The Big South Conference has been loaded with scorers over the last ten years. There have been quite a few players that routinely went off for 30 or more points. The league also welcomed a new member, Liberty University, who contended immediately. The Flames upset Mississippi State in last year’s NCAA tournament in their first year of conference membership. They were poised to head back to the NCAAs this year before the coronavirus pandemic.
Big South 2010s All-Decade Team
Guard – Chris Clemons, Campbell
Chris Clemons is one of the best players in NCAA history. He was a three-time member of the conference’s first-team and the player of the year last season. His 3,225 career points are tops in league history and the third-best in NCAA history. Clemons is just one of ten players to ever score more than 3,000 points for his career. He scored in double-figures in 115 straight games to end his career, and in 129 of his 130 career games.
Clemons led the NCAA in scoring average last season, averaging 30.1 points per game. He had 31 games of 30 or more points and five of 40 or more in his career. He is the Big South’s all-time leader in made threes (5th in NCAA history), made free throws, and points per game. Clemons is also the conference and NCAA leader in points produced. The only thing missing from his profile is more conference titles, helping the Camels to just one league title. He carried his playing career into the NBA for the Houston Rockets.
Guard – Carlik Jones, Radford
Carlik Jones just finished his playing career at Radford, playing from 2017-20. He was the league’s freshman of the year in 2018 and player of the year for this past season. His player efficiency rating of 31.8 was best in the Big South and eighth-best in the NCAA for 2019-20.
Jones averaged 15.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game in his three seasons for Radford. In two years as a full-time starter, he averaged 5.7 assists per game. He also led the league this past year in offensive rating and win shares. Jones helped the Highlanders win two regular-season titles and make one NCAA Tournament appearance, winning their First Four game. He decided to transfer to Louisville after this past season.
Guard – Keon Johnson, Winthrop
Keon Johnson played for Winthrop from 2013-17. He was the conference’s player of the year in 2017. He finished as Winthrop’s all-time scorer in their Division I era, and second overall in program history. Johnson also leads the school in made free throws and became the first player to average 20 or more points per game in league play in a season.
For his career, Johnson averaged 16.2 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. He was also a 40 percent career three-point shooter. He is second in conference history in made free throws and sixth in three-point percentage. Johnson finished in the top five as well in points produced, offensive rating, and offensive win shares. He helped the Eagles to two league titles and one NCAA appearance.
Guard – Saah Nimley, Charleston Southern
Saah Nimley played for Charleston Southern from 2011-15. He was the Big South’s player of the year in 2015. When he graduated, he was the only player in league history to have at least 1,800 points and 500 assists. Nimley sat second in school history in made threes and third in career points.
Nimley averaged 16.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game during his career. His 21.4 points per game as a senior led the league. As far as advanced metrics, he sits fifth all-time in league history in points produced and points produced per game. Nimley helped the Buccaneers capture two regular-season titles and make two NIT appearances.
Forward – John Brown, High Point
If not for Clemons, John Brown would have been the pick for the league’s player of the decade. He played for High Point from 2012-16, capturing the player of the year award twice. He also made the conference’s first-team every season that he played.
Brown averaged 18.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game for his career. He is the league’s all-time leader in made two-point field goals and offensive rebounds. Brown’s career 33.2 player efficiency rating is the best ever in the Big South and second-best in NCAA history. He led the Panthers to at least a share of the conference title in all four seasons. Unfortunately, High Point never played in the Big Dance, appearing in the CIT and NIT two times each.
Guard – Xavier Cooks, Winthrop
Xavier Cooks played at Winthrop from 2014-18. He captured the player of the year award at the conclusion of his senior season in 2018. He finished his career sixth on the school’s all-time scoring list. Cooks also left school as the leader in blocks and had a triple-double in his last season.
He averaged 14 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game for his career. His defensive prowess left him in sixth place on the Big South’s all-time blocks list. Cooks also finished fifth on the league’s career list in rebounds. The Australian was a teammate with Keon Johnson for three years, helping the Eagles win two league titles and make one NCAA appearance.
Guard – Jermaine Marrow, Hampton
Jermaine Marrow is the other current player to make the team. He only played in the league for two seasons as Hampton came from the MEAC in 2018. He left his mark on the conference, making the first-team twice. Marrow became Hampton’s all-time leading scorer this past season.
During his two-year stint in the conference, Marrow averaged 24.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game. In both seasons he finished second in the league in points per game. Marrow ends his career fifth in NCAA history in points produced. He led the Pirates to the CIT semifinals last season.
Guard – Ahmad Thomas, UNC Asheville
Ahmad Thomas played for UNC Asheville from 2014-18. He won back-to-back defensive player of the year honors as a junior and senior. He was also a member of the first-team both of those seasons. Thomas left as the Bulldogs’ leader in steals, which was also good enough for second all-time in conference history.
He averaged 13.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game for his career. Thomas became the second player in Big South history to have 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, 200 steals, and 200 assists for his career. He finished fourth all-time in steals for the league and in the top 10 in made field goals and two-point field goals. Thomas took the Bulldogs to four postseason tournaments, including one NCAA appearance.
Forward – Javonte Green, Radford
Javonte Green played for Radford from 2011-15. He made the Big South’s first-team twice and won the defensive player of the year award as a senior. He ended his career as Radford’s leader in rebounds and steals, and second in points.
Green averaged 14.4 points, eight rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game for his career. He finished in the top three in all career rebounding categories for the conference and top ten in ten advanced metric categories. Green helped the Highlanders go to two CBI tournaments.
Forward – Stan Okoye, VMI
Stan Okoye played for the Keydets from 2009-13. He captured the player of the year accolade in 2013. For his senior season, he averaged 21.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.
Okoye averaged 17.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for his career. He finished in the top ten in Big South history in all rebounding categories. He also finished in the top ten in made field goals, made two-point field goals, and points. Furthermore, Okoye is third all-time in points produced for the conference.