Fairmont State’s Matt Bingaya has been selected as the Mountain East Conference Player of the Year, while West Virginia Wesleyan’s Luke Layhew was tabbed as the league’s Freshman of the Year. FSU’s Jerrod Calhoun rounds out the league awards by earning MEC Coach of the Year honors.
Bingaya, a senior from Delaware, Ohio, led the top-ranked Fighting Falcons in both points (19.5) and rebounds (7.4) as FSU captured the regular season conference title. Bingaya also ranked among the league leaders in field goal percentage (.612), free throw percentage (.774) and steals (1.96). He had six double-doubles on the year and scored 20 points or more 14 times.
Layhew, a native of Ripley, W.Va., averaged 12.1 points and 7.0 rebounds in his freshman campaign for the Bobcats. Layhew led the league in field goal percentage shooting nearly 64 percent from the field, and was first amongst MEC freshmen in rebounding.
In his fifth season at the helm at Fairmont State, Calhoun directed the Falcons to a 27-1 overall record and its first league championship in men’s basketball in 21 years with a conference mark of 21-1. He also led FSU to a No. 1 ranking for the first time in Division II. Fairmont State is the top seed in this week’s MEC Tournament is also currently ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Atlantic Region rankings.
The league also announced the 2016-17 all-conference teams. Bingaya is a repeat selection to the first team, while teammate Thomas Wimbush and West Liberty’s Devin Hoen moved from the second team last year to first team honors this season. A.J. Carr (Shepherd), Dan Monteroso (West Liberty), Brett Morris (Glenville State), Pat Moseh (Wheeling Jesuit) and Will Vorhees (Notre Dame) complete the first team.
Earning second team honors were Charleston’s duo of Elliott Cole and Justin Coleman, along with Taiwo Badmus (UVa-Wise), Mo Berchie (West Virginia Wesleyan), David Dennis (West Liberty), Haywood Highsmith (Wheeling Jesuit), Aaron Miller (Concord) and Kyauta Taylor (Notre Dame).
Shepherd’s Steffen Davis and Naim Muhammad, and Urbana’s Jahmere Howze and Fairmont State’s Shammgod Wells earned honorable mention recognition.