Kermit Davis, who has led Middle Tennessee State to consecutive regular-season championships, was named the Sun Belt Conference coach of the year for the second straight season.
Davis was tabbed as the league’s best coach and point guard Bruce Massey was named the defensive player of the year, the league announced Wednesday after a vote by coaches and select media. Guard Marcos Knight earned first-team all-conference honors and Massey and guard Raymond Cintron were named to the third team.
Davis, in his 11 th year, guided the Blue Raiders to a school-record 27 wins for the second straight season. MTSU went 19-1 in conference play and set the Sun Belt record for league wins. Davis, the program’s all-time winningest leader, also accumulated more wins than any Sun Belt coach. He picked up his 113rd league win on Feb. 16 against Arkansas-Little Rock.
Massey, a senior from Germantown, Md., leads the Blue Raiders with 101 assists and 48 steals. His lockdown perimeter defense has helped MTSU rank 13th nationally in both scoring defense and 3-point field-goal percentage defense.
Knight, a senior from Rentz, Ga., leads the Blue Raiders with 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds. He earned second-team honors last year and is just the fifth player in school history to receive first-team recognition. It also marks the first time the program has had a player on the Sun Belt’s first team in back-to-back seasons. LaRon Dendy, last year’s player of the year, was on the first team in 2012.
Cintron, a senior from San Juan, Puerto Rico, averages 8.9 points and led the league in 3-point percentage (44.1). His 67 treys are also a career-high.
The MTSU women also had three players receive all-conference recognition.
Junior Ebony Rowe and senior Kortni Jones were named to the first team. Senior Icelyn Elie, from Lebanon, was tabbed to the second team.
Rowe led the team with 20 points and 11 rebounds a game and collected 17 double-doubles. The All-America candidate is only the second Blue Raider to earn three Sun Belt first-team honors, joining Patrice Holmes (2002-05). Rowe was beat out for the player of the year honors by Florida International’s Jerica Coley, who leads the country with 26.1 points per game.
Jones earned first-team honors for the second time after averaging 16.2 points and a league-high 4.5 assists and 2.5 3-pointers per game. Elie averaged 14.3 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Blue Raiders, who won their fifth straight conference championship.
Both teams are No. 1 seeds in the Sun Belt Conference tournament and begin play on Saturday in Hot Springs, Ark.