Men's College Basketball

JWCC's Fadika, Miller earn all-conference honors

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 8, 2018 12:01 am

QUINCY -- To the winners go the spoils.

When John Wood Community College men's basketball coach Brad Hoyt looks at the list of accolades his program received Wednesday when the MidWest Athletic Conference released its postseason honors, he understands it's a byproduct of finishing at the top of the league's regular-season standings.

"It's humbling for any of our guys and myself to garner any sort of recognition because it's a really good league with really good coaches," said Hoyt, whose team was 8-2 in MWAC play. "At the end of the day, you put yourself in position to win a conference championship and you put yourself in position for some recognition. Fortunately, that's what we've done."

The Trail Blazers placed two played on the All-MWAC first team and received two of the league's three major awards.

Sophomore forward Aziz Fadika and freshman guard Cory Miller were all-conference selections, while Miller was named the MWAC Freshman of the Year. Hoyt was tabbed as the Coach of the Year.

"Those Coach of the Year honors are reflective of your team," said Hoyt, who received his third Coach of the Year honor. "Your team has success because you have players who can make plays."

Miller made plenty, especially in conference play.

The 2017 Herald-Whig Player of the Year from Unity led the league in scoring, averaging 19.4 points. He also averaged 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, while shooting 50.4 percent from the overall. Overall, he averaged 10.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

The 6-foot-3 Miller was at his best the final 12 games when he scored in double figures 11 times. In the first 20 games, he scored in double figures twice and was held scoreless once.

"It really is amazing when you sort of look at his year," Hoyt said. "To have the finish that he had to the regular season is pretty special. It speaks volumes to his growth, his maturity, his competitiveness. He's just starting his uphill climb. He has more room for growth."

Fadika, who is from Katy, Texas, developed into a dominant big man. He led the MWAC in rebounding at 14.9 boards per game, including five per game at the offensive end. He also averaged 14 points and shot 56.4 percent from the field.

Overall, the 6-8 Fadika averaged 12.9 points and 12.2 rebounds with 34 blocked shots.

"He got to a point where he realized what he was really good at and sort of banked on that every day," Hoyt said. "If you average 15 rebounds per game in a league like ours, you're a little different. You have a little different mentality."

John Wood is the top seed in the Region 24 Tournament, which begins Friday in Danville, Ill. The Trail Blazers will play the winner of No. 4 Lincoln and No. 5 Illinois Central at 1 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals. The tournament champion advances to the NJCAA Division II national tournament.