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Why Buffalo's Lamonte Bearden should be MAC Freshman of the Year

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Yeah. He's that good.

ubbulls.com

Here's every top 15 ranking a MAC freshman holds among their conference mates. The exception being points where the conference lists out players to about number 30. This is important to note because if points cut off at 15 then Sean Sellers of Ball State would have one less feather in his cap here.

Based on stats there are perhaps six freshman in the MAC who should be considered candidates as the conferences top freshman.  The last two columns count the number of categories in which a player appears and the average ranking in those categories.

Freshman PPG RK APG RK FT% RK STL RK BLK RK A/TO RK ORB RK CATS AVGR
SELLERS, Sean-BSU 11.9 20 63 0.807 2 2 11
BEARDEN, Lamonte-UB 4.3 4 0.752 11 1.4 12 2 5 4 8
ROBOTHAM, Noah-AKRON 3.3 10

1.3 15 1.5 11 3 12
SCOTT, DaRohn-CMU 0.9 13 1 13
LAMONT, Drake-WMU 0.8 15 1.8 13 2 14
MARIC, Marin-NIU 1.7 14 1 14

Two things jump out. First Bearden is the only freshman who holds top 15 rankings in more than three categories. Second his average standing in those areas is eighth in the conference, far higher than any other freshman.

Bearden's biggest competition may be Sean Sellers because points are a sexy stat. Also, you have to respect a freshman shooting better than 80%  from the line. But looking at the overall picture Lamonte Bearden can throw an assist between his legs and hes better on defense. That is why Bearden beats out the BSU freshman.

Akron's Noah Robotham is a hell of a player who might get some votes but by the numbers he seems like Bearden-light this season. He's behind the Bull in assist, steals, and A/T ratio. Also Robotham's free throw shooting is not nearly as solid as Bearden or Seller.

Scott, Lamont, and Maric all seem too one dimensional this season to pull too many votes.

If Bearden gets the nod he will be the first UB freshman of the year since Javon McCrea won the award in 2010.