All Tournament Teams
(St. Louis, MO) – What a weekend for fans of the two Division 1 Valley named leagues! Heart stopping finishes, upsets sprinkled in and in the end the best story in college basketball, the Governors and Dave Loos winning the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, for his granddaughter and on his birthday. Really? I love college basketball.
Who Made the All-Tournament Teams and why? When you win the tournament, you get most of the all-tournament nods, and deservedly so.
Missouri Valley Conference
Wes Washpun of Northern Iowa was the best player on the Scottrade Center floor this weekend and was the named the tournament’s ‘Most Outstanding Player’. The Panthers have won back-to-back tournaments and taken home the outstanding player trophy two straight times too. Seth Tuttle won it last season.
Washpun is the best big game performer in college basketball. Ask Wichita State. Ask North Carolina, Ask Iowa State and ask Evansville. He not only hit the game winning shot in the championship of Arch Madness 2016, but consistently made the right play at the right time all tournament.
After scoring 11 points and handing out four assists in a hard fought win over Southern Illinois, Washpun poured in 18 against the Shockers in a semifinal, over time win. In the extra session Washpun made a layup to give them a lead at 51-50 and hit a jumper with 18 seconds left to ice the game at 57-52.
Then there was Sunday. Repeatedly putting pressure on the Evansville defense and finishing with 20 points, Washpun scored six points in the final 2:25, including that clutch game winner.
The rest of the all-tournament team were Washpun’s Panther teammates Jeremy Morgan and Klint Carlson. Morgan scored 18 points in the opener against SIU and in the final against the Aces. Despite scoring only six points against WSU, four of those were in overtime, including a huge three-pointer, and his late bomb against Evansville was as big a shot as any.
The shock of the tournament was Carlson. His role has been growing late in the season, but no one expected the 6’7 sophomore to do what he did. Carlson scored eight, then nine and then a career high 17 points. His drives against Egidijus Mockevicius were impressive and shocking.
Two Evansville players were named to the all-tournament team. D. J. Balentine and Jaylon Brown. Balentine, the fourth best scorer in MVC history, scored, and scored often. He tallied 56 points in his team’s three games, the most in the tournament. His match up with Washpun in the final was brilliant. Brown scored 11, 11 and 18. Sixteen of his 18 on Sunday came in that pivotal second half.
Ohio Valley Conference
The best story in college basketball is the winning of Music City Madness by Austin Peay. Three Governors were named to the all tournament team. Chris Horton (the MVP), Josh Robinson and Jared Savage.
Horton, who for my money, should have been the player of the year in the OVC, was nothing short of brilliant. He topped 30 points twice, grabbed double digits in rebounds three times. A twisted ankle in the final limited his minutes and production. He averaged 22 points, 14 rebounds and 3.5 assists during the championship run.
Sophomore Josh Robinson was Horton’s wing man all tournament. Coach Loos moved Robinson to point guard the last two games of the regular season to put Savage in the line up. Master stroke. Robinson averaged over 18 points per game and played all 85 minutes of the final two tournament games.
Savage reached double figures five times all season with a career high of 14. During Music City Madness, the freshman from Bowling Green scored 9, 13, 21 and 24 points. He played 83 minutes of the final 85. He was a revelation.
Belmont’s Evan Bradds and UT Martin’s Twymond Howard round out the all-tournament team. Bradds played one game, but netted 32 points on an amazing 15 of 16 shooting performance. Howard scored 45 points in his two games.