Campus Corner

Former Blue Springs South star Justin Pitts is MIAA men’s basketball player of the year

Justin Pitts #1 of the Northwest Missouri Bearcats goes up for a shot against the Pittsburg State Gorillas during the game at the Municipal Auditorium on Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Kansas City.
Justin Pitts #1 of the Northwest Missouri Bearcats goes up for a shot against the Pittsburg State Gorillas during the game at the Municipal Auditorium on Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Kansas City. Special to the Star

Kansas City-area high school graduates cleaned up Tuesday when the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association announced its postseason men’s basketball awards.

Northwest Missouri sophomore guard Justin Pitts, a Blue Springs South graduate, was chosen as the MIAA player of the year and also made the all-MIAA first team.

Two Washburn players — sophomore forward Brady Skeens and freshman guard Javion Blake — also won yearly awards.

Skeens, a Shawnee Mission Northwest graduate, was chosen as defensive player of the year and Blake, an Olathe East graduate, was the freshman of the year.

Pitts, who was a unanimous first-team selection, ranks fifth in the conference with 20.9 points game. He also won All-MIAA first-team honors as a freshman last season.

Skeens averages 10.4 points and 9.9 rebounds, including 7.1 defensive boards, with 2.1 blocks. His teammate, Blake, averaged a team-high 13.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game this season. Skeens and Blake also received all-MIAA honorable mention.

Two more Northwest Missouri players from Kansas City also received postseason honors. Senior guard Conner Crooker, a Blue Valley North graduate, was chosen to the All-MIAA second team and junior forward Zach Schneider, a SM East graduate, was an All-MIAA third-team selection.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer

MIAA player of the year: Justin Pitts, G, So., Northwest Missouri

Defensive player of the year: Brady Skeens, F, So., Washburn

Freshman of the year: Javion Blake, G, Fr., Washburn

Coach of the year: Ben McCollum, Northwest Missouri

All-MIAA First Team

Justin Pitts, G, So., Northwest Missouri*

Connor Beranek, F, Sr., Nebraska-Kearney*

Taevaunn Prince, G/F, Sr., Missouri Southern*

Cory Arentsen, G/F, Sr., Lindenwood*

Rob Davis, G, Jr., Fort Hays State

*Unanimous selection

All-MIAA Second Team

Terrence Moore, G, Sr., Emporia State

Anthony Virdure, G, Jr., Lincoln

Josiah Gustafson, G, Jr., Pittsburg State

Ethan Brozek, C, Sr., Nebraska-Kearney

Conner Crooker, G, Sr., Northwest Missouri

All-MIAA Third Team

Craig Nicholson, G, Sr., Fort Hays State

Trey Lansman, F, So., Nebraska-Kearney

Dom Samac, F, Sr., Fort Hays State

Charlie Brown, G, So., Missouri Southern

Zach Schneider, F, Jr., Northwest Missouri

All-Defensive team

Brady Skeens, F, So., Washburn

Stanislas Heili, C, Sr., Lindenwood

Terrence Moore, G, Sr., Emporia State

Javis Flynn, G, Sr., Pittsburg State

Ethan Brozek, C, Sr., Nebraska-Kearney

Honorable mention

Central Missouri: D’Marnier Cunningham, Spencer Reaves; Central Oklahoma: Seth Heckart, Cornell Neal; Emporia State: Charles McKinney, Kevin Allen; Lincoln: Jaylon Smith; Missouri Southern: Austin Wright; Missouri Western: Aaron Emmanuel; Northeastern State: Trey Mohair, Dakota Caudill; Northwest Missouri: Chris-Ebou Ndow; Pittsburg State: Trey Starks, Javis Flynn; Southwest Baptist: Logan Hovey; Washburn: Javion Blake, Brady Skeens

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