Lute Olson Award Home
Murray State sophomore Cameron Payne
was honored Thursday (April 3) with the Lute Olson Player of the Year Award at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Indianapolis at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
The Lute Olson Award is named after the Hall of Fame coach at Arizona and Iowa.
Payne, from Memphis, has been a shining star in his two seasons with the Racers and his sophomore season was even better than his freshman season.
Payne joins an impressive list of collegiate stars since the Olson Award was started with Sherron Collins of Kansas in 2010. Other Olson Award recipients include: Kemba Walker, Connecticut (2011), Doug McDermott, Creighton (2011 & 2014) and Shane Larkin, Miami (2013).
|Named Ohio Valley Conference Preseason Player of the year, Payne backed it up with the substance and style to earn the OVC MVP at seasons' end. This week, he was named All-America by the Associated Press as Honorable Mention and by CBS Sports as Third Team. Payne was also NABC All-District 19, USBWA All-District 4 and a Naismith Trophy Semifinalist. He was also named the Cousy Award Watch List.|
Payne scored 20.2 points per game and dished out 6.0 assists to rank 13th and 15th among NCAA D-I players. He was the fourth player in MSU history to score 700 points in a single season with 707 (it ranked fifth all-time in a single season at MSU). His 209 assists were three off the record at MSU. Payne was the second fastest MSU player to reach 1,000 points, doing it in 57 games. After two seasons, Payne is the 23rd all-time scorer at MSU with 1,279. He's past the halfway point to leader Jeff Martin's 2,484 points (1985-89).
Payne was a big part of the Racers' 29-6 season, which included the program's 24th
OVC championship and a pair of wins in the National Invitation Tournament. Along the way, MSU won 25 straight games (second-longest in the nation) and went 16-0 in the OVC as the first in school history and the fifth in league history to run the table.
The Player of the Year Award is fitting to be named after Coach Lute Olson. At Arizona alone, he coached 61 All-America selections and produced 53 NBA Draft picks in his career that also included great success at Iowa.