Boots, Lewis and Samuels earn top basketball awards

Neal Hogden, Managing Editor

Lydia Sanchez

The UW Oshkosh basketball programs had a historic year on and off the court.

Men’s head coach Matt Lewis took home numerous awards en route to capturing the first national title in program’s 121-year history.

Last weekend, Lewis traveled to Minneapolis to accept the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III Coach of the Year Award.

Lewis, along with college basketball standouts such as Duke standout Zion Williamson, University of Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ, Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard and many others were all honored alongside Lewis.

The Titan head coach also received the Glenn Robinson award for the best D-III college coach in the country. He is the first national champion to win the award in its nine-year history.

Currently, Lewis holds the best winning percentage in college basketball history with a mark of .906.

Lewis’ team set school records with 29 wins, 2,715 points, 961 made field goals, 2,018 field goal attempts, 1,308 rebounds, 325 made 3-pointers, 866 3-point attempts and 148 blocks.

Lydia Sanchez

Lewis’ senior leader, guard Ben Boots, also hauled in a slew of awards which included D-III All-America First Team from the NABC and, the NABC Central Region Player of the Year and WIAC Player of the Year.

Boots also earned the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association’s 2019 NCAA D-III Men’s Public Schools Player of the Year award.

Boots led the Titans this season with 15.7 points per game, an .875 free throw percentage, 134 assists, 87 made 3-pointers and a 2.03 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Boots finished his UW Oshkosh career as the school’s all-time leader with 417 assists, 272 made 3-pointers, 699 3-point attempts and 121 games played.

Senior Isabella Samuels’ 2019 season earned her the NCAA D-III Public Schools Women’s Player of the Year by the WBCA.

Samuels led the Titans with 9.8 points per game and 69.1% shooting from the field. Her 69.1% field goal percentage was second in WIAC history.

The forward led the Titans to a 26-4 record and a sweet sixteen appearance in the D-III women’s basketball tournament.