There is a lot of talent being lost in the MAC this year. Turnover is a good and a bad thing for college basketball, but the players being honored this weekend will certainly be missed.
This weekend is always bittersweet for both players and fans. Senior nights are emotional for everyone, as the players gets to play for the last time in their home arena and the fans get to say goodbye to the guys they've watched grow up over the last four years.
As senior night weekend approaches, let's take a look at who we will be seeing for the last time in a college uniform over the next week or so. These guys will be missed, that's for sure.
PG DJ Cooper--Ohio 14.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 7.3 APG, 2.1 SPG, 43.5 FG%
SG Jauwon Scaife--Ball State 16.2 PPG, 39.2 FG%, 80.5 FT%
SF A'uston Calhoun--Bowling Green 15.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 45.1 FG%
PF Reggie Keely--Ohio 12.0 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 62.2 FG%
C Zeke Marshall--Akron 12.9 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 3.6 BPG, 66.7 FG%
Wow. This team has all the makings of the actual All-MAC first team, save maybe Javon McCrea. Cooper and Marshall are household names while Scaife is en fuego lately. Calhoun has really had a solid career, and has put up those numbers while playing almost every minute in a game. Keely catches a lot of flack (at least from Akron fans) but he's been really good this year. Having Cooper feed him great passes certainly helps, but Keely has really been the key to Ohio's season.
PG Jordon Crawford--Bowling Green 14.8 PPG, 4.4 APG
SG Brian Walsh--Akron 7.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 42.9 FG%, 38.8 3PT%
SF Walter Offutt--Ohio 11.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 42.6 FG%, 80.9 FT%
PF Chris Evans--Kent State 16.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 50 FG%
C Jamell Harris--Eastern Michigan 4.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 49.5 FG%
The second five seniors could probably give the first team a good game. Crawford is one of the most annoying players I've seen, and I mean that in a good way. He uses his stature well, getting steals and hitting layups in traffic that you'd never think would go in. Walsh and Offutt only spent two years at their respective schools, but both are dead-eye shooters. Wouldn't you like to see those two play HORSE? They also are possibly the best rebounding guards in the conference, and are always on the floor to get a loose ball. Evans is quietly putting up MAC player of the year numbers, and is best known as a high-flyer. After Marshall, the big man department is pretty shallow. But, Harris has had a productive year with the Eagles and plays good defense.
PG Tony Watson--Buffalo 10.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.3 APG, 43.9 FG%, 44.2 3PT%, 90 FT%
SG Randal Holt--Kent State 14.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.4 APG, 38.9 3PT%, 86 FT%
SF Nate Hutcheson--Western Michigan 10.4 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 39.4 FG%
PF Ivo Baltic--Ohio 7.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG
C Olivier Mbaigoto--Central Michigan 7.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 49.4 FG%
How about Tony Watson's shooting percentages? When I looked that up, I couldn't believe it. With Jarod Oldham out, Watson has stepped up well and went off against Miami. Holt has had a solid career for the Flashes and he's been a great three point marksman. Hutcheson is a big loss for Western Michigan; he's provided great senior leadership to a young team and him and Shayne Whittington have led the Broncos to a MAC West title. Baltic has dropped off recently, but he always could go for 15 & 8 in one game. Mbaigoto gets overlooked, but Central Michigan had a fairly decent year in Keno Davis' first go-around.
Kyle Randall--Central Michigan 17.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.6 APG, 41.2 FG%, 85.1 FT%
Chauncey Gilliam--Akron 5 PPG, 1.7 RPG
Derek Thompson--Eastern Michigan 10.8 PPG, 81.3 FT%
Dominique Buckley--Toledo 9.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 82.6 FT%
Brandon Pokely--Western Michigan 8.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 89.1 FT%
With so many great point guards in the MAC, it was hard to put Kyle Randall here. He's had a great season and it's a shame we couldn't have watched him for four years. He can sure fill it up, and their first or second round matchup better account for him or he'll attack. Gilliam's sort of had a disappointing season, but he's been injured and is just now fully recovering. Thompson, Buckley and Pokely are all basically the same player. They provide scoring and are almost money on the free throw line.
It's going to be hard to say goodbye to these guys. Many of them are good enough to play professionally either in the D-League or overseas. Some may go into coaching, some we may never hear from again. As you attend a senior night game this weekend, make sure to show those players graduating how meant they have meant to you, your fanbase, and your school.