Wichita State guards Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet repeated as All-Missouri Valley Conference selections and senior guard Tekele Cotton became the first Shocker to earn two Defensive MVP honors on Tuesday.
Northern Iowa senior center Seth Tuttle was chosen Larry Bird Player of the Year and joined Baker and VanVleet on the first team, along with Evansville’s Egidijus Mockevicius and D.J Balentine. Cotton was voted second-team All-Valley for a second straight season and forward Darius Carter received honorable mention.
Tuttle received 38 first-place votes and 123 total for Player of the Year. Baker, a junior, got five first-place votes and 71 total. VanVleet, last season’s Player of the Year, earned four first-place votes and 65 total. Forty people vote, with a coach, sports information director, radio voice and beat writer representing each school.
VanVleet, a junior, joined Cotton on the All-Defensive team. Wichita State center Shaq Morris earned a spot on the All-Freshman team.
Baker and VanVleet become the 15th and 16th Shockers to earn first-team honors more than once.
Cotton joins Dwayne Praylow (1989) and Jamar Howard (2003) as Shockers to win Defensive MVP, an award started in 1989. He is the fifth player to win twice, joining Southern Illinois’ Ashraf Amaya (1992, 93), Darren Brooks (2004, 05) and Bryan Mullins (2008, 09) and Illinois State’s Dan Muller (11996, 97).
The All-Bench and Most Improved teams are announced Wednesday. Coach of the Year is announced Thursday.
All-Missouri Valley team and individual honors
C — Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa
G — Ron Baker, Wichita State
G — Fred VanVleet, Wichita State
C — Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville
G — D.J. Balentine, Evansville
G — Anthony Beane, Southern Illinois
G — Daishon Knight, Illinois State
G — Tekele Cotton, Wichita State
G — Devonte Brown, Indiana State
C — Reggie Lynch, Illinois State
G — Wes Washpun, Northern Iowa
G — Deon Mitchell, Northern Iowa
C — Darius Carter, Wichita State
F — Christian Thomas, Loyola
G — Gary Ricks Jr., Drake
Player of the Year — Tuttle
Newcomer of the Year – DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, Illinois State
Freshman of the Year — Brenton Scott, Indiana State.
Sixth Man of the Year — Washpun
Defensive MVP — Cotton
Akoon-Purcell, Scott, Reed Timmer, Drake; Paul Jesperson, UNI; Montel James, Loyola
Scott, Timmer, Morris, Josh Cunningham, Bradley; Jordan Caroline, SIU
Cotton, VanVleet, Lynch, Mockevicius, Paris Lee, Illinois State