Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Predicting the 2023-24 Player of the Year in each conference

Who is the most impactful player in each conference? These are the list of players who should win the Player of the Year in their leagues.

Northwestern v Purdue
Northwestern v Purdue / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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MAAC: Matt Balanc (Quinnipiac)

Current Averages: 18.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists

The Bobcats have never made the NCAA tournament before but this season looks to be their best chance of making the league. Quinnipiac has a star who is doing a lot of the heavy lifting this year in the MAAC. He is averaging 18 points per game on 44% shooting. That number is the highest of his career. The fifth-year senior is also on pace for the most free throws and three-point makes of his career as well. He has been given the keys to the offense and ran with it. Balance is the best player in the MAAC and changes games with his ability to hit a big shot or get a big rebound. He may guide the Bobcats to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.

MEAC: Jevin Muniz (Delaware State)

Current Averages: 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists

This one was hard to determine who I thought could win the Player of the Year because there is a lot of individual talent in the league. I went with Muniz just based on how important he is to his team. He plays for Delaware State yes, the Delaware State that is often one of the worst teams in the country. This year though the Hornets, led by Muniz, are .500 and are a threat to compete for the NCAA tournament. Muniz has turned himself into one of the better three-point shooters in the country. Muniz has his best games against the best teams in the conference and there are points in games when he will carry the Hornets for awhile. That is why he is my choice to win the award. 

MAC: Enrique Freeman (Akron)

Current Averages: 18.5 points, 12.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists

Freeman had zero offers coming out of High School and he decided to walk on to the Akron program. Since then he has been one of the most productive players in the MAC. Freeman won the Defensive Player of the Year in the league the last two seasons and the only thing missing for him was the Player of the Year. To be honest this should be a slam dunk for the voters this year as there are not many guys averaging the type of numbers that Freeman is. His 18.5 points and 12.8 rebounds are the highest of his career, and he is doing it by shooting 60% from the floor.

The big man has also developed a deadly three-point shot and still plays the same level of defense. Freeman averages over 1 block per game and just under 1 steal per game. He is going to win the Defensive Player of the Year award as well. It is only fitting for arguably the most decorated Zip ever to finally take home the Player of the Year hardware.