Mitchell not the Sun Belt DPOY?

Tony Mitchell blocks a shot during a game against Florida International this season at the Super Pit. Mitchell was not named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Sun Belt, despite leading the league in blocked shots with 83 and posting 30 steals. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

The All-Sun Belt Conference team came out today and with it comes the inevitable second-guessing.

Every year in every league there are selections one could question. It’s part of the deal.

With that being said, I’m going to question one myself this year when it comes to the team that is selected by the leagues’s coaches and media members.

How is Tony Mitchell not the Defensive Player of the Year?

Mitchell leads the Sun Belt in blocks with 83 and also has 30 steals. No other player in the league has more than 68 blocks on the season.

Bruce Massey ended up winning the award. I have nothing against Massey. He’s a fine player on the team that has dominated the league all season, but he only ranks seventh in the league with an average of 1.5 steals a game and has 48 steals on the year.

UNT head coach Tony Benford said today that he believes Mitchell changes the way teams operate, and he’s right.

You can’t say that about Massey.

So how does it turn out this way?

There is a simple and easy explanation — to the winner go the spoils.

MTSU finished 19-1 in league play and didn’t have a strong candidate for Player of the Year. MTSU is really deep and runs player after player at teams. MTSU has nine guys averaging between 4.1 and 12.6 points a game.

None of them are going to beat out South Alabama’s Augustine Rubit for Player of the Year. Rubit is averaging 18.9 points and 10.8 rebounds a game for a team that is 14-6 in league play.

UNT has been a huge disappointment and finished 7-13 in league play.

Being passed over for all-league honors is what happens when a team has a disappointing season.

UNT — and Mitchell to a certain extent — got what they deserved in terms of seeing one of its best players passed over for what turned out to be a big honor for Massey.

Like I said, to the winner go the spoils.

Just don’t tell me Mitchell isn’t the best defensive player in the Sun Belt this year.

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