Every little bit of recognition is good when it comes to your accomplishments - except for those annoying events where every kid gets a ribbon, even when they come in 6th or 7th place.
Yesterday's news may or may not fall into that category, depending on how you feel about collegeinsider.com and their associated postseason tournament. Three MAC freshmen were named to their Mid-Major Freshman All-America Team, including Central Michigan's Trey Zeigler, Buffalo's Javon McCrea, and Western Michigan's Juwan Howard, Jr.
I personally am going to place this under "any press is good press," but let's take a closer look at the honorees.
Trey Zeigler (CMU) - I suppose we shouldn't really be surprised at Trey's appearance on this list, since he started the year on multiple lists (even some national ones) as a freshman to keep eyes on. The coach's son did not disappoint, finishing the year as the conference's leading freshman scorer (and leader on his own team) and runner-up for the conference's Freshman of the Year. Now if only he could rectify that dreadful 57% free throw shooting and the team's overall lack of depth...well, how about one out of two?
Javon McCrea (BUF) - Here we have the young man who stayed home (roughly) and beat out Ziegler for the conference's Freshman of the Year vote. He's certainly got to work on evening out his play - his impressive eleven games with 15-plus points is nearly washed out by another half-dozen games where he couldn't crack a half-dozen points. His strong play was integral in the Bulls' postseason run and will likely be at the front line of whatever success they can pull together going forward.
Juwan Howard, Jr. (WMU) - Ok, first of all, how did we at Hustle Belt make it the entire basketball season without taking time to discuss the fact that Fab Five Junior was a member of our great club? Howard played as a reserve this season, but don't be surprised if he moves into the primary rotation next season. He impressed as a freshman, posting 10-plus points in nearly half of the Broncos games despite not starting a single one, and even surpassed 20 points four times. My only question is - what are the odds he decides to rebel and undo his dad's "revolution" by trying to bring back the short shorts?