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Wheaton College' Aston Francis Selected 2019 Bevo Francis Award Winner

May 22, 2019 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Wheaton College senior guard Aston Francis has been selected for the esteemed 2019 Bevo Francis Award for his stellar efforts on and off the basketball floor.

 

"Congratulations to Aston Francis, winner of the prestigious 2019 Bevo Francis Award,” said Small College Basketball Founder John McCarthy. “Frankly, Aston is amazing! It was such a joy to watch him play. He's the best scorer that I've seen in NCAA Division III basketball, and his NCAA Tournament run is the best individual post-season tournament run, collectively, that I have witnessed. 

 

“What he did this season was absolutely remarkable! With his performance, along with his team's run to the NCAA Division III Final Four and his tremendous personal character, he's earned this prestigious award. Congratulations, Aston!"

 

Back in March he was also selected the 2019 D3News Player of the Year, becoming the second in the history of the Wheaton College program.

 

A First Team All-American selection by DIIINews this season, Francis leads All NCAA Divisions with 34.2 points per game and broke the NCAA Division III record for points in a single season with 1,096 points. His 1,096 points this year is the 14th-highest single-season total in NCAA history (all divisions). His 173 three-pointers this year is the second-highest single-season total in NCAA history (all divisions). Francis also led the Thunder with 7.9 rebounds per game and finished second on the team with 3.1 assists per game.

This season's Jostens Trophy winner concluded his record-setting senior campaign in March with 44 points in a National Semifinal loss to UW-Oshkosh, marking the 10th time this season he has scored 40 or more points and the 14th time in his career (both school records).

 

Bevo Francis played at Rio Grande College (now the University of Rio Grande) in Ohio in 1952-53 and 1953-54.  When he arrived on campus, the school had 38 male students enrolled in the school and was on the verge of bankruptcy, planning to close its doors at the end of the 1952-53 school year. In the season before Bevo arrived at Rio Grande, the Redmen (now the Red Storm) had gone 4-19. 

 

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 bankruptcy. During his first year, the Redmen went 39-0, and Bevo scored 1,954 points and averaged 50.1 points per game. Against Ashland College (KY), Francis scored 116 points, which included 55 points in the final 10 minutes of the game.

 

His sensational postseason performance set five Division III Men's Basketball Tournament records. His 44.8 points per game in the tournament broke the previous tournament record of 37.3 points by Kyle Myrick of Lincoln (Pa.).

 

Francis scored 224 points in Wheaton's five postseason games to break the previous tournament record of 177 points by Williams' Michael Nogelo in 1998.

 

The Thunder senior made 72 field goals in this year's tournament as he broke the previous tournament record of 68 field goals by Greg Grant of TCNJ in 1989.

 

Francis' 36 three-pointers in the tournament surpassed the old tournament record of 35 treys made by Augustana's Kirk Anderson in 1993. His 62 points in Wheaton's victory over Marietta is also an Division III Tournament record and his 12 three-pointers in that game tied the Division III Tournament record.

In his three seasons for the Thunder, Francis rewrote the Wheaton record books, finishing second in points scored with 2,396 career points, which also ranks fifth in CCIW history. He also ranks second in school history with 783 career made field goals, fifth in school history with 443 career made free throws, and 11th in school history with 287 career assists.

 

His 388 career three-pointers smashed the previous school record and ranks seventh in Division III history.

 

His career scoring average of 28.9 points per game established a new school record and ranks sixth in Division III history and his average of 4.68 three-pointers per game is the fourth-highest in Division III history.
 
To read Aston’s full bio, please click here.

 

Small College Basketball is very grateful to the University of Rio Grande and Sheward-Fulks Insurance for their sponsorship and support of the Bevo Francis award.

 

This marks the fourth season of the Bevo Francis Award, as the award was previously given to Dominez Burnett of Davenport (Mich.) in 2016, Justin Pitts of Northwest Missouri State in 2017 and Emanuel Terry of Lincoln Memorial last season.

  

Members of the Bevo Francis Award committee include the following coaches: Tobin Anderson - St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.), Gerald Holmes - Bloomfield (N.J.), Gary Stewart - Stevenson (Md.), Arlen Galloway - Wentworth (Mass.), Chris Briggs - Georgetown (Ky.), Bill Dreikosen - Rocky Mountain (Mont.), Klint Pleasant - Rochester (Mich.), Ryan Kane - Ripon (Wisc.), Mark Berokoff – Hillsdale Baptist (Okla.), Mike Donnelly – Florida Southern, Rhett Soliday – Vanguard (Calif.), Sam Hargraves – Alma (Mich.) and Ryan Looney – Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.).

 

The committee chose this elite player from over 1,100 colleges and universities and took into consideration individual statistics, previous awards, milestones and team success.

  

The 2019 Bevo Francis Award winner will be presented with the award on May 11 at the SCB National Awards Show in conjunction with the SCB Alumni Association’s Celebration of the Game event at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

 

Small College Basketball is very grateful to the University of Rio Grande and Sheward-Fulks Insurance for their sponsorship and support of the Bevo Francis award.

 

To view a highlight video of Aston Francis, please click here.