Back at the end of February, 64 of the best freshmen 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 350,000 votes were cast in the Player of the Year Fan Vote, including over 90,000 in the final round alone. The contest was down to two of the nation’s most talented guards, as Jaylen Franklin went head-to-head with Fletcher Magee.
Franklin was a steady force right out of the gate, as fans and coaches alike from Abilene Christian got behind their star freshman. As the weeks progressed, fans of Franklin increased their social media presence, making him a force in terms of both voting methods.
As for Fletcher, he was a force in terms of social media votes over the course of the entire challenge. Week after week, the #CCRFreshmanFanVote was trending in Spartanburg, as the community was behind him from the start.
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 Wofford Terriers’ guard used a massive comeback over the final two days of the fan vote to edge out Franklin, the star freshman guard for the Abilene Christian Wildcats, 53.15% – 46.85%!
It was a back-and-forth affair all week long, but it was the social media presence for Magee that pushed him to the victory in the end.
Family, friends, teammates, coaches, and other athletic teams from around the school did everything they could to get Magee to the win, as did those around Franklin. Both have bright futures ahead of them, and their talents are well-respected around their campuses and in the basketball community.
As a freshman, Magee was second on the Terriers in scoring this past year, averaging 13.8 points per contest. He also added 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Magee was the top free throw shooter in the country, shooting a dazzling 92.5% from the charity stripe.
Early in the finals, it looked as though Magee was going to run away with the title. Then, Franklin’s supporters made a big push in the online polls to retake a lead mid-week. Over the weekend, Magee’s supporters came out of the wood-works to tweet up a storm in support of their freshman star.
In the end, it was the barrage of tweets that sent him over the top.
Magee fought his way past some tough competition each week, relying on the Twitter votes to keep him moving on.
Here are Fletcher Magee’s round-by-round results:
Rd. 1: def. Francis Alonso (UNC-Greensboro), 79.94% – 20.06%
Rd. 2: def. Ernie Duncan (Vermont), 54.5% – 45.5%
Sweet 16: def. John Konchar (IPFW), 51.06% – 48.94%
Elite 8: def. Nico Clareth (Siena), 54.53% – 45.47%
Final 4: def. Matt Morgan (Cornell), 65.83% – 34.17%
Championship: def. Jaylen Franklin (Abilene Christian), 53.15% – 46.85%