Destinee Wells against Louisville

Each week during the remainder of the college basketball season, the Nashville Post and The News will have weekly updates on all the local schools in the buildup to March Madness. 

  • Local duo land on Hammon Award Midseason Watch List

The 2022-23 Becky Hammon Award Watch List, which is handed out each year to the mid-major player of the year, was announced last week, and Belmont's Destinee Wells and Middle Tennessee's Savannah Wheeler made the cut.

The pair are among 15 nominees up for the award. Wells is averaging 16.1 points, 4.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. She ranks in the top five in the Missouri Valley in points and assists, the only player in the league to do so.

Wheeler is averaging 16.1 points, 3.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds per contest. She also leads Conference USA in free throw percentage at 90.3 percent, good enough for 15th in the nation. 

  • Current WNBA player, former All-American joins Vanderbilt's staff

On Sunday, the Vanderbilt women's program announced the addition of WNBA player and former All-American Katie Lou Samuelson to the staff as the director of player development.

Samuelson is currently averaging a career-high 9.7 points per game for the Los Angeles Sparks, the fourth team of her WNBA career after going fourth overall in the 2019 draft. 

At UConn, Samuelson was a two-time First-Team All-American and twice named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year. She became the 10th player in program history to score 2,000 points and won a national championship in 2016.

  • Sheppard's game-winner snaps Bradley's home win streak

Belmont is continuing to make a mark in its first year in the Missouri Valley. On Saturday, the Bruins halted Bradley's 17-game home winning streak, the third-longest in the nation, with a 78-76 win. 

Ben Sheppard made the game-winning basket with 3.3 seconds left on the clock to extend Belmont's winning streak to six games. Sheppard finished with a team-leading 23 points, six rebounds and three assists. 

Sheppard, who also went for 23 points, six rebounds and four assists in a win over Murray State, was named the MVC Player of the Week. The Bruins are now tied with Southern Illinois for first place in the MVC standings at 8-2 in conference play. 

  • MTSU women crack Top 25, Insell ESPN's Coach of the Week

Following a dominant three-victory week which extended Middle Tennessee's winning streak to 14 games, Rick Insell was named the Coach of the Week by ESPN.com in the site's weekly women's college basketball roundup. 

The Blue Raiders are off to the best start in Insell's 18-year tenure with the program. After sweeping UAB, Charlotte and Louisiana Tech, MTSU vaulted into the AP Top-25 for the first time this season, coming in at No. 23 as one of only two mid-major programs currently ranked. 

  • TSU's Clay reaches 2,000 career points 

The Tennessee State Tigers lost to Arkansas-Little Rock on the road on Saturday, but Jr. Clay poured in a game-high 33 points to eclipse 3,000 for his career. 

The Tennessee Tech transfer also added four rebounds and a team-best six assists in the loss. He is now averaging team-highs in points (18.9) and assists (4.6) plus 4.1 rebounds on the year. 

  • Lipscomb women move into tie for first in ASUN 

The Lipscomb women's basketball program went 2-0 over the weekend, sending them into a tie for first place in the ASUN standings. 

The Bisons took down North Alabama and Central Arkansas on the road. They have now won three in a row and are tied with FGCU and Austin Peay at 6-1 in conference play. 

Lipscomb will not have to face either of the other two first play teams until the final three games of the season when they have a home-and-home with Austin Peay and a home date with FGCU.