ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Two members of the Creighton men's basketball team made history on Tuesday as the Missouri Valley Conference awarded its postseason honors. Bluejay forward Doug McDermott became the first sophomore in league history to be named Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year, while teammate Gregory Echenique is Creighton's first honoree as MVC Defensive Player of the Year.
McDermott repeated as a first-team all-MVC pick for the second straight year and Echenique was one of five men on the MVC's All-Defensive team for the second straight campaign. In addition, Creighton senior Antoine Young was named second-team all-MVC for the second straight year, while Grant Gibbs landed a spot on The Valley's All-Newcomer team.
The Valley and ranks third nationally with 23.1 points per game and is
also ranked second in the conference in both rebounding
(8.1 rpg.) and three-point percentage (.479). 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.
McDermott also becomes the first men's basketball player in league history to win the triple crown of MVC Freshman of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Player of the Year in a career.
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 (.630), fifth in defensive rebounds per contest (5.3) and 10th in free throw percentage.
Young ranks second in the MVC in assist/turnover ratio (2.4), fourth in assists per game (4.5) and 15th in points per game (12.3). A three-year starter at point guard, he ranks third in school history in assists (483) and 19th in school history in points (1,287).
A Gonzaga transfer in his first season on the court with Creighton, Gibbs ranked second in the MVC in assists per game (5.4) and was third in assist/turnover ratio (2.4). He's started all 29 games for the Bluejays and averages 6.9 points per contest and a team-best 1.1 steals per game.
On Thursday in St. Louis, the MVC will name its Coach of the Year.
No. 25 Creighton (25-5) earned the second seed at the State Farm MVC Tournament and will play in a 6 pm quarterfinal game on Friday against the winner of Thursday night's Drake-Bradley tilt.
All-Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Team