March 03, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) Northern Iowa forward Seth Tuttle, the Missouri Valley's active leader in scoring and rebounding, is the conference player of the year.

Tuttle, a senior, received 38 of a possible 47 first-place votes in voting by coaches, sports information directors and a media panel. Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet, teammates on regular season champion and ninth-ranked Wichita State, were second and third on the list released Tuesday.

Baker had five first-place votes and VanVleet, the player of the year last season, had four. Joining those three on the all-conference team were D.J. Balentine and Egidijus Mockevicius of Evansville and Devonte Brown of Indiana State.

The 6-foot-8 Tuttle is a finalist for several national awards and is the only active player in the nation with more than 1,600 points, 850 rebounds and 250 assists in his career. He leads 11th-ranked Northern Iowa (27-3) in scoring (15.6 points), rebounding (6.6), assists (3.3) and blocked shots (18) and is shooting 63 percent.

Wichita State and Northern Iowa are the top two seeds in the conference tournament that starts Thursday in St. Louis.

Indiana State's Brenton Scott was named freshman of the year. He's averaging 11.4 points, second on the team, and leads the Sycamores with 57 3-pointers and 30 steals. Illinois State transfer DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, a junior averaging 13 points, was named newcomer of the year.

Wichita State's Tekele Cotton was a repeat winner as defensive player of the year. Cotton is among three Shockers among the league leaders in steals. Wes Washpun of Northern Iowa was named the top sixth man.

Tuttle is the third Northern Iowa player to be named player of the year, joining Adam Koch (2010) and Jason Daisy (1997). He has 1,681 career points, 875 rebounds and 267 assists.

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