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Wichita State’s Etienne, Brown named AAC Co-Player, Coach of the Year

Wichita State sophomore guard Tyson Etienne gets a hug from Shocker interim head coach Isaac...
Wichita State sophomore guard Tyson Etienne gets a hug from Shocker interim head coach Isaac Brown following Wednesday night's 85-80 win against Oral Roberts at Koch Arena.(KWCH)
Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 10:27 AM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. - Wichita State’s Tyson Etienne is the American Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Year and Isaac Brown was a runaway choice for Coach of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.

In addition, WSU’s Alterique Gilbert earned third-team all-conference status and Ricky Council IV was named to the all-freshman team.

Both Brown and Etienne went from unlikely to unanimous choices over a span of just four months. All 10 ballots cast by opposing head coaches included Brown as coach of the year and Etienne as first-team all-league.

Brown was thrust into an interim role on Nov. 17 – just eight days before the start of the college basketball season – and earned the job on a permanent basis after leading a WSU team picked seventh to its first American regular-season title.

Brown becomes WSU’s eighth coach-of-the-year winner and its first of The American era. Notably, he’s the third in Shocker history to win as a rookie head coach, joining Gary Thompson (1965) and Eddie Fogler (1987).

Etienne – a 6-2 shooting guard from Englewood, N.J. -- wasn’t picked for either of the preseason all-conference teams but averaged 17.1 points and 3.1 threes-per-game on 40 percent accuracy during the regular season. He scored at least 20 points in seven of the Shockers’ 13 conference games.

Etienne (who shares the top honor with Houston’s Quentin Grimes) is just the fifth Shocker individual to win a conference player of the year award, joining a star-studded list that also includes Antoine Carr (1983), Xavier McDaniel (1984 and 1985), Paul Miller (2006) and Fred VanVleet (2014 and 2016).

Gilbert’s all-conference nod continues one of college basketball’s best feel-good stories. After four injury-plagued seasons at UConn, the former McDonald’s All-American has found success as Wichita State’s starting point guard.

The 6-foot senior from Atlanta is averaging 10.1 points and leads the team in both assists (4.2) and steals (1.5). In conference play, his 4.8 assists-per-game ranked second on the league leaderboard. Gilbert’s 12 assists in the March 3 win at Tulane were the most by a Shocker in more than 30 years.

Council – a 6-6 guard from Durham, N.C. -- has been an important weapon for the Shockers off the bench, averaging 7.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 16.4 minutes.

Council becomes the second Shocker to make The American’s All-Freshman team. Teammate Dexter Dennis earned that honor in 2019.

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2020-21 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE AWARDS:

All-Conference First Team:

  • Jayden Gardner, Jr., F, East Carolina
  • Quentin Grimes, Jr., G, Houston*
  • Landers Nolley II, So., G, Memphis
  • Kendric Davis, Jr., G, SMU*
  • Tyson Etienne, So., G, Wichita State*

All-Conference Second Team:

  • Keith Williams, Sr., G, Cincinnati
  • DeJon Jarreau, Sr., G, Houston
  • Justin Gorham, Sr., F, Houston
  • Marcus Sasser, So., G, Houston
  • Brandon Rachal, Sr., F, Tulsa

All-Conference Third Team:

  • Brandon Mahan, Sr., G, UCF
  • Darius Perry, Sr., G, UCF
  • Feron Hunt, Sr., G, SMU
  • Khalif Battle, So., G, Temple
  • Jaylen Forbes, So., G, Tulane
  • Alterique Gilbert, R-Sr., G, Wichita State

All-Freshman Team:

  • Isaiah Adams, G, UCF
  • Tari Eason, F, Cincinnati
  • Moussa Cisse, C, Memphis
  • Caleb Murphy, G, USF
  • Damian Dunn, G, Temple
  • Ricky Council IV, G, Wichita State

Coach of the Year:

  • Isaac Brown, Wichita State*

Player of the Year:

  • Tyson Etienne, So., G, Wichita State
  • Quentin Grimes, Jr., G, Houston

Defensive Player of the Year:

  • DeJon Jarreau, Sr., G, Houston

Freshman of the Year:

  • Moussa Cisse, C, Memphis

Most Improved Player:

  • Justin Gorham, Sr., F, Houston

Sixth Man of the Year:

  • Boogie Ellis, So., G, Memphis
  • Darien Jackson, Sr., G, Tulsa

Sportsmanship Award:

  • J.P. Moorman II, Sr., F, Temple

* denotes unanimous selections

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WSU Coaches of the Year:

  • 1954 – Ralph Miller (MVC)
  • 1965 – Gary Thompson (MVC)
  • 1987 – Eddie Fogler (MVC)
  • 2006 – Mark Turgeon (MVC)
  • 2012 – Gregg Marshall (MVC)
  • 2013 – Gregg Marshall (MVC)
  • 2014 – Gregg Marshall (MVC)
  • 2021 – Isaac Brown (American)

WSU Players of the Year:

  • 1983 – Antoine Carr (MVC)
  • 1984 – Xavier McDaniel (MVC)
  • 1985 – Xavier McDaniel (MVC)
  • 2006 – Paul Miller (MVC)
  • 2014 – Fred VanVleet (MVC)
  • 2016 – Fred VanVleet (MVC)
  • 2021 – Tyson Etienne (American)

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