Doug McDermott Named Larry Bird Player of the Year
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

ST. LOUIS -- Creighton's Doug McDermott is the 2012 MVC Larry Bird Player of the Year. McDermott is the first sophomore in league history to earn the league's top honor. He leads The Valley and ranks third nationally with 23.1 points per game, and he ranks second in the conference in both rebounding (8.1 rpg) and three-point percentage (47.9). He has helped Creighton to a 25-5 record, 14-2 league record and No. 24 national ranking.

LARRY BIRD MVC PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Doug McDermott, Creighton

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:  Carl Hall, Wichita State

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:  Seth Tuttle, UNI

DEFENSIVE MVP:  Gregory Echenique, Creighton

SIXTH-MAN OF THE YEAR:  Ned Cox, Evansville

ARMY NATIONAL GUARD DEFENSIVE TEAM OF THE YEAR:  Wichita State

 McDermott received 25 of a possible 36 first-place votes and outdistanced Wichita State's Garrett Stutz in voting conducted by coaches, sports information directors and a media panel (voters could not vote for their own student-athlete.) From 1969-2011, 0 freshman, 0 sophomores, 15 juniors (seven of whom repeated) and 28 seniors had won the award.

 McDermott’s five MVC Player of the Week accolades were the most by any individual in a season in 25 years, and the only sophomores in league history with more points in a season are Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird. McDermott is the first Creighton player named MVC Player of the Year since Booker Woodfox in 2009, and fifth different Bluejay overall. He's the second player in MVC history to be named both MVC Freshman of the Year and MVC Player of the Year (joining Southern Illinois' Ashraf Amaya).

 The league's Newcomer of the Year is Wichita State's Carl Hall. He is averaging 8.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in his first year as a Shocker, starting 19 of WSU's 30 games while helping the Shockers to a 26-4 record, 16-2 league record and No. 14 national ranking. The last Shocker to win the MVC's Newcomer of the Year was Aaron Hogg (2003). Two other Wichita State players (Robert Elmore in 1975 and Lynbert "Cheese" Johnson in 1976) have also earned the league's top honor for first-year players.

 This year's Freshman of the Year is Seth Tuttle of UNI. Tuttle has started every game for the Panthers this year and is averaging 9.4 points and 5.4 rebounds on the team (both second-bests for UNI). He has connected on a phenomenal 66.3 percent of his field goals, which leads the conference. If that holds, he'll be the first freshman in league history to lead the MVC in field goal percentage. Notably, Kentucky's Anthony Davis leads all freshmen nationally in FG shooting with his 65.8 figure (NCAA stats require a minimum of 5.0 FG/made per game. Tuttle averages 3.4 makes per game.) Tuttle is the second Panther to earn the league's Freshman of the Year Award (Eric Coleman, 2005).

 Creighton junior center Gregory Echenique is the first player in Creighton history to be named MVC Defensive Player of the Year. Echenique leads the MVC with 49 blocked shots this season and is second with 1.6 blocks per game. He’s also fifth in the MVC with 7.4 rebounds per contest, and second with 61.2 percent shooting from the field. In league play, Echenique led the MVC with 1.7 blocks per game and 2.8 offensive rebounds per game, while also ranking second in rebounds per game (8.2) and field goal percentage (63.0), fifth in defensive rebounds per contest (5.3) and 10th in free throw percentage (81.1).

 The MVC also selects a “Sixth Man Award” recipient, and this season’s honor goes to Evansville's Ned Cox. The honor is presented to the league's top reserve player (one who has started fewer than 25 percent of his team's games). Cox has played in all 29 games this season while making two starts. Despite coming off the bench, he ranks fourth for Evansville in scoring, with 9.3 points per game. Cox is shooting 88.0 percent at the line and has dished out 88 assists. He's the second Evansville player to earn the Sixth Man Award (Curt Begle, 1999).
2012 All-Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Team

First Team Yr. Pos. Ht. Hometown
Doug McDermott, Creighton So. F 6-7 Ames (Iowa) High
Joe Ragland, Wichita State Sr. G 6-0 W. Springfield (Mass.) North Platte (Neb.) JC
Colt Ryan, Evansville Jr. G/F 6-5 Batesville (Ind.) High
Garrett Stutz, Wichita State Sr. C 7-0 Kansas City (Mo.) North Kansas City High
Kyle Weems, Missouri State Sr. F 6-6 Topeka (Kan.) Highland Park High

Second Team
Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State Jr. F 6-9 Manhattan (Kan.) South Kent Prep
Jake Odum, Indiana State So. G 6-4 Terre Haute (Ind.) South Vigo High
Rayvonte Rice, Drake So. G 6-4 Champaign (Ill.) Centennial High
Ben Simons, Drake Jr. F 6-8 Cadillac (Mich.) High
Antoine Young, Creighton Sr. G 6-0 Bellevue (Neb.) West High

Honorable-Mention Selections
Taylor Brown, Bradley Sr. F 6-6 Atlanta (Ga.) Dunwoody High
Denver Holmes, Evansville Sr. F/G 6-4 Olathe (Kan.) Olathe South High
Anthony James, UNI Jr. G 6-0 St. Louis (Mo.) Normandy High
Toure' Murry, Wichita State Sr. G 6-5 Houston (Texas) Klein Forest High
Mamadou Seck, S. Illinois Sr. F 6-7 Dakar (Senegal) UCAD / Southeastern Ill.

All-Newcomer Team
Tyler Brown, Illinois State Jr. G 6-4 Owensboro (Ky.) Apollo / Marshalltown C.C.
Anthony Downing, Missouri St. Jr. G 6-0 Atchison (Kan.) High / Independence CC
Grant Gibbs, Creighton Jr. G 6-4 Marion (Iowa) Linn-Mar High / Gonzaga
Carl Hall, Wichita State Jr. F 6-8 Cochran (Ga.) Northwest Florida State
Seth Tuttle, UNI Fr. F 6-8 Sheffield (Iowa) West Fork High

All-Freshman Team
Dantiel Daniels, S. Illinois F 6-6 Wentzville (Mo.) High
Deon Mitchell, UNI G 6-1 Pflugerville (Texas) High
Nic Moore, Illinois State G 5-9 Winona Lake (Ind.) Warsaw High
Ryan Sawvell, Evansville F/C 6-8 Mundelein (Ill.) High
Seth Tuttle, UNI F 6-8 Sheffield (Iowa) West Fork High

All-Defensive Team
Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State Jr. F 6-9 Manhattan (Kan.) South Kent Prep
Gregory Echenique, Creighton Jr. C 6-9 Guatire (Venezuela) St. Benedict's (N.J.) HS
Toure' Murry, Wichita State Sr. G 6-5 Houston (Texas) Klein Forest High
Ben Smith, Wichita State Sr. F 6-5 Oklahoma City (Okla.) Northern Okla. - Enid
Troy Taylor, Evansville Jr. G 6-0 Anderson (Ind.) High

All-Bench Team (selected by beat writers)
announced Wednesday, Feb. 29

Most-Improved Team (selected by beat writers)
announced Wednesday, Feb. 29