Winona State’s John Smith to be inducted in Small College Basketball Hall of Fame
Small College Basketball has announced its 2019 National Hall of Fame Class which includes Winona State University men’s basketball legend John Smith.
Smith was an integral player for the Winona State men’s basketball team that won two national championships in 2006 and 2008 and a national champion runner-up in 2007. He was named the Most Outstanding Player in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, and the NCAA Division II Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008.
Smith helped lead Winona State to a NCAA Division II record 57-game win streak, and the Warriors had a remarkable 105-6 record during his final three seasons.
He recorded numerous accolades during his illustrious Warrior career. He was the 2008 National Player of the Year in the NABC, Division II Bulletin, and the Basketball Times as well as the 2007 National Player of the Year in the same publications as well as earning the Daktronics National Player of the Year as well. He earned First Team All-American honors in 2007 and 2008 and both the Daktronics and the NABC Regional Player of the Year awards. Smith earned the NSIC Most Valuable Player awards in both 2007 and 2008 as well as made the NSIC First Team All-Conference in 2006, 2007, and 2008.
Smith not only made his mark on the Winona State record books, but the Division II basketball record books as well. He is WSU’s record holder in points scored (2,265), field goals made (849), free throws made (541), free throws attempted (790), and games played (146). He is also Winona State’s second all-time leading rebounder (1,334) and shot blocker (423) as well as hold WSU’s second-best field goal shooting percentage (56.19). Smith’s 146 games played is the NCAA Division II record. He is eighth in NCAA Division II record book for career rebounds and second in career blocked shots.
In 2006, Smith led Winona State to a Division II National Championship win over Virginia Union 73-61. He received the NCAA Division II Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award. In 2007, Smith led Winona State to a 35-1 record and a runner-up in the NCAA Division II National Championship game. In 2008, Smith again led Winona State to its third NCAA National Championship game in three years, this time winning the championship 87-76 over Augusta State. Smith scored 18 points and knocked down four three-pointers to help WSU secure the win after coming back from 12 down at halftime to win the game.