University at Buffalo sophomores Nick Perkins and Dontay Caruthers won big individual basketball awards from the Mid-American Conference Tuesday.
Perkins was named MAC Sixth Man of the Year. Caruthers won Defensive Player of the Year.
Perkins, a 6-foot-8 forward from Michigan, ranks 24th in the MAC in scoring at 12.4 points a game and ninth in rebounding at 6.6 a game. He has provided the Bulls with important physical defense in the low post. Perkins was a starter the first half of the season but shifted to a reserve role after a sub-par showing against Ohio on Jan. 10. He started just four of 16 conference games, although he averaged 24.7 minutes a game in conference. His production did not suffer the second half of the year. Perkins scored 7.6 ppg as a freshman.
Caruthers, a 6-1 guard from Rochester, ranks eighth in the nation in steals per possessions played. He’s third in the MAC in steals per game overall at 1.9, even though he’s not a starter. He averages 22.2 minutes and 5.9 points in conference. Caruthers played his first college season at Midland College in Texas, a junior college where UB aide Bryan Hodgson served as an assistant coach.
UB, the No. 3 seed, faces a quarterfinal game in the MAC Tournament against No. 6 Kent State at 9 p.m. Thursday in Cleveland.
Miami guard Michael Weathers was named Freshman of the Year.