NORFOLK, Va., Oct. 20, 2022 – Norfolk State senior guard Joe Bryant, Jr. was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year, presented by TowneBank, the conference announced on Thursday. In addition, Norfolk State was selected as the preseason favorite to win the MEAC.
All awards were voted on by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Bryant, the reigning conference player of the year, was also named the BoxToRow National Player of the Year after leading the Spartans to their second straight MEAC Tournament title, on top of the regular-season crown and a 24-win season. The MEACTournament Outstanding Performer for the second straight season, Bryant was second in the MEAC in scoring (16.7 ppg), third in field goal percentage (.432) and 3-pointers made (57), sixth in assists (3.2 apg) and eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.1).
He breached the 20-point mark 10 times during the season and scored in double figures 25 times in 31 games. He was named MEAC Player of the Week four times, the most of any player for the season.
Two-time defending MEAC champion Norfolk State picked up 15 of a possible 16 first-place votes in being named the preseason favorite, while the Eagles of NCCU picked up the other first-place vote in being picked to finish second. Howard and Morgan State were picked to finish third and fourth, respectively.
Coppin State, Maryland Eastern Shore, Delaware State and South Carolina State rounded out the predicted order of finish.
Joining Bryant on the Preseason All-MEAC First Team are Coppin State’s Nendah Tarke, Howard’s Elijah Hawkins, Norfolk State’s Kris Bankston and North Carolina Central’s Justin Wright.
The 2023 MEAC Basketball Tournament will be held March 8-11 at the Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va.