FAIRBORN — Horizon League coaches had a conference call Sunday to promote their candidates for postseason honors, and Wright State’s Scott Nagy had no problem lobbying for guard Trey Calvin for player of the year.
He knew it likely would be a losing battle with Detroit Mercy’s Antoine Davis leading the nation in scoring with a 28.1 average, but the Raiders’ senior guard certainly prevailed in their head-to-head battle Saturday.
Calvin finished with 34 points in the victory, going 12 of 18 from the field, 4 of 6 on 3′s and 6 of 6 of foul shots.
He hiked his average to 20.3 points (second in the league) and shooting percentage to a slick 49.6 (ninth overall and second among guards).
He also defended Davis, who had 34 points but went 13 of 33 from the field.
“What Trey did was amazing. I haven’t seen many performances like that where he had to guard Antoine Davis the entire day and chase him around and still get 34 points,” Nagy said.
“Trey, when he’s locked in, is a tremendous on-ball defender.”
As expected, though, Davis won his second straight player of the year award, while Calvin made first-team all-league.
It was the first postseason honor for the suburban Chicago native, and the Raiders have had a first-team pick in each of Nagy’s seven years: Tanner Holden last season, Holden and Loudon Love in 2020-21, Love the two years before that, Grant Benzinger in 2017-18 and Mark Alstork in 2016-17.
“He’s had an incredibly efficient year for a guard to shoot the percentage he does,” Nagy said of Calvin. “He’s really been our rock.
“I’m proud of him because the start of the season didn’t go well (he was pulled from the starting lineup for five games in December), but he was able to get himself righted and has been super solid for us.
“It’s great when you get consistency from players, but he’s been consistently great.”
Wright State’s Brandon Noel was named newcomer of the year. The 6-foot-8 forward, who sat out two years with knee issues, is first in the conference in field-goal shooting at 60.3%, third in rebounding at 8.7 and 16th in scoring at 12.8.
“If you told me two years ago that I’d be standing in this position, I probably wouldn’t have believed you,” Noel said. “But I had guys around that that believed in me, and they spoke it into existence. They helped me get across the finish line.”
He leads all freshmen in scoring and rebounding. He also averaged a league-best 10.1 rebounds in conference games.
He’s the seventh Raider to win the award after Love in 2018, Julius Mays in ‘12, Cain Doliboa in ‘02, Jesse Deister in ‘01, Kevin Melson in 1999 and Vitaly Potapenko in ‘95.
“He led the league in rebounding — that’s incredible for a freshman to do that,” Nagy said.
“We put him up for the all-defensive team. He was our anchor defensively. When you think back to our very good teams, like when we had Loudon in the middle, Brandon is going to be at the level very soon.”
Noel made the fifth-most 3′s on the team, going 14 of 39 (35.9%), and his long-range touch will likely grow into an even greater part of his game.
“Obviously, we as a team aren’t done, but it’s nice to have some individual awards along the way,” Noel said.
All-league teams are position-less, which is why four guards made the first team: Calvin, Davis, Oakland’s Jalen Moore and Youngstown State’s Dwayne Cohill (a Dayton transfer) were picked along with Cleveland State forward Tristan Enaruna.
Milwaukee’s B.J. Freeman, Northern Kentucky’s Marques Warrick, Oakland’s Trey Townsend, Purdue Fort Wayne’s Jarred Godfrey and Robert Morris’ Kahliel Spear made the second team.
The third team consisted of YSU’s Brandon Rush and Adrian Nelson (an NKU transfer), IUPUI’s Jlynn Counter, Robert Morris’ Enoch Cheeks and NKU’s Sam Vinson.
YSU’s Jarrod Calhoun was named coach of the year after leading the Penguins to their first league title in program history.
Women’s all-league: Wright State’s Makiya Miller, who averaged 5.8 points, made the all-freshman team. She scored in double figures in her first three games — the first Raider to do that in 17 years — and finished with five straight double-digit games.
Cleveland State’s Destiny Leo was named player of the year. She averaged a league-high 19.3 points for the 27-4 Vikings.
Green Bay’s Kevin Borseth was named coach of the year. The Phoenix won their first title in five years after having won or shared 20 in a row from 1998-99 to 2017-18.
Joining Leo on the first team were Green Bay’s Sydney Levy, IUPUI’s Rachel Kent, Northern Kentucky’s Lindsey Duvall and Youngstown State’s Lilly Ritz.
Green Bay at Wright State, 7 p.m., ESPN+, 980
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