JACKSON - There’s a list of former Mississippi State greats that belong to an elite club in basketball for this state like Jarvis Varnado, Jamont Gordon and Lawrence Roberts.
As of Monday, Arnett Moultrie joins that group.
That collection of Bulldog standouts are recipients of the Howell Trophy, an annual award given to the top collegiate basketball player in the state of Mississippi.
Moultrie is the first MSU player to take home the honor since 2009 when Varnado, the NCAA’s leading shotblocker, raised the trophy.
"Bailey Howell is the greatest player ever to play at Mississippi State, and to have my name associated with his is quite the honor," said Moultrie in a release. "I have to give a lot of credit to my coaches and teammates."
Moultrie is averaging 16.1 points, fourth best in the Southeastern Conference. He is in his first year as a Bulldog after transferring from UTEP, and currently leads the SEC in rebounding (10.7) and double-doubles (18). His minutes average of 35.2 is second behind Dee Bost, a three-time finalist for the Howell Trophy.
Joining Moultrie and Bost as finalists at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on Monday was Southern Mississippi's Neil Watson.
"If I couldn't win it, I'm glad Arnett could," Bost said. "It's hard to argue his numbers. He's averaging a double-double. I'm proud for him."
The Gillom Trophy, presented to the women's top collegiate player, was awarded to Delta State's Veronica Walker for the second-straight year. Mississippi State senior Diamber Johnson, who led her team in scoring at 14.7 points, was a finalist along with Ole Miss' Valencia McFarland.
Mississippi State, which closed out the regular season on Saturday with an impressive 79-59 win against Arkansas, returns to action at 9 p.m. Thursday against Georgia in the opening round of the SEC Tournament in New Orleans.