McGhee Named to Lute Olson Award Watch List
Darius McGhee of the Liberty men’s basketball team added another recognition, as he was named to the 2022-23 Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award Watch List.
McGhee is one of only 40 players on the country named to this watch list.
This is the third major watch list McGhee has been named to already this season. The redshirt junior guard was selected to the 2022-23 John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s® Preseason Top 50 Watch List. He was also one of 20 point guards in the country to be tabbed to the 2023 Bob Cousy Award Watch List.
The Lute Olson National Player of the Year award is presented annually by collegeinsider.com to the top player in Division I college basketball and is named in honor of Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson. Olson won 776 games in 34 seasons, 24 of which were spent at Arizona.
McGhee is the 2022-23 ASUN Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year for a Liberty squad which was voted to finish first in the league in both the coaches poll and media poll. The Roxboro, N.C. native is the back-to-back ASUN Player of the Year (2020-21, 2021-22). Last year, McGhee was tabbed to the 2021-22 Lou Henson All-America team and was a Lou Henson Player of the Year finalist. Last season, McGhee averaged 24.6 points per game (No. 2 in nation) and led Division I men’s basketball in three-pointers made with 142, setting a school record in the process.
Also a NABC District 3 first team selection a year ago, McGhee ranked second in the country in total points (812), and earned several other honors, including: VaSID Player of the Year, ASUN All-Conference first team, ASUN All-Tournament team and VaSID All-State first team
McGhee is off to a strong start to his final campaign as a Flame, averaging 20.3 ppg, good for the 41st-best scoring average nationally. He ranks No. 10 in the country in three-point field goals made per game (3.75).
More About the Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award
The award, which is presented annually to the top player in Division I college basketball and is named in honor of Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, who won 776 games in 34 seasons, 24 of which were spent at the University of Arizona. During that stretch, he led the Wildcats to 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, four Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 1997.
Olson is one of just 25 head coaches in NCAA history to win 700 or more games (all divisions) and ranks ninth on the Division I career victories list. He finished with a winning percentage of .731 and is the all-time winningest coach in Arizona history with 587-190 record (.755).
He was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year seven times. Olson also guided Arizona to 20 consecutive 20-win seasons and is one of only three coaches in NCAA history to record 29 or more 20-win seasons. Prior to Arizona, Olson spent nine seasons at Iowa. He won 167 games and lead the Hawkeyes to the Final Four in 1980. He also spent one season at Long Beach State, leading the 49ers to a 24-2 record and a No. 3 ranking nationally.
In 2002, Olson was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Main Photo at Top of Story: No. 2 Darius McGhee