By BLAKE TOPPMEYER
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
CANTON, Mo. -- James Johnson was one step ahead of the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
Before the HAAC named Marshawn Norris, the senior point guard for the Culver-Stockton College men's basketball team, its Player of the Year on Thursday, Johnson had already predicted what was to come.
"James Johnson was talking about it the other night before everything even came out," Norris said of his teammate, a junior forward. "James, knowing everything, ... he was like, ‘Marshawn, I think they're about to give you player of the year.' I was like, ‘No man.'
"I think he's like some sort of wizard or something. He's got a crystal ball."
Really, Johnson just saw what was evident all season -- Norris is the most dominant player in the HAAC.
Norris, a transfer from Quincy University, averages a team-best 17.7 points per game and a league-best 6.8 assists per game for the 24-7 Wildcats. He's also supplying 4.8 rebounds and a team-best 2.2 steals per game. He broke C-SC's single-season record for 3-pointers -- he's made 106 -- and assists with 211.
"There are some great players in this league, and I was just glad that I could be named the best of them all," Norris said. "It was a great honor."
C-SC's Jack Schrader was named the league's Coach of the Year, and C-SC's junior guard CJ Adams was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year.
"It's always been like that," Adams said. "Ever since high school, the coach always put me on their best player, and it was my job to stop them from scoring."
C-SC senior guard Austin Keaton (15.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg) was a second-team All-HAAC selection, and Johnson (15.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg) was a third-team selection.
On the women's side, C-SC point guard Randi Lee Plunkett was named the HAAC Freshman of the Year. A product out of Marion County, Plunkett averaged 9.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game.
C-SC junior guard Mimi Reaves was a second-team all-conference selection. She averaged of 17.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game this season.