The Mid-American Conference announced its 2013-2014 Men's Basketball end-of-year awards on Tuesday and Wednesday, and there were few surprises in the mix.
Buffalo's Javon McCrea took home his first MAC Player of the Year award, after completing the season br racking up his third straight All-MAC First Team selection. McCrea, a senior forward, received 20 out of 25 votes to take home the award. He finished the regular season second in the conference in scoring and rebounding, averaging 18.9 points and 9.8 boards a game.
McCrea is the third Bull to win the MAC's top honor. His Bulls just locked up their first ever outright MAC East title, and earned the No. 3 seed in the MAC Tournament.
"This is a very deserving honor for Javon who has meant so much to our program and to the league," said head coach Bobby Hurley in an official release by the MAC.. "He has had a monster season and he is the most complete player in the MAC. Playing at such a high level statistically and helping us win a MAC East Championship put him in a rare group of players that have achieved and accomplished what he has in his career and we are proud of him for that."
Rather surprisingly, it was WMU's David Brown, the MAC's top scorer, that finished second with three votes, not Toledo's Julius "Juice" Brown, whom many thought was McCrea's stiffest competition.
WMU head coach Steve Hawkins beat out NIU's Mark Montgomery (four votes) Toledo's Tod Kowalcyzk (three votes) and Buffalo first-year head coach Bobby Hurley (two votes) with 16 votes to earn the MAC Coach of the Year award. Hawkins' Broncos locked up the No. 1 seed in the MAC Tournament and a co-regular season championship after being picked to finish third in the West in the preseason MAC Poll.
This marks the seventh time since Hawkin's took over WMU's program in 2003 that the Broncos have won a MAC West title. This is the Broncos sixth 20+ win season in that same span. He's the third WMU head coach to earn the MAC's Coach of the Year honors.
Tuesday the MAC announced that EMU senior center Da'Shonte Riley won the Defensive Player of the Year, Akron sophomore forward Jake Kretzer Sixth Man of the Year, and Ball State freshman point guard Freshman of the Year.
Riley led the MAC with 2.8 blocks per game in 2013-2014 as he emerged as a stalwart in EMU's 2-3 zone scheme. The Eagles' big man is the first player in school history to win the MAC's Defensive Player of the Year award.
Kretzer, who finished the regular season sitting out due to a concussion sustained late in the regular season. He averaged 7.8 points and 3 rebounds a game for the season, mostly coming off the bench, but his numbers increased to 8.7 and 3.8 in conference play. Kretzer is the fourth Zip to win the award, joining current teammate Quincy Diggs (2012) and former Zips Brett McKnight (2009) and Cedrick Middleton (2007). Akron locked up the No. 4 seed with Kretzers help.
Turner was considered a shoe-in for the Freshman of the Year award, and earned 18 of the 25 votes. Turner was one of the better 3-point shooters in the league this season and finished second on the team in points-per-contest. HE played an integral part in first-year head coach James Whitford's offense. He averaged 12 points, 3.6 assists, and 32.6 minutes-per-game. He's also the sixth player in Ball State history to take home the award. JArron Jones (2009) was the most recent Cardinal before Turner to take home this honor.