Bobcats Double Up on All-MAC First Team

Mark Sears passes to Jason Carter
Ohio PG Mark Sears (center) was named to the All-MAC First Team on Wednesday, March 9, 2022. Here, Sears is passing to Jason Carter (30), a Third Team selection. Photo by Jason Arkley

Ohio was well represented on the All-Mid-American Conference men’s basketball teams, released Wednesday following voting conducted by the league’s 12 head coaches. 

Three players landed on the All-MAC lists for Ohio (23-8). Fifth-year senior forward Ben Vander Plas and sophomore PG Mark Sears were All-MAC First Team honorees, while sixth-year senior forward Jason Carter picked up Third Team honors. 

Ohio was the only team in the league to place two players on the First Team, but the Bobcats were shut out from the specialty awards, All-Freshmen, and All-Defense lists. Kent State’s Rob Senderoff was named the MAC Coach of the Year, and the Golden Flashes’ Sincere Carry was named the Player of the Year. KSU forward Justyn Hamilton was the Sixth Man of the Year, Ball State’s Payton Sparks was named the MAC Freshman of the Year, and Akron’s Enrique Freeman was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year.

For Vander Plas, it was his first First Team honor but the fourth time he’s landed on the honor roll with a MAC Freshman of the Year award in 2018-19, and spots on the Third Team in each of the past two years. Vander Plas averaged 13.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, shot 34.1% from 3, and snatched a career–best 57 steals this season.

Sears was on the All-Freshman team a year ago, and this season competed for Player of the Year honors while earning a First Team spot. Sears started every game for Ohio and led the Bobcats in scoring at 19.4 points per game while shooting 41.6% from 3 and 91.2% from the foul line. He was third on the team with 5.8 rebounds per game, second in steals (53), and led OU with 133 assists.

Carter averaged 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, led Ohio with 33 blocks, and added a career-high 38 steals on the year.  Carter was also a Third Team selection in 2018-19, the third and final season from his first stint with Ohio.

Ohio begins the 2022 MAC Tournament on Thursday evening with a matchup against No. 6 seed Ball State in the final of four quarterfinal round games at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland. Tip-off is tentatively scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

2021-22 MAC Men’s Basketball Postseason Awards

Coach of the Year: Rob Senderoff, Kent State
Player of the Year: Sincere Carry, R-Jr., G, Kent State
Freshman of the Year: Payton Sparks, Fr., C, Ball State
Defensive Player of the Year: Enrique Freeman, So., F, Akron
Sixth Man of the Year: Justyn Hamilton, R-Sr., F, Kent State

All-MAC First Team

Jeenathan Williams, Sr., F, Buffalo
Sincere Carry, R-Jr., G, Kent State
Mark Sears, So., G, Ohio
Ben Vander Plas, R-Sr., F, Ohio
Ryan Rollins, So., G, Toledo

All-MAC Second Team

Ali Ali, So., F, Akron
Enrique Freeman, So., F, Akron
Josh Mballa, Sr., F, Buffalo
Ronaldo Segu, Sr., G, Buffalo
JT Shumate, Jr., F, Toledo

All-MAC Third Team

Payton Sparks, Fr., C, Ball State
Daeqwon Plowden, 5th-Sr., G/F, Bowling Green
Jason Carter, 5th-Sr., F, Ohio
Setric Millner Jr., Jr., F, Toledo
Lamar Norman Jr., Jr., G, Western Michigan

Honorable Mention

Xavier Castaneda, Jr., G, Akron
Kevin Miller, Fr., G, Central Michigan
Malique Jacobs, R-Jr., F, Kent State
Dae Dae Grant, Jr., G, Miami
Keshawn Williams, So., G, Northern Illinois

All-Freshman Team

Payton Sparks, C, Ball State
Jaylin Sellers, G, Ball State
Kevin Miller, G, Central Michigan
Mo Njie, C, Eastern Michigan
Ra’Heim Moss, G, Toledo 

All-Defensive TeamEnrique Freeman, So., F, Akron
Daeqwon Plowden, 5th-Sr., G/F, Bowling Green
Josh Mballa, Sr., F, Buffalo
Malique Jacobs, R-Jr., F, Kent State
Sincere Carry, R-Jr., G, Kent State

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