March 9, 2010
Athens, Ohio -
Today the Mid-American Conference announced that Ohio's D.J. Cooper was named Freshman of the Year for the 2009-10 basketball season. The Freshman of the Year award was voted on by a 24-member MAC News Media Association Panel and Cooper received 22 of 24 votes.
The Chicago native becomes the fifth Bobcat to win Freshman of the Year honors. Paul Graham received the honor in 1986, Rush Floyd in 1991, Gary Trent in 1993 and Leon Williams in 2005.
Nobody in the MAC played more minutes than Cooper this season and few controlled the ball as well. Cooper broke the school single-season record for steals with 85, leading the conference with a 2.7 per game pace. In addition, the frosh led the conference with six assists per game and finished tied for second with a 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. As of March 4, Cooper ranks sixth in the nation in steals per game and 11th in assists, which makes him one of just two players in the nation to rank in the top 15 of both categories.
Cooper has also shown a surprising skill on the glass, finishing second on the Bobcats in rebounding and recording double-digit rebounds on three occasions. A two-time MAC East Player of the Week, Cooper has flirted with triple-doubles a few times and even a quadruple-double in some games, giving other coaches a lot to look forward to for the next three years.
"D.J. has had a terrific season and is well deserving of the honor," Ohio head coach John Groce said. "I am very excited about his development this year and look forward to coaching him as he continues to grow on and off the court."
The Bobcats head to Cleveland this week for the MAC Tournament. Ohio will play the regular-season champion, Kent State, for a third time on Thursday, March 11 at 7 p.m. from Quicken Loans Arena.