Thompson was named Freshman of the Year, while Spicer was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year. In addition, Johnson was tabbed as the MAC Sixth Man of the Year. The Defensive Player of the Year & Sixth Man of the Year were voted on by the league's head coaches. The Freshman of the Year award was voted on by a 26-member MAC News Media Association Panel, as well as MAC head coaches.
Thompson has proved . . .
The 6-foot-10 center has corralled 327 rebounds this year which is the fifth-most in a single season in EMU history, while his field goal percentage ranks second-best in a single campaign. In addition, Thompson has recorded 17 double-doubles which is the best in the conference, while his 464 points scored this season is the most by an EMU freshman, breaking his teammate, Lee, former record of 380 points, which he set two seasons ago. His 17 double-doubles ranks seventh in a career at Eastern Michigan, while the freshman also tied an NCAA record when he made 26 consecutive field goals. Thompson was selected to the All-MAC Second Team yesterday.
"James has been the most impactful freshman I've coached throughout my career," EMU head coach Rob Murphy said. "JT's work ethic with continued growth could allow him to become one of the best ever to garb the Green & White."
Johnson, played in all 31 games, making eight starts while leading Akron's offensive and rebounding efforts. Johnson averages a team-high 13.1 points per game supported by a 57.7 percent shooting percentage. He pulls down 7.3 rebounds per game and has 226 total rebounds to date.
Johnson recorded four double-doubles and registered double-digits in 22 games, including 14 of the last 16 games with a stretch of 13 games in row. He scored 20+ points five times, including a career-high 24 points (twice), against South Carolina State (Dec. 30) and Kent State (Feb. 19). The honor comes a day after Johnson was named to the All-MAC First Team.
"Its a real testament to Isaiah's character," Akron head coach Keith Dambrot said. "He cares more about winning and doing what is best for the team than being a starter. In his current role, he competes at high level and leads the team in scoring, field goal percentage, and rebounding. Isaiah is the true definition of a great teammate."
The premier shot-blocker in the conference, Spicer averaged a league-best 1.68 blocks per game and pulled down 6.1 rebounds per game. In a game at Ball State on January 19, he swatted a Kent State record seven shots, which helped him earn MAC East Division Player of the Week accolades. Spicer's 159 career rejections are second all-time and his 52 blocked shots this year are the fifth-most in single-season history.
"This is a well-deserved honor for Khaliq. He has been selflessness throughout his four years at Kent State and has done a terrific job of anchoring our defense. He will go down as one of the best shotblockers in school history and has worked extremely hard to improve on the offensive end as well, which seems to get overlooked. Khaliq is a great young man and a great representative of Kent State Athletics."
MAC Freshman of the Year (First Place Votes):
James Thompson IV, Eastern Michigan, Center (33)
Marshawn Wilson, Northern Illinois, Guard (2)
Josh Williams, Akron, Guard (2)
C.J. Massinburg, Buffalo, Guard (1)