McDermott named MVC Player of Year

For the second straight season, Creighton forward and former Ames High School star Doug McDermott is the Missouri Valley Conference’s Player of the Year.

McDermott, who leads the Valley and is second nationally in scoring at 23.4 points per game, received 35 of the 36 first-place votes in a poll of coaches, sports information directors and media.

The MVC also announced its all-conference squads Tuesday and two Drake players were honored, while Anthony James was Northern Iowa’s lone selection.

The other invidual awards went to Sixth Man of the Year Ethan Wragge of Creighton, top newcomer Cleanthony Early of Wichita State, top freshman Marcus Marshall of Missouri State and top defensive player Dyricus Simms-Edwards of Bradley.

The MVC first-team included McDermott and Early as well as Illinois State’s Jackie Carmichael, Indiana State’s Jake Odum and Evansville’s Colt Ryan.

Drake’s Ben Simons and Northern Iowa’s James landed on the second team, while Drake’s Joey King landed on the MVC all-Freshman squad.

Illinois State’s Tyler Brown, a former Marshalltown Community College standout, also was a second-team selection.

James led the Panthers (18-13) in scoring this year at 13.6 points per game and was fifth in the Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year voting with four third-place votes. He scored in double-figures 19 times this year, including a season-high 25 points against MVC regular season champion Creighton.

James was an honorable mention player as a sophomore and junior and is one of 36 players in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark.

Simons was named the second-team for the second straight year as he led the Bulldogs at 14.4 points per game. He led the Bulldogs in scoring 11 times and hit double-figures in 13 MVC games. He ranks eighth all-time in scoring at Drake with 1,355 points and also was fourth in 3-pointers made with 232.

King averaged 6.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest in his first season at Drake. He also hit 33 3-pointers, which ranked third on the team.

Northern Iowa will play Illinois State (17-14) in the MVC Tournament quarterfinals at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Drake will take on Bradley in the first round of the tournament at 6:05 p.m. Thursday.

Following his 28-point effort at Northern Iowa Saturday night, Brown now leads Illinois State and ranks third in the Valley and 42nd in the nation with 18.1 points per game. Brown also is third in the league, with 2.4 3-pointers averaged per game, and fourth with an 80.6 percent free throw average.

Brown also is just the third player in program history to reach 1,000 points in his first two seasons as a Redbird, after transferring to Illinois State from Marshalltown Community College.

The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament will once again take place at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.