The Times West Virginian

March 5, 2014

Wimbush named MEC Freshman of the Year

Cooper, Browning, Wimbush named to second team


Times West Virginian

BRIDGEPORT — Thomas Wimbush has been named Mountain East Conference Freshman of the Year, as announced by the league office this afternoon. Wimbush also joined teammates Stevie Browning and Brendan Cooper on the MEC second team.

Wimbush, a 6-7 swingman from Lorain, Ohio, leads all freshmen in the MEC with 14.6 points per game for the Falcons. He ranks 13th in the league in rebounds (6.0) and 11th in field goal percentage (54.4). He scored over 20 points eight times this season, including a career-best 25 points against No. 2 Bellarmine earlier this season. He was also a second team All-MEC selection.

Browning, a sophmore guard from Logan, was 10th in the league in scoring, averaging 16.8 points per game. Browning also averaged 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. Browning had a career-high 31 points and 13 rebounds against Notre Dame College last week. Browning also reached double figures in all but four games this season and also had eight 20-point performances.

Cooper, a senior from Parma, Ohio, averaged 14.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game despite missing nine games with a broken hand. Cooper also had 62 assists, 26 steals and 21 blocked shots on the season. The senior also had a season-high 25 points in Fairmont State’s win over third-ranked West Liberty earlier this season.

Cedric Harris of West Liberty has been named Mountain East Conference Player of the Year and Jim Crutchfield of West Liberty and Dwaine Osborne of Charleston shared Coach of the Year honors.

Harris, a senior guard from Zanesville, Ohio, led the Hilltoppers to a 24-2 record and the MEC regular season title. Harris directs the nation's most prolific offense leading the team with 17.8 points per game and 5.7 assists. He leads the MEC in assists, steals and assist/turnover ratio and is sixth in the league in scoring.

Crutchfield and Osborne share Coach of the Year honors after leading their teams to the top of the MEC standings. Crutchfield's Hilltoppers spent the majority of the season ranked No. 1 in the country and won the conference regular season championship. Osborne, who took over at UC in early August, guided the Golden Eagles to a runner-up finish in the MEC after UC was picked to finish sixth in the preseason poll.

Eleven of the league's 12 teams were represented on the two All-MEC teams plus honorable mention.

Fairmont State and Shepherd each had three players honored, while Charleston, Glenville State, Notre Dame, West Liberty and Wheeling Jesuit each had two.

The All-MEC teams and individual award winners are selected by a vote of the league's coaches.