As I wrote when I put out the first installment of this series, this group of players is really talented. I would not be shocked if any of these 5 players end up first team All-MAC. And if you haven’t bothered to read the first article, these 5 players are listed in no particular order, other than I believe they are ranked between 19 and 23rd.
Nate Navigato, Senior, Forward, Toledo Rockets
The 6’8 forward from Geneva, Illinois is a sharpshooting wiz. He hit 42.7% of his treys last year while averaging 12.2 points per game. He also snagged 4.2 rebounds per contest. A smart fellow, as well, he was named to the All-MAC academic team as a sophomore. Every year as a Rocket, he has gotten a little bit better, and become a little bit more of a complete player. Even if he just gets a little better, he will warrant this ranking, however, I would not be shocked if he made a giant leap forward in his final season.
Jimond Ivey, Senior, Guard, Akron Zips
As Ivey enters his 11th season at Akron... Ok, maybe he hasn’t been there that long, but it does seem like he has been there forever. The 6’5 senior guard from Cleveland’s Glenville Academy looked poised to have a break out season last year, but struggled with shot selection in first year coach John Groce’s chuck and duck, I mean high screen offense. He still managed to average 13.1 points per game and showed flashes of greatness. He put up 48, on the road against Ball State. He set the record in Worthen Arena previously held by Bonzi Wells and Earl Boykins for most points in a game. He hit 9 threes in that game. In his sophomore campaign under coach Dambrot, he hit 52% of his shots from the floor. As Ivey gets more comfortable in the Groce system, I expect big things in his senior campaign.
K.J. Walton, Junior, Guard, Ball State Cardinals
I generally go with what I know on these lists, or more specifically go with guys I have seen play a lot of basketball. However, we entered a new era of college basketball a few years ago. The transfer era. Last season, a transfer was MAC Player of the Year. Walton is the only transfer I have included on this list, not because I don’t believe there will be others, but because his transfer just seems right. The Indianapolis native is joining players he is familiar with on the Indiana all star circuit.
Jason Carter, Soph, Forward, Ohio Bobcats
This sophomore from outside of Columbus showed real promise his freshman season when stepping in for injured Antonio Campbell. Campbell was the reigning MAC Player of the Year and most thought the season was over. Sadly, Carter suffered his own injury in his sophomore campaign, but was awarded a medical redshirt by the NCAA.
Dylan Frye, Junior, Guard, Bowling Green Falcons
I am not a national prep basketball expert, nor have I ever claimed to even care. However, when writing the preview for the Falcons a few years back, I noticed this kid and his stats. I thought to myself, noting his stats in Miami. I thought to myself, “Wow, what a get for coach Huger.” Then I saw him play in his first few games and though, “Wow, this kid needs to transfer to a D3 or NAIA school.” It wasn’t that he didn’t look like he had any skills, he just looked like a high school kid. By his third for fourth game, I started to believe he belonged in the MAC. After last season, I think he can be a star in the MAC.