March 13, 2013
ATHENS, Ohio – Senior guard D.J Cooper has been named the 2013 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, the league office announced Wednesday.
A three-time First Team All-MAC selection, Cooper earns MAC Player of the Year honors for the first time in his career. It marks the first time an Ohio student-athlete has won the award since Gary Trent took home the recognition in 1995.
An Ohio student-athlete has earned MAC Player of the Year honors 10 times in the history of the conference. Cooper is the eighth Bobcat to be named MAC Player of the Year, as Trent earned the accolade in three-consecutive seasons (1993-95).
“I’m very happy for D.J. He’s had a great season and has been integral in everything we’ve accomplished,” Head Coach Jim Christian said. “He has left an unparalleled mark on the Ohio University men’s basketball program.”
Cooper is putting the finishing touches on one of the finest careers in Ohio basketball history.
He has recorded the most assists in the history of the Mid-American Conference and is Ohio's all-time leader in assists (914), steals (323), 3-pointers made (267), games started (136) and games played (140). He also ranks fourth all-time at Ohio in points (2,035).
His 914 assists are the 12th-most in the history of Division I college basketball. He also ranks t-20th on the all-time NCAA Division I steals list. Cooper is the only player in the history of Division I college basketball to post at least 2,000 points, 900 assists, 600 rebounds and 300 steals in a career.
The Chicago, Ill., native is in in the midst of a stellar senior season with the Bobcats. He ranks sixth in the nation in assists per game (7.2) and also leads the `Cats with 14.2 points and 2.1 steals per contest. He has paced the team in assists in 28-of-31 games on the year and has posted at least 10 assists on seven occasions.
On Jan. 5 against Marshall, Cooper broke the Ohio single-game school record with 17 assists and tied the MAC all-time mark for assists in a game.
He was instrumental in helping Ohio claim a share of its first regular season title since 1993-94.
A three-time All-MAC First Team selection and the 2012 MAC Tournament Most Valuable Player, Cooper has garnered All-America recognition from multiple outlets in his career, including CollegeInsider.com (2011, 2012) and CollegeHoops.net (2011). He was named to the Lute Olson All-America Team in 2012.
As the No. 2 seed, the Bobcats have earned a double bye into the semifinals of the MAC Tournament. Ohio will play Friday (March 15) at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The semifinal game will be televised on STO/ESPN3 and will tip at 9 p.m.
-- GO BOBCATS! --