised to break the career-percentage at the charity stripe for the school, as she has made 87.8 percent of her free throws during her one-year stint, which also positions her second in the Southland.
Chadwick, Shaw and the rest of the team will open up tournament play on Wednesday, as they take on McNeese State at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. This will be the second meeting in the last three games between the two sides, with the Islanders coming off a 74-69 victory on Thursday, March 6.
To purchase tickets to see the Islanders during the Tournament, call 825-BALL (2255) or email email@example.com. All-session passes for the tourney are available for just $75, and guarantee a seat in the Islanders' section at the Merrell Center for all A&M-Corpus Christi games with the men's games included as well.
For all the latest on Islanders Women's Basketball in the postseason, be sure to follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersWBB) and like the team's official Facebook page (Islanders Womens Basketball).