(Click Read More for details on these and other nominees . . . )
Nick Perkins, Buffalo
Forward, Junior, Ypsilanti, MI (Milan)
Junior Nick Perkins averaged a double-double to start conference play as he helped lead the Bulls to a pair of wins, the only MAC East team to win both games during the opening week. The reigning MAC Sixth Man of the Year, averaged 19.5 points and 10.5 rebounds off the bench, doing a lot of work from the free throw line where he was 19-of-23. Perkins began the week as he finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds in a home win over Toledo, as he was 12-of-13 from the free throw line. He followed it up on Saturday with 15 points and a season-high 11 rebounds in a dominating 83-63 road victory at Ball State. Perkins is averaging 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game this year.
West Division Player of the Week
Josh Davis, Western Michigan
Guard/Forward, Junior, Detroit, Mich. (Henry J. Ford)
Davis led the Broncos in two games over the week with 36 total points and 18 rebounds en route to WMU going 2-0 to start MAC play for the first time since 2014. Davis in the MAC opener against Akron scored 26 points and went a perfect 10-of-10 from the field while also corralling seven rebounds.
Davis became just the second WMU player in school history to shoot 100 percent from the field, minimum 10 attempts. Davis also became just the fourth MAC player in history to go 100 percent from the field, minimum 10 attempts.
The junior guard/forward is one of just six players in the nation to shoot 100 percent from the field, minimum 10 attempts. Davis backed up that performance against the Zips by recording his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds at Miami. Davis went 5-of-9 from the field against the RedHawks to help WMU to a 67-62 victory.
It was the third time this season that Davis has had double digit rebounds. The Detroit, Mich., native leads WMU and ranks fourth in the MAC in rebounding with 8.0 per game. During the two-game span, Davis shot 60 percent from beyond the three-point line and 79 percent from the field.
Antwon Lillard, Bowling Green
Guard, Junior, Cleveland, Ohio (Cleveland Central Catholic)
Antwon Lillard, a junior guard from Cleveland, Ohio, led the Falcons to a 1-1 mark over the first week of conference play. For the week, Lillard averaged 17.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals, while shooting 60.8 percent (14-of-23) from the floor. Lillard began his week with 15 points, five rebounds and two assists versus Miami. Lillard went 6-for-11 from the floor, including a 2-for-4 mark from downtown. In Bowling Green’s win at Eastern Michigan, the junior had a career day, finishing with 20 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two steals. Lillard, who posted the second double-double of his career on the day, set a career high with his 12 rebounds, while tying a career high with his five assists. The 20 points marked a season high. Lillard went 8-for-12 from the floor, tying a career high with eight made field goals.
Elijah Minnie, Eastern Michigan
Forward, Redshirt Junior, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Lincoln Park)
Minnie was a bright spot in Eastern Michigan's winless week, scoring more than 20 points for the seventh time this season with a 25-point outpouring against Ball State. The Pittsburgh, Pa. native completed his best all-around game of the season with four rebounds, four steals, and three blocks against BSU. The redshirt junior followed up his performance with a 15 point showing against Bowling Green in which he was .500 (5-of-10) from the floor. He also grabbed seven boards, had two steals, two assists, and a block in the loss.
Jaylin Walker, Kent State
Guard, Junior, Inkster, Mich. (Romulus)
Junior guard Jaylin Walker led the Golden Flashes in scoring this week, and played a pivotal role in Kent State’s first MAC win of the year against Central Michigan. He averaged 22.0 points per game and 3.5 assists per game over the past week. In the 85-69 win over Central Michigan he scored 26 points and was 6-for-9 from three-point distance, which is the most made threes by a Golden Flash all season. He nailed three long range shots in the game’s first five minutes, and also pulled down four rebounds with five assists and two steals. Earlier in the week against Northern Illinois he led Kent State with 18 points.
Darrian Ringo, Miami
Guard, Junior, Brownsburg, Ind. (Brownsburg)
Ringo continued to show how he impacts the RedHawks both offensively and defensively in a pair of MAC games last week. He led Miami with an average of 12.5 points per contest. He had an incredible 18 assists, an average of 9.0 per game. Defensively he averaged 2.5 steals per contest. In leading the 'Hawks to a road win over Bowling Green on Tuesday, Ringo had 11 points and seven assists. He turned the momentum with four steals. He followed that up with a double-double of 14 points and 11 assists against Western Michigan on Saturday.
Levi Bradley, Northern Illinois
Forward, Junior, Milwaukee, Wis. (Pius XI)
NIU junior Levi Bradley averaged a double-double with 19.5 points and 10.5 rebounds as the Huskies opened conference play with a split against Kent State and Ohio. In the league opener against the Golden Flashes, the Milwaukee, Wis., native scored 25 points and tied a career-high with 14 rebounds as he recorded his sixth career double-double, second of the season. Bradley went 14-of-14 from the free-throw line, and also added four assists, as the Huskies topped Kent State, 75-61. Bradley then scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds in a road loss at Ohio. For the season, Bradley is averaging 14.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Mike Laster, Ohio
Guard, Senior, Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)
Senior guard Mike Laster (Detroit, Mich.) put together a huge opening week of 2018 Mid-American Conference play to help the Ohio men's basketball team (8-6, 1-1 MAC) split a pair of games against West Division foes. Laster averaged 25.0 points, shooting a team-best 69.2 percent (18-of-26) from the floor -- including 63.6 percent (7-of-11) from beyond the arc -- while making 87.5 percent (7-of-8) of his field goals. He also tied for second on the team with 4.5 rebounds per game in addition to averaging 2.0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 0.5 steals over 32.5 minutes of work. Laster led Ohio with 19 points in a 75-50 loss at Central Michigan last Tuesday (Jan. 2) at McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant, Mich., going 8-of-14 from the field with a pair of three-pointers. He also logged five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block over 26 minutes. Laster saved the best performance of his career for a 78-68 triumph over Northern Illinois (8-7, 1-1 MAC) on Saturday (Jan. 6) at the Convocation Center in Athens, though. He scored a career-high 31 points to lead all scorers on 10-of-12 shooting with a career-high five three-pointers and went 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Laster has now finished in double figures in scoring 11 times this year, including each of his last 10 games played. He became the first Bobcat to score at least 30 points in a game this season. In addition to his big scoring output, he finished Saturday's contest with four rebounds, two assists and a block over 39 minutes of work.
Tre'Shaun Fletcher, Toledo
Guard, Senior, Wilmar, Ark. (Colorado)
Senior guard Tre'Shaun Fletcher registered a team-best 20.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in the Rockets' first two conference games. He also posted a 54.2 field-goal percentage. Fletcher led the Rockets with 27 points at Buffalo despite playing just 25 minutes due to foul trouble. Against Akron, Fletcher notched his seventh double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds.