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Drew Ellis covers Oakland University basketball for The Oakland Press. His news and notes keep you up to date with Golden Grizzlies men's basketball.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Postseason awards bear out differently for Oakland, Summit League

The recently-released conference awards from show different results than those of the ballots cast by Summit League media members and team personnel. The intra-league honors are voted on prior to the conference tournament by team media, sports information directors and coaches. It's unclear when the College Insider votes were cast, but one thing is for certain: Oral Roberts' Dominique Morrison is the Summit League's player of the year.
But after Morrison, there's a different twist. His coach, Scott Sutton, who was voted coach of the year in the conference poll after leading the Golden Eagles to a 17-1 conference record, is replaced by Western Illinois' Jim Molinari. He led the Leathernecks to their first winning season in 12 years as well as overtime of the conference tournament championship game against heavy favorites South Dakota State. The 'Necks' quarterfinal win was the school's first since 1999, in fact.
And what about those Jackrabbits? Well, start guard Nate Wolters was decided the most valuable player, an award the Summit League doesn't offer, rather opting to consider the top vote-getter in all-league voting the conference's player of the year.
There's yet another twist, as Wolters shares the award with Oakland's Reggie Hamilton, making the Summit one of two leagues with co-MVPs.
Hamilton, Morrison and Wolters are all finalists for the mid-major player of the year award to be announced this weekend at the Final Four. The trio were also named mid-major All-Americans, while Wolters and Morrison received honorable mentions from the AP All-America team. Meanwhile, Hamilton, the national scoring champion averaging 26.3 points per game, went unrecognized.
"I'm shocked by that," Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. 
"He scored 940 points. People get into the hall of fame for scoring 1,000 points. He did it within the function of the team." 
Wolters was the only player of the three to make the Summit League's all-tournament team, earning MVP honors as the Jackrabbits won their first tournament title, advancing to the NCAA tournament. 
Hamilton last week was named the recipient of the Francis Pomeroy Award for the nation's best player under 6-feet tall, as well.
Hamilton and Wolters twice shared Summit League Player of the Week honors this season and each earned it three times outright.


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