GREENWOOD, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference announced its annual awards for the men's basketball season Tuesday afternoon, with junior Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio) highlighting Hanover's honors by being named the league's Player of the Year.
Fails is also earning his second straight HCAC first team selection in 2017-18. The junior leads the Blue and Red in scoring, 18.2 points per game, which is among the top three in the conference as well. His 19.1 points per contest in conference play also led the team and ranked second in the HCAC.
The Mason, Ohio native recently averaged 25.3 points and 4.3 assists per game, all while shooting over 53 percent from the field to earn HCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. The Panthers defeated Bluffton, Mt. St. Joseph and Rose-Hulman en route to a second straight HCAC Tournament championship and NCAA National Tournament appearance.
Fails, who became the 37th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points earlier this year, poured in 20 or more points on 13 occasions, including a pair of outings over 30 points. He was also clutch down the stretch, recording a pair of game-winning/tying shots on the road at Bluffton and Rose-Hulman in the regular season.
Senior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.) and junior Nick White (New Albany, Ind.) were also honored by the HCAC Tuesday afternoon, as they were named to the first team and honorable mention squad, respectively. McKinney, a now three-time all-HCAC award winner and 2016-17 Player of the Year is on the first team for the second consecutive season. In his final campaign with the Blue and Red, McKinney is averaging 16.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, both of which rank in the top 10 of the conference. The senior is shooting .468 from the field and has a team high 82.6 percent mark at the free throw line.
McKinney has done most of his damage from behind the arc, where he is making over 40 percent of his attempts. He has a conference-leading 62 made treys this season and broke the program's all-time record for three-point makes in career earlier in the year. The senior has also climbed to seventh on the Hanover all-time scoring with 1,646 points.
White, who has seen his first extended look on the court in 2017-18, is averaging 11.4 points per game, to along with team highs in rebounds and blocks per contest, 5.8 and 1.4, respectively. His rebounding and blocking marks are also good enough for a top six spot in the HCAC's statistical leaderboard. The junior recently broke the HCAC Tournament record for blocks in a single game, rejecting seven MSJ shots in the semifinal round. White also tallied the first double-double of his career, 13 points and 11 rebounds, against Rose-Hulman on Jan. 31.
Senior Parker Buse (Lynnville, Ind.) was awarded with Hanover's all-sportsmanship selection as well. Buse has appeared in five games this season and scored the opening basket during Hanover's Senior Day win over Defiance, back on Feb. 17.
The Panthers will open NCAA Tournament play against LeTourneau (Texas) down in Atlanta, Ga. this weekend. The Emory (Ga.)-hosted pod tips off with HC and LETU at 5:30 p.m., Friday, March 2.
Contact: Tyler Jester