I can’t very well jump off the Adam Emmenecker bandwagon now. I understand the arguments against him. We can’t make every heady point guard player of the year. He is averaging only 7.7 points (10.3 in MVC games). If you drafted MVC players, Illinois State’s Osiris Eldridge goes first. All sound arguments.
This season, I’m going with Emmenecker as player of the year. Drake is such a unique team and he makes them go. He took over the final minutes of Saturday’s win over WSU, just like has in several other games. This season, one in which experience and heady play ruled the Valley, he is the player of the year.
Emmenecker - The fact Drake clinched the title by mid-February and swept Illinois State helped with my vote. Drake won at Bradley and beat Illinois State at home without Young. It won at Creighton in Young’s first game back from injury. Emmenecker averaged 14.3 points, six rebounds and six assists in those games.
Eldridge – His performance against SIU on Saturday night no doubt swayed some voters, with good reason. It’s not often one player beats down the Salukis. His hair may have cost him a vote. Should be No. 1 in next season’s MVC fantasy drafts.
Josh Young, Drake – Will steal some votes from his teammate.
Jonathan Cox, Drake – I rooted for him to become the first MVC player to lead the conference in rebounding and three-point accuracy. Close decision over teammate Leonard Houston.
Bryan Mullins, SIU – Most consistent Saluki. Without him, SIU is a Thursday team.
Randal Falker, SIU – Coming on strong late. Did not live up to expectations as the preseason player of the year. That’s a tough standard. Coach Chris Lowery seemed unhappy with his effort much of the season.
Anthony Slack, Illinois State – Shooting 69.8 percent from the field.
Jeremy Crouch, Bradley – Most consistent Brave in a difficult season.
P’Allen Stinnett, Creighton – MVC’s best freshman.
Leonard Houston, Drake – Overshadowed by his teammates. Drake would be lost without his athletic ability.
Newcomer of the year – Booker Woodfox, Creighton. Bradley’s Theron Wilson is an equally good choice. I went with Woodfox because I think he is more important to Creighton. Bradley relies so much on its guards it seems to diminish Wilson. Yes, I’m not very convincing. A coin flip.
Freshman of the year – Stinnnett, and it’s not close. Bradley’s Sam Maniscalco had a great season.
Coach of the year – Keno Davis, Drake.
This obviously leaves off some fine players – Lamberth and Mitchell at Missouri State, Coleman at UNI and WSU’s duo of Braeuer and Couisnard, Ely and Holsinger at Evansville, Watts at Creighton and Moore at Indiana State.