Puckett named to All-South Region Team

More news about: Maryville (Tenn.)

Maryville College's Mackenzie Puckett was named to the 2014-15 D3hoops.com All-South Region Team following her stellar junior campaign.

Puckett led the Maryville College Scots the team's winningest season in school history this season, while helping the Scots to a No. 15 national ranking. The team finished with a 26-4 record on the year, as their season ended in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

This marks Puckett's third selection in as many years to the All-South team.

"We're really proud of Mackenzie," Head Coach Darrin Travillian said. "In a career that's already been colored with several different accolades, it's nice to be recognized as one of the best players in your entire region. She's definitely worthy of that. She's one of those kids that you're so happy for, because she does things the right way. She works hard. She's coachable, and she' holds herself accountable. She does the work in the classroom, as well. Obviously, on the court, her performances speak for themselves. We're so proud of everything she represents, because it's exactly what you try to recruit when you put a team together."

Puckett led the Maryville with 415 points on the year, averaging 13.8 per game – a total that ranked her fifth within the USA South Athletic Conference. She eclipsed her 1,000th career point on Feb. 21 with an offensive put back at the 14:00 mark against the Huntingdon Hawks.

In her career, she's posted 1,098 points, 457 rebounds, 132 assists, 124 steals and 111 blocks, while shooting 46.9 percent.

Puckett ranked fourth within the conference, while leading the Scots with 44 blocks this season. She shot 44.4 percent from the floor, knocking down 31.9 percent of her long range attempts. Puckett also pulled down 142 rebounds on the year, ranking her second on the team.

"It's a byproduct of the team setting her up to get some very good looks, and her ability to finish those plays," Travillian said. "She spends her time working on her game and working on her shot. Her ability to recognize a good shot has improved so much over the three years. It's one of those things that we tell the kids that if you take good shots and shoot it well, you'll finish with a high percentage. She's the epitome of that."

Puckett has been named All-Conference in each of her three seasons at Maryville, while racking up USA South Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year in 2013 and 2014. She has three All-South honors to her credit, while being named an All American by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association last year.

Puckett's also tallied 17 career USA South Player of the Week honors, while being dubbed to the Capital One Academic All District Team with a 3.81 GPA.

Travillian said Puckett was a big part of the team's record breaking season that saw the best start in MC's school history at 17-1, while tying the school's second-longest win streak at 16 games.

She also helped Travillian become the fastest coach to 100 career wins, as he accomplished the feat in 125 games.

"She was clearly instrumental," Travillian said. "If you look at any of the 'big wins' and the numbers that she put up in those games, it's clearly indicative of her value to the team. She finished the season so well. The way she played down the stretch in February, there's no way we would have put the numbers that we put together. There's no way that we would have won the regular season championship, and there's no way we would have won the first round of the NCAA Tournament without the finish that she put together."

Over the final seven games of the season, Puckett threw down 17.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game for the Scots. She bucketed 20-plus in four of those seven games, including a 24-point outing against Piedmont.

With so many accolades under her belt, Travillian said Puckett still has a chance for a few more.

"The only thing that we haven't done yet is that we have not won a Conference Tournament Championship," Travillian said. "I think from a team perspective, that's a big one. I think her ability as a senior next year to lead us into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament would be another big achievement for her. I think she's going to be a candidate for National Player of the Year next year, so I think from a team and individual perspective, there's still some lofty goals that she can still achieve. There's a lot of records here in terms of points, rebounds and blocked shots, that I'd love to see her go ahead and be at the top of all those leader boards, too."

The full teams for the All-South Region can be seen HERE.