TOLUCA — The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association recently announced that Lindenwood University-Belleville's men's basketball Head CoachScott Spinnerhas been named the IBCA Coach of the Year for the college division. Spinner will be receiving his award at the IBCA Hall of Fame banquet in Bloomington.
Spinner talked about what this award means to him and the program.
"I am honored to receive this award from the IBCA," said Spinner. "As with any award to a player or coach in our program, we view it truly as a team award. Every coach and player in our program worked very hard this season, and their hard work is what makes awards like this possible."
The Lynx finished the season with a 22-9 record and made their first trip to the NAIA National Tournament in program history. In late February, the Lynx made history when they were ranked No. 24 in the NAIA weekly coaches' poll. This marked the first time that a Lindenwood-Belleville athletic program had been ranked in the NAIA. The Lynx were ranked as high as #21 before the end of the season.
To end the season the Lynx won 11 of their final 13 games, including an 11 game winning streak. During the streak the Lynx knocked off previously No. 1-ranked Freed-Hardeman, by a combined three points. The Lynx defeated the Lions 78-77 in Henderson, Tenn. on a last second buzzer beater byJacobby Anderson. Less than two weeks later, in front of a packed house inside Lynx Arena, the Lynx defeated the Lions for the second time by a score of 83-81.
Spinner coached his first ever NAIA All-American inCraig Andersonthis season. Anderson finished the season averaging 21.5 points her game on his way to being named Third Team All-American. He scored in double figures in 29 games, including 19 games of at least 20 points. He picked up a career high 35 points on March 8thin a loss to Life University at the A.I.I. Conference Tournament. In the two victories over Freed-Hardeman Anderson picked up a combined 56 points and 14 rebounds.
Anderson was also named first team all-conference and Newcomer of the Year in the A.I.I.Garrett GaffnerandLawson Warrenreceived second team all-conference, while Jacobby Andersonwas named honorable mention. Spinner also coached two USCAA All-Americans inCraig Andersonand Gaffner. Anderson was named USCAA first team all-American, while Gaffner was named USCAA Second Team All-American.Mitch Postlewas named USCAA academic all-American for his efforts in the classroom.
In just the four year existence of the men's basketball program at Lindenwood-Belleville, Spinner has compiled an 82-46 record with three trips to the USCAA National Championships and one trip to the NAIA National Tournament. Spinner talked about the success of the program in just a few short years.
"It has been an absolute blessing to be able to start a college basketball program, as we did 4 years ago," mentioned Spinner. "To see the program having so much success in such a short period of time is very rewarding as a coach."
Next season, the Lynx will be a part of the American Midwest Conference for the first time, after being an independent institution this season.