Senior Tre’Shaun Fletcher has been named the 2017-18 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, the league office announced Wednesday.
Fletcher is the first Rocket to receive the honor since Harvey Knuckles took home the award in the 1980-81 campaign. The Rockets’ previous Player of the Year recipients were Jim Swaney (1979-80), Tom Kozelko (1971-72, 1972-73) and Steve Mix (1968-69).“I’m extremely proud of Tre, and he’s very deserving of being named conference player of the year,” Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “He’s been unbelievably consistent all season long and, in my opinion, he’s one of the best players to ever play at The University of Toledo. This award certainly puts a stamp on it. He really has no weaknesses in his game, and he’s very versatile. What’s really impressive about Tre, though, is his positive energy, his leadership, and that he’s our hardest worker every day in practice.”
Fletcher leads UT with 18.7 points per game (third in MAC), 8.2 rebounds per game (fourth) and 4.5 assists per game (third) and 0.9 steals per game, and is one of four players in the nation to rank among his conference’s top five in points, rebounds and assists. The others are UMass-Lowell’s Jahad Thomas (America East), Winthrop’s Xavier Cooks (Big South) and Illinois State’s Milik Yarbrough (Missouri Valley). In addition, Fletcher is the only player in the MAC to rank in the top 15 in points, rebounds and assists. He scored a career-high 31 points vs. Marshall (Dec. 9) and leads the team with 28 double-digit scoring contests.
The native of Wilmar, Ark., registered the second triple-double in program history last week at Northern Illinois (Feb. 27) by tallying 20 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 11 assists. He has paced the Rockets in points, assists, steals and rebounds on a team-high 28, 17, 15 and 12 occasions, respectively, and also has produced a team-high 15 20-point outings. Fletcher is third in the MAC with 12 double-doubles. He has led UT in scoring and rebounding 18 times, assists 17 times and steals 15 times.
Fletcher is in his second season with the Rocket program after sitting out the 2016-17 campaign following his transfer from the University of Colorado and was named to the Lou Henson Award Mid-Season Watch List in January.
Toledo (21-10, 13-5 MAC) will return to action Thursday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m. in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena when it begins post-season play in the 2018 MAC Tournament Quarterfinals against No. 7 seed Miami. The Rockets are the No. 2 seed in the tourney and have received a bye in the event in three of the last five years.