Toledo's Fletcher named MAC player of the year

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    Tre'Shaun Fletcher was named MAC player of the year. He is the first Toledo player to receive the award since Harvey Knuckles in 1980-81.

    Blade/Dave Zapotosky

  • It has been quite the season for University of Toledo senior Tre’Shaun Fletcher.

    In what will be his only season with the Rockets, Fletcher has been named the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year.

    He is the first conference player of the year for Toledo since Harvey Knuckles in the 1980-81 season and just the fifth player to win the award in program history.

    “They told me I was the first player since 1981 to win the award and I thought that was pretty crazy,” Fletcher said. “I know that there are some really good players that have come through here, so it’s really just an honor.”

    In his first season of game action with the Rockets, Fletcher did a little bit of everything, leading Toledo to a 21-10 record, a 13-5 mark in the MAC, and a MAC West championship.

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    VIDEO: Tre’Shaun Fletcher on being named MAC Player of the Year

    His versatility and leadership were on display all season as were his wide-ranging stats.

    Fletcher averages 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.5 assists, making him the lone player to rank in the top five in the MAC in all three of those categories. He is third in the conference in points per game, fourth in rebounds, and tied for second in assists.

    “I wouldn’t say I envisioned it,” Fletcher said of winning the award. “But I kind of had it in the back of my mind that I could make some noise, not only winning player of the year, but as a team winning games and putting ourselves in the position that we did. I knew that good things would come along with us winning. The more we won, the better that everyone was going to look. I would say I didn’t envision it, but I definitely don’t put limits on myself. I just focus on playing hard to be honest with you.”

    Fletcher came to Toledo after spending three seasons at the University of Colorado.

    As a junior at Colorado, Fletcher started 14 of the team’s 34 games, averaging 7.1 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

    After transferring to Toledo, Fletcher had to sit out a season before being eligible to play this season.

    Fletcher said he fit in perfectly this season with a strong group of returning players including juniors Jaelan Sanford, Nate Navigato, and Taylor Adway and redshirt sophomore Luke Knapke.

    “It definitely has fit together nicely because those guys were experienced and I’m experienced and we have just come together perfectly,” Fletcher said. “It took a little bit to get our chemistry going, but once we got that going, it all worked out. We’re just putting together a great year, but we still have a lot of work to do. We can still get better as this thing goes on.”

    Fletcher has been the piece that has put together the puzzle for Toledo this season, and UT coach Tod Kowalczyk recognizes Fletcher’s skills as a player but also his ability to elevate the play of his teammates.

    "I'm extremely proud of Tre, and he's very deserving of being named conference player of the year," Kowalczyk said. "He's been unbelievably consistent all season long, and in my opinion he's one of the best players to ever play at the University of Toledo. This award certainly puts a stamp on it. He really has no weaknesses in his game, and he's very versatile. What's really impressive about Tre though is his positive energy, his leadership, and that he's our hardest worker every day in practice."

    Buffalo’s Nate Oats was named MAC Coach of the Year after guiding the Bulls to a 23-8 overall record and a 15-3 record in the MAC. Buffalo won the overall MAC regular season title.

    Contact Brian Buckey at bbuckey@theblade.com419-724-6110, or on Twitter @BrianBuckey.