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Postseason awards: All-Mid-Major Madness Third Team

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CJ Massinburg and Caleb Martin led their teams back to the NCAA Tournament

NCAA Basketball: Bowling Green at Buffalo Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to awards week at Mid-Major Madness! This week, we’re honoring the best players, coach, and game from the 2018-19 season, beginning today with our All-Mid-Major Madness Third Team.


CJ Massinburg, Buffalo, Sr.

2018-19 Stats: 18.2 PPG | 6.5 RPG | 3.0 APG | 39.9% 3PT

The expectations were sky-high for Massinburg coming into this season, and he raised the bar even further in the Bulls’ second game when he hit nine threes and scored 43 points in an upset (at the time) win at West Virginia. The eventual MAC player of the year never quite matched that performance again in 2018-19, but did plenty to take Buffalo from conference favorite to at-large lock — something virtually unheard of in the MAC. The Bulls ended their season in the NCAA Tournament Second Round once again and Massinburg set the school record for points in a season (636).

Caleb Martin, Nevada, Sr.

2018-19 Stats: 19.2 PPG | 5.1 RPG | 2.8 APG

Martin scored in double figures 31 times this season and racked up dozens of in-season and postseason honors in the process. The AP All-American Honorable Mention did more than just score, however, earning a spot on the Mountain West all-defensive team and ranking 14th in the conference in both block and steal percentage. Martin leaves college with 1,886 points split between his time at Nevada and NC State, and as a member of the most successful consecutive seasons in Wolf Pack history.

Matt Rafferty, Furman, Sr.

2018-19 Stats: 17.5 PPG | 9.0 RPG | 4.3 APG | 2.5 SPG | 61.5% FG

Rafferty found his name plastered across the SoCon leaderboard this season. He led the conference in field goal percentage, ranked fifth in scoring, third in rebounding, third in steals, fifth in blocks, and third in assists. He is the first player in NCAA history to have a stat line that strong across the board. Rafferty also shattered Furman’s single-season record for steals with 84 total. It’s no wonder Bob Richey called Rafferty the toughest player he has ever coached. — John Hooper

Lamine Diane, CS Northridge, Fr.

2018-19 Stats: 24.8 PPG | 11.2 RPG | 2.2 BPG

Believe it or not, an individual season of historic proportions occurred on a sub-.500 team in the Big West this season. That’s right. Cal State Northridge’s Diane was one of 71 players (since 1992) to average over 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks per game. His 818 points were 10th-highest in that span, which was more than Blake Griffin, Deandre Ayton, Paul Millsap and Tim Duncan could say. Armed with a nose for rebounding and an impossible-to-guard turnaround jumper, the redshirt freshman turned in a highly-decorated Big West Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year campaign. But he could get even better. Although the AP Honorable Mention All-American gained a bit of NBA Draft buzz, he’s a refined jumper away from being a surefire lottery pick. — Kyle Cajero

Anthony Lamb, Vermont, Jr.

2018-19 Stats: 21.2 PPG | 7.8 RPG | 51.5% FG

Since Lamb got to Burlington, Vermont has lost three regular season conference games. Three. His Catamounts roared through the America East again this year and returned to the NCAA Tournament, where they gave Florida State all it could handle. Lamb led the conference in scoring and was second in rebounding, and also had one of the great performances of the season when he scored 42 points in 47 minutes as the Catamounts beat St. Bonaventure in double overtime in December.


All Mid-Major Madness honorable mentions: R.J. Cole (Howard), Jon Axel Gudmundsson (Davidson), Isaiah Miller (UNC Greensboro), Garrison Mathews (Lipscomb), D’Marcus Simonds (Georgia State), Bryce Aiken (Harvard), Antoine Davis (Detroit)


Tomorrow: All-Mid-Major Madness Second Team