McDermott MVC player of year again
OMAHA, Neb. (AP)
Doug McDermott has added yet another award to his collection.
The 6-foot-8 junior, whose 23.4-point average ranks first in the Valley and second nationally, received 35 of 36 first-place votes in a poll of coaches, sports information directors and media.
In other Valley awards, Creighton's Ethan Wragge was named sixth man of the year, Wichita State's Cleanthony Early newcomer of the year, Missouri State's Marcus Marshall freshman of the year and Bradley's Dyricus Simms-Edwards defensive player of the year.
McDermott and Early were joined on the all-conference first team by Illinois State's Jackie Carmichael, Indiana State's Jake Odum and Evansville's Colt Ryan. Ryan was runner-up to McDermott for player of the year.
Wichita State, which gives up 60.8 points a game, was named defensive team of the year.
McDermott is the first Valley player since Hersey Hawkins (1986-88) with consecutive 700-point seasons and the first to win his second Larry Bird Trophy as a junior. He's the eighth player to receive the conference's top honor in back-to-back years and the first since Southern Illinois' Darren Brooks in 2004-05.
McDermott was at his best in his last game, scoring a season-high 41 points in a 91-79 win over Wichita State on Saturday that produced the Bluejays' first outright regular-season championship since 2001.
''It feels way better this year than it did last year, just for the fact we were able to get it done,'' McDermott said. ''It came down to one game, and it's really special we were able to do that. I feel great and can't wait for St. Louis.''
Creighton (24-7) opens defense of its MVC tournament championship on Friday in St. Louis.
McDermott has been a dominant player in the Valley for three years. He became the first freshman since 1952 to make the all-conference first team. Last year he came out of the regular season averaging 23.1 points and became the first Creighton player named first-team All-American by The Associated Press.
Even though opponents loaded up defensively on McDermott this season, he scored 25 or more points in 14 games. McDermott also ranks third in the conference in rebounding (7.6 rpg) and is second in three-point percentage (.481).
Wragge was named the league's top reserve after averaging 7.8 points and better than two 3-pointers a game.
Early, who's averaging 14.5 points and 5.2 rebounds, is the second straight Wichita State player named newcomer of the year. Carl Hall won the award in 2012.
Missouri State's Marshall is the Valley's top-scoring freshman, at 10.8 points a game. Bradley's Simms-Edwards, the top defensive player, leads the Valley with a school-record 84 steals.