MVC Postseason Awards: VanVleet Wins Player of the Year, All-Conference Teams Announced

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Fred VanVleet takes home the Valley's biggest individual award, three Shockers are on the MVC's All Conference Team, and a whole lot more

Fred VanVleet is entirely deserving of the MVC Larry Bird Player of the Year Award, even if I fully expected it to go to teammate Cleanthony Early. VanVleet is only the second sophomore to have ever earned the award after Creigton's Doug McDermott, making his accomplishment all the more impressive.

While Early was the go to scorer, VanVleet was the field general.

VanVleet played the most minutes per game of any of his teammates with 31.8 minutes for the undefeated Shockers. His stat line reads at 11.9 ppg, 4 rpg, 5.3 apg, and 1.9 spg, but Shockers fans are more likely to remember the moments that he had ice in his veins and knocked down high pressure shots that sent the opponent packing.

Tekele Cotton, a Shocker junior, took home the Defensive Player of the Year, which is entirely logical considering he was the best defensive player on the best defense in the conference.

Loyola may be a newcomer to the Valley, but their freshman Milton Doyle took it a little bit further by grabbing both the Valley's Freshman of the Year Award and Newcomer of the Year Award. As a freshman the Chicago native lead his team in almost every important category, namely scoring (15.1 points per game), assists (105), steals (38) and blocks (20). His 4.3 rebounds per game are second for the Ramblers.

Khristian Smith is the first Sycamore to ever earn the Valley's Sixth Man Award, given to the best bench player in the conference. In spite of not starting for Indiana State, the 6-6 sophomore scored 11.1 a game and hauled in 4 rebounds a game, both good for second for Indiana State.

The All-Missouri Valley Teams are as follow:

First Team
Ron Baker, Wichita State So. G
D.J. Balentine, Evansville So. G
Cleanthony Early, Wichita St. Sr. F
Jake Odum, Indiana State Sr. G
Seth Tuttle, UNI Jr. F
Fred VanVleet, Wichita St. So. G

Second Team
Anthony Beane, S. Illinois So. G
Tekele Cotton, Wichita St. Jr. G
Jarmar Gulley, Missouri St. Sr. F
Desmar Jackson, S. Illinois Sr. G
Walt Lemon, Jr., Bradley Sr. G

Honorable-Mention Selections
Manny Arop, Indiana St. Sr. G-F
Richard Carter, Drake Sr. G
Milton Doyle, Loyola Fr. G
Daishon Knight, Illinois St. Jr. G 
Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville So. C

All-Newcomer Team
Darius Carter, Wichita St. Jr. F
Milton Doyle, Loyola Fr. G
Daishon Knight, Illinois St. Jr. G
Reggie Lynch, Illinois St. Fr. C
Wes Washpun, UNI So. G

All-Freshman Team
Milton Doyle, Loyola Fr. G
Jeremy Morgan, UNI Fr. G
Reggie Lynch, Illinois St. Fr. C
Austin Ruder, Missouri St. Fr. G
Blake Simmons, Evansville Fr. G-F

All-Defensive Team
Tekele Cotton, Wichita St. Jr. G
Desmar Jackson, Southern Illinois Sr. G
Walt Lemon, Jr., Bradley Sr. G
Fred VanVleet, Wichita St. So. G
Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville So. C

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