Treadwell and Underwood: Player and Coach of the Year

By Steve Williams

The numbers alone tell a lot when it comes to Avery Treadwell and Justin Underwood, the Knox County girls’ Player and Coach of the Year.

The 6-foot-3 Treadwell averaged 16.7 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game during Bearden’s 29-0 regular season.

Underwood, Avery’s coach, also has some awesome numbers. Last season, he guided the Lady Bulldogs to a school record 36-3 record on their way to Bearden’s first state championship in girls basketball. This season could end up being even more impressive numbers-wise, as his team went into the Region 2-4A tournament this past Friday with a 31-0 record and 53-game winning streak.

Treadwell, a Florida State signee, was a runaway winner in the voting for The Knoxville Focus / Coaches’ Player of the Year award, while Underwood had a little more competition for Coach of the Year honors.

Avery will probably be glad to know her freshman teammate, Natalya Hodge, got a vote, and Coach Underwood no doubt will be pleased to hear that too. He said Natalya and Avery both “have been extremely important” in the team’s undefeated record.

Hodge, a guard with outstanding speed, had regular season game averages of 14.3 points, 4.4 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 3.6 steals.

CAK’s Abby Williams, whose Lady Warriors are contenders for a Division II-A state crown, was second in the voting for Coach of the Year. First-year Karns coach Lauren Trent, who has turned around the Lady Beavers’ program, also was recognized in the voting, as well as Farragut Coach Jason Mayfield.

Speaking of Mayfield, he was asked to comment on Underwood and Treadwell’s awards.

“Justin does a great job every year and has turned that program into one of the better programs in the state,” said Jason. “If a team goes 31-0, I feel like the coach should obviously be the Coach of the Year.

“Avery is a great high school player,” he added. “She has been the focal point of our defense since her sophomore year and she continues to get better each year.”

Coming from a district rival coach, Avery and Justin will probably appreciate Mayfield’s compliments even more.

When asked the main reasons she chose Florida State, Treadwell said: “It was a great fit with all the coaches and the school itself and I wanted the challenge of trying to go play at a big Power 5 school. You know, see if I could do it.”

Avery also had offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State and West Virginia.

“I’d rather go seven hours south than seven hours north,” she pointed out.

Florida State is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference and located in Tallahassee.