ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ/CHRONICLE
North Dakota center Carson Shanks drives to the basket against Montana State guard Nahjee Matlock during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Worthington Arena in Bozeman, Saturday, March 5.

Fan Vote Crowns College Court Report Mid-Major Player of the Year

Damon Lynn has been picking up steam as of late in the CCR Mid-Major Player of the Year Fan Vote, but would his recent stretch continue in the finals?
Damon Lynn has been picking up steam as of late in the CCR Mid-Major Player of the Year Fan Vote, but would his recent stretch continue in the finals?

Back at the end of February, 64 of the best basketball players in the country were put into an NCAA Tournament-style bracket to determine who was the top player in the nation during the 2015-16 season.

Two things made this unique. All of the players were from mid-major schools, and the winner would be determined solely by fan votes. We felt that giving control to the people who watch the games on a consistent basis.

Over the course of the challenge, over 160,000 votes were cast in the Player of the Year Fan Vote, including over 50,000 in the final round alone. The contest was down to two of the nation’s most talented guards, as Quinton Hooker went head-to-head with Damon Lynn.

Hooker was a consistent force throughout the challenge, maintaining a steady pace throughout each round. As for Lynn, he picked up steam as the contest moved along, and looked to be on a roll that couldn’t be stopped.

In the end, only one player could come on top and take home the hardware as the CCR Mid-Major Player of the Year.

After six weeks of voting, the winner of the CCR Mid-Major Player of the Year Fan Vote is…

The entire North Dakota athletics department got behind Quinton Hooker, and their late-round push on Sunday propelled their junior guard to the win, and is the CCR Mid-Major Player of the Year! (Source: UND Basketball)
The entire North Dakota athletics department got behind Quinton Hooker, and their late-round push on Sunday propelled their junior guard to the win, and is the CCR Mid-Major Player of the Year! (Source: UND Basketball)

…Quinton Hooker!!!

The junior guard for the North Dakota Fighting Hawks narrowly defeated NJIT Highlanders’ guard Damon Lynn, thanks in large part to a late push on Sunday afternoon, 50.74% – 49.26%!

Over the course of the contest, it seemed as though the entire community of Grand Forks, North Dakota got behind Hooker on his quest for the Player of the Year. Even some of his teammates got into the act, campaigning for their team leader.

“It means a lot to me,” said Hooker when asked about what the support from his team meant to him. “They’re my brothers on and off the court, and I know they have my back like I have theirs.”

“It just shows how much of a family we are here at UND.”

As a junior, Hooker averaged a team-best 20.1 points per contest, while adding in 4.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. He also show 48.7% from the floor, 85.8% from the free throw line, and 38.3% from three point range.

Over the course of the contest, Hooker had to fight past some of the nation’s most talented players. He used equal parts of both Twitter votes and online poll votes to take home the award.

From social media graphics to daily reminders online for people to vote, Hooker was a force all contest long that simply could not be stopped.


Here are Quinton Hooker’s round-by-round results:

Rd. 1: def. Rodney Pryor (Robert Morris), 65.95% – 34.05%

Rd. 2: def. Tim Kempton (Lehigh), 58.09% – 41.91%

Sweet 16: def. Tanner Plomb (Army), 55.62% – 44.38%

Elite 8: def. Josh Hagins (Little Rock), 75.65% – 24.35%

Final 4: def. Shawn Long (UL-Lafayette), 58.67% – 41.33%

Championship: def. Damon Lynn (NJIT), 50.74% – 49.26%

– T.B.