ST. LOUIS -- After helping Creighton to its first regular-season crown since 2002, Booker Woodfox has been named the 2009 Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year. The senior sharpshooting guard is one of the best shooters in the country and leads the league in three-point accuracy (50.9) and three-pointers made (83). His 15.9 scoring average leads Creighton and ranks second in The Valley.
Full listing of teams on Page 2 of this release (and attached as a PDF - link at the bottom of this page)
Woodfox has helped the Bluejays to a 25-6 overall mark and 14-4 conference record as Creighton earned the tournament's No. 2 seed after tying for the regular-season title with top-seeded Northern Iowa. Woodfox is the first Creighton player to earn the league's top honor since 2003, when Kyle Korver was voted the league's Player of the Year for the second-straight year. Only two other Creighton players have earned the top honor in the MVC, which began honoring Players of the Year in 1969 (Bob Harstad in 1990 and Chad Gallagher in 1991).
2009 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year Voting
| Student-Athlete, School
|| Total |
| Booker Woodfox, Creighton
| Shy Ely, Evansville
| Adam Koch, UNI
| Osiris Eldridge, Illinois State
| Theron Wilson, Bradley
| Chamberlain Oguchi, Illinois State
| Bryan Mullins, Southern Illinois
| Jordan Eglseder, UNI
| Kwadzo Ahelegbe, UNI
| Josh Young, Drake
|| 1 |
Student-athletes received 3 points for a first-place vote, two points
for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.
LARRY BIRD MVC PLAYER OF THE YEAR -- Booker Woodfox, Creighton
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR -- Chamberlain Oguchi, Illinois State
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR -- Kevin Dillard, Southern Illinois
DEFENSIVE MVP -- Bryan Mullins, Southern Illinois
SIXTH-MAN OF THE YEAR -- Lucas O'Rear, Northern Iowa
ARMY NATIONAL GUARD DEFENSIVE TEAM OF THE YEAR -- Northern Iowa
MOST IMPROVED TEAM CAPTAIN -- TBA (March 4)
PRAIRIE FARMS SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR -- TBA (March 5)
RAWLINGS’ MVC COACH OF THE YEAR -- TBA (March 5)
The league's Newcomer of the Year is Chamberlain Oguchi of Illinois State. In his first year at ISU, the senior transfer from Oregon led the Redbirds in scoring, ranking fourth in the league with his 14.8 points per game average. He was second in the league (to Woodfox) with 75 three-pointers made. Oguchi is the fourth ISU player to win Newcomer of the Year honors. Lorenzo Gordon was the last Redbird to win Newcomer of the Year honors, doing so in 2005.
The league's Freshman of the Year hails from Southern Illinois. Kevin Dillard is the league's top-scoring freshman and leads the Salukis with 12.6 points per game, which ranks 10th-best in the conference. His league-only scoring average of 13.9 points per game is best among any first-year player. He's the sixth Saluki to win the honor and one of two current SIU players to have been named Freshman of the Year (joining teammate Bryan Mullins).
Bryan Mullins of Southern Illinois highlights the league's all-Defense unit, earning the league's Defensive Player of the Year honor for the second-straight year. A Saluki has won the honor in five of the past six years. He's only the second player in league history to record 500 career assists and 250 career steals, joining Creighton’s Ryan Sears.
For the 13th-consecutive season, the league's head coaches selected a “Sixth Man Award” recipient, and this season’s honor goes to UNI's Lucas O'Rear. The honor is presented to the league's top reserve player (one who has started fewer than 25 percent of his team's games). O'Rear averaged 5.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 23 minutes while appearing in 26 games, starting one game. He's the first Panther to win the honor.
In addition to the specialty awards, the conference announced it's all-conference units (first-team, second-team and honorable mention), all-newcomer team, all-freshman team, and all-defense team -- as selected by the league coaches.