Glenville State’s Paris McLeod has been selected as the 2017 Mountain East Conference Player of the Year, while West Virginia State’s Sydney Bates is the Freshman of the Year and Notre Dame head coach Katie Hine is the league’s Coach of the Year.
McLeod, a junior from Belleville, Mich., led the Pioneers to the MEC regular season title. McLeod ranked in the top 15 in the league in eight different categories, including scoring at 18.6 points per game. She led the league in steals (4.07), and was third in the conference in assists (5.14). McLeod was named MEC Player of the Week a league-best four times during the 2016-17 season.
Bates, a Springfield, Ohio native, played a key role for West Virginia State as her 12.0 points per game were second among freshman in the MEC. She made 26 starts in 28 games for the Yellow Jackets and adding 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists to her point total.
Hine led Notre Dame to a 15-12 season and a fourth-place finish in the MEC after losing several key starters from last year’s team. The Falcons started the season just 3-10, but then won 12 of their final 14 games and head into this week’s tournament riding a league-best eight game winning streak.
The league also announced the 2016-17 all-conference teams with all 12 MEC schools represented. The first team had eight players from eight different schools highlighted by McLeod, who was a second team selection last year. Amanda Ruffner (Fairmont State) moved from the second team last year to the first team this year. Monica Burns (Wheeling Jesuit), Makenzie Cluesman (UVa-Wise), Aurreshae Hines (West Virginia State), Cara Mason (Shepherd), Kelsey Miller (Notre Dame) and Jordyn Peck (Charleston) complete the first team.
Wheeling Jesuit had two players on the second team in Mariah Callen and Jaana Motton, as did Fairmont State in Deidra Combs and Makenzie White. Kim Cook (Notre Dame), Courtney Davis (Glenville State), Alexis Lowery (Concord) and McKenna Shives (West Liberty) also earned second team honors.
Liz Myers (Shepherd), Mari Stewart (West Virginia Wesleyan), Taylor Sandidge (UVa-Wise) and Danie Shafer (Urbana) earned honorable mention recognition.