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2017-18 MAC Men’s Basketball Top Player Countdown: #1 Thomas Wilder, Western Michigan Broncos

NCAA Basketball: Charleston Classic-Western Michigan vs Boise State Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Last season was the year of the big man in the MAC. Most every team was led by a player in the paint. This year is the year of the guard. 5 of our top 6 players in the league play the position, and none does it better than Thomas Wilder from the Western Michigan Broncos.

The 6’3 guard from Montgomery, Illinois has already had a heralded career. As a freshman, he was named to the MAC All-Freshmen team. As a sophomore, he was Second Team All-MAC. As a junior, he was First Team All-MAC, team MVP, and Second Team All-District for the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

The stats for his junior season were fantastic. He averaged 19.3 points per game and shot a blistering 44% from beyond the arch. From the charity stripe he hit 83% of the time. He also added 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest.

The Broncos were a work in progress last season that progressed nicely and closed out the regular season on a 9 game winning streak. Most of the main contributors are back. One player that isn’t returning is Tucker Haymond, who was the teams second leading scorer. With the departure of Haymond, I expect even more of the scoring load to fall onto the shoulders of Wilder. He is a brilliant shooter and effective at slashing to the basket and finishing. When the season is over and the awards are dished out, look for Wilder to collect his fair share.