Catching up on some postseason honors that have been doled out while awaiting the start of the UB women's second-round MAC Tournament game against Miami here in Cleveland:
Ohio senior guard D.J. Cooper was named MAC Player of the Year today and Akron's Keith Dambrot was named Coach of the Year. I voted for both of them.
I was extremely high on UB's Javon McCrea but when the Bulls failed to finish .500 in conference I couldn't bring myself to cast the vote. And Cooper won me over with that go-ahead 3 he hit from Getzville in Ohio's 72-69 win at Alumni on March 5. Plus, Cooper will go down as one of the best guards in MAC history. It seemed kind of crazy he might leave never having won the award. So I'll admit it. Career achievement factored into my vote.
As for Dambrot, when you win the conference and put together a 19-game winning streak you don't leave much room for debate. Plus, I admired the way he responded to the Alex Abreu arrest that's probably going to cost the Zips an at-large if they don't win it all here.
The All-MAC first team consists of McCrea, Cooper, Akron center Zeke Marshall, Kent State forward Chris Evans and Toledo guard Rian Pearson. I believe that's exactly how I had it on my preseason ballot although ultimately Evans didn't make the preseason first-team.
UB's Jarryn Skeete was on the all-freshman team.
On the women's side, UB had two players receive honorable mention: freshman Mackenzie Loesing and sophomore Christa Baccas. Loesing also mad the all-freshman team.
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In the MAAC, Coach of the Year Joe Mihalich is one of 20 finalists for the Skip Prosser Award given by collegeinsider.com. The award was initiated in 2008 and goes to a coach who achieves success on the court and demonstrates moral integrity off the court.
Western New York native and former ECC and Canisius coach John Beilein of Michigan also is a finalist.
Also from collegeinsider.com, Niagara's Juan'ya Green and Billy Baron of Canisius were tabbed as MAAC co-MVPs.
-- Bob DiCesare
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