Although Loyola’s NCAA Tournament run is over, Clayton Custer is still winning.
Custer received the Lou Henson Award on Monday. The honor, which is presented annually by CollegeInsider.com, is given to the nation’s top mid-major player.
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Custer, a native of Overland Park, Kansas, was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year last month, making him Loyola’s first player to be named a conference player of the year since Andre Moore in 1987, when the Ramblers were in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference.
Custer also was recognized for his academic achievements. He earned College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District recognition and made the MVC Scholar-Athlete first team.
Custer played a major role in Loyola’s first Final Four berth since the Ramblers’ won the national title in 1963. He hit the last-second shot to beat Tennessee in the second round, averaged 12.2 points per game and shot 56 percent from the field and 52.9 percent from beyond the arc.
When Custer was out with an ankle injury, the Ramblers went 2-3. They finished 32-6 overall.
The 6-1 guard, who transferred from Iowa State before the 2015-16 season, led Loyola in several categories, including scoring (13.2 points per game), three-point percentage (.451), assists (135) and steals (50). He also was second in free-throw shooting at 77 percent.