CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ohio men's basketball redshirt freshman forward Ben Vander Plas has been named the Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year in a vote of the league's coaches and media members, the conference announced today (March 12).
Vander Plas is the sixth Bobcat to earn the MAC Freshman of the Year honors, and the first since 2010 when D.J. Cooper picked up the award.
"It's a well deserved honor for for Ben, " fifth-year head coach Saul Phillips said. "He came in and made an immediate impact with out program and I expect big things from him in the future."
Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.), a Communications Studies major, was also named to the MAC All-Freshman Team. He finished his first regular season with Ohio third on the team in scoring, averaging 8.8 points per game. He also added 5.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 41.5 percent from the field, 31.4 percent from three-point range and 70.7 percent from the free throw line.
In MAC play, Vander Plas averaged 7.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He shot 38.3 percent from the field, 27.5 percent from three-point range and 57.9 percent from the free throw line. Vander Plas scored in double figures 11 times this season, while recorded two double-doubles. He also had two 20-point games and led the Bobcats in scoring three times this season.
Vander Plas scored a career-high 24 points on Feb. 12 against Central Michigan, where he went 10-for-15 from the field. He also grabbed 13 rebounds against CMU, while also dished out four assists in the same game. On March 2 at Akron, Vander Plas was a three-point shooting machine, draining a career-high six from beyond the arc in 10 attempts.
Freshman of the Year (First Place Votes)
Ben Vander Plas, F, Ohio (19)
Mekhi Lairy, G, Miami (5)
AJ Edu, F, Toledo (4)
Anthony Roberts, G, Kent State (2)
William Boyer-Richard, G, Western Michigan (2)
Caleb Fields, G, Bowling Green (1)