Howard Men's Basketball
2022-2023 Basketball

MEAC announces 2022-2023 men’s basketball honors

The 2022-2023 MEAC Men’s Basketball honors are out and the conference made sure to spread out the accolades following the regular season.

NORFOLK, Va., March 7, 2023—Norfolk State fifth-year guard Joe Bryant, Jr. was named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Year, the conference office announced today. Shy Odom of Howard University was named Rookie of the Year, while North Carolina Central graduate center Brendan Medley-Bacon earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Howard University’s Kenneth Blakeney was named Coach of the Year.

All awards were voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors and announced Tuesday evening in the Attucks Theater during the inaugural MEAC BBT Awards.

Bryant was named Player of the Year for the second straight season after leading the MEAC in free throw percentage (.842) and ranking second in 3-point field goals per game (2.3), third in scoring (17.3 ppg), fifth in assists (3.3) and sixth in steals (1.7). Bryant was also fifth in the MEAC in field goal percentage (.432) and he had 11 20-point performances on the season – including a season-high 29 against Hampton in the Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic. Bryant is the first MEAC player to be named Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons since Delaware State’s Jahsha Bluntt in 2005-06 and 2006-07.

Odom gives the Bison their second straight MEAC Rookie of the Year honoree (Elijah Hawkins in 2021-22) after ranking top-15 in the league in scoring in conference play (12.0 ppg). His 10.6 points per game for the season rank third on the team behind Hawkins and Steve Settle III, and he scored in double figures 14 times on the season – including a pair of 22-point efforts (La Salle on Dec. 29, 2022 and Morgan State on Feb. 20). Odom was named MEAC Rookie of the Week eight times on the season.

Medley-Bacon was one of the nation’s best shot blockers this season, with his 2.0 blocks per contest leading the MEAC (an average that jumped up to 3.2 per game in conference play) and ranking 25th in all of NCAA Div. I. His 56 total blocks rank 29th in the nation, and he recorded multiple blocks in a single game 14 times on the season (including a career-high eight against Howard on Feb. 25). Medley-Bacon, the first NCCU player to ever be named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, also ranked seventh in the conference in rebounding.

Blakeney earned his first MEAC Coach of the Year honor after leading the Bison to their first outright MEAC regular-season title since 1986-87, going 11-3 in conference play and 19-12 overall. Among Howard’s notable non-conference wins in 2022-23 are Buffalo, Austin Peay, FIU, Harvard and Mount St. Mary’s. Blakeney is the first Howard coach to be named Coach of the Year since Alfred Beard in 1991-92.

Joining Bryant on the 2023 All-MEAC First Team are Coppin State’s Sam Sessoms, Howard University’s Hawkins, Morgan State’s Isaiah Burke and Norfolk State’s Kris Bankston.

The 2023 MEAC Basketball Tournament begins Wednesday, March 8, and runs through Saturday, March 11, at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va.

MEAC announces 2022-2023 men’s basketball honors
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