Akron's Marshall Honored Along With Western Michigan's Paul & Brown

Updated 3/12/2013

Cleveland, Ohio - Today the Mid-American Conference announced that Akron's Zeke Marshall and Western Michigan teammates Darius Paul and David Brown have earned top honors for the 2012-13 basketball season. Marshall was named Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, while Paul was named the league's Freshman of the Year. In addition, Brown was tabbed as the MAC Sixth Man of the Year. The Freshman of the Year award was voted on by a 27-member MAC News Media Association Panel, while the Defensive Player of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year were voted on by the league’s head coaches.

Marshall is only the second player in MAC history to win back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year honors (Demetric Shaw, Kent State in 2001-02). Marshall led the league in blocked shots (3.6 bpg) and finished in the top-15 in field goal percentage (1st, .659), rebounds (7th, 6.9 rpg), offensive rebounding (7th, 2.5 rpg), defensive rebounding (8th, 4.4 rpg) and scoring (11th, 13.0 ppg). With his five blocked shots against Kent State last Friday, Marshall also set the MAC's single-season blocked shots record with 109. Marshall was also named to the 2012-13 All-MAC First Team yesterday morning. 

“There isn’t much surprise that Zeke was named Defensive Player of the Year,” Akron's ninth-year head coach Keith Dambrot said. “He is one of the elite shot blockers in the nation and his presence at the rim has been felt by every team we play.”

Paul is the fourth player in WMU history to win the Freshman of the Year honors, joining Booker James (1984), Ben Reed (2002), and David Kool (2007).  Paul leads all MAC freshmen in scoring (10.6 ppg) and rebounding (5.8 rpg).  In addition, Paul has has five double-doubles this season, the most for a freshman in the MAC; no other freshman in the conference has more than one double-double. Paul’s career-high 28 points recorded against Toledo on Feb. 27 ranks as one of the best freshman performances of the last decade for players in a Bronco uniform.  Paul’s prolific scoring output is the best single-game total for a Bronco freshman since Ben Reed notched 29 points against Akron on Feb. 11, 2002.

"I'm very proud of Darius and very excited for him," Western Michigan Head Coach Steve Hawkins said. "I think it's an honor that is richly deserved. As the leading scorer and rebounder among freshmen through the entire season, he showed the ability to remain consistent and solid all year round.  We are very proud of him and his progress."
Paul's teammate Brown has shown the ability to come off the bench and spark the Broncos to quick points so far in 2012-13, and was honored as such by being named the MAC Sixth Man of the Year for 2012-13. He joins Reggie Berry (2004) as the only Broncos to ever win the Sixth Man award.
Brown is averaging 10.4 points per game since returning from injury this season,  and is the only player in the MAC to rank in the top-30 in scoring average in conference games that has not started a single game.
"David could have been eligible for a number of awards; if there was a Comeback Player of the Year award, I think he'd have it hands down." Western Michigan Head Coach Steve Hawkins said. "Because of his injury he wasn't able to play until the first conference game of the year; he didn't even get to go through preseason conditioning.  For him to get to the level that he did with such little time to get into game shape shows his dedication and his courage."
The MAC Player of the Year & Coach of the Year awards will be announced tomorrow. FirstEnergy MAC Men’s Basketball Second Round games will take place tomorrow night as well when No.5 Ball State takes on No. 8 Buffalo (6:30 p.m., STO), while No. 7 Eastern Michigan battles No. 11 Miami (9 p.m., STO). For more information visit MAC Tournament Central by clicking HERE.
MAC Freshman of the Year
Darius Paul, Western Michigan (18 votes)
Chris Fowler, Central Michigan (3)
Jarryn Skeete, Buffalo (2)
Reggie Johnson, Miami (1)