Following the 2016-17 boys' basketball season, the WCMY Sports staff met to vote on the most outstanding players from the WCMY listening area: Marquette, Ottawa, Seneca, Serena, Somonauk and Streator. For the first time, here is the 2017 All-WCMY Boys' Basketball Team:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
McKe Tucker, Ottawa
The Pirates’ senior swingman was a unanimous choice for MVP, averaging 20.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game to lead Ottawa in both categories. But while the numbers are impressive—Tucker was only a dozen points from a 600-point season, and reached 1,000 points for his career in Ottawa’s regular season finale—perhaps more impressive was the efficiency with which he poured it in every night. Tucker shot 50.8 percent from the field, an improvement over last season’s plenty-respectable 46.7 percent.
McKe was Ottawa’s best player very nearly every night, he was the best player on the floor nearly every night, and he is a very deserving recipient of our first-ever MVP honor.
Here is our conversation with McKe about his tremendous 2016-17 season:
Hayden Cowie, Marquette
A unanimous first team selection and a double double machine, Cowie used his length and athleticism to torture opponents in the post all season. The senior center made the Crusaders a tough matchup night in and night out and he was a huge factor in Marquette’s surge down the stretch, finishing with 14.5 points and nine rebounds per game when the dust settled.
Dawson Fuller, Serena
Fuller was a unanimous first team selection, lighting it up to the tune of 16.5 points and 5.3 assists per game. He averaged nearly 17 points per game while leading Serena to the Marseilles Holiday Tournament title, and to put it in the simplest terms, the Huskers’ spectacular turnaround season doesn’t happen without him. Already a 1,000-point scorer, the junior guard will look to add “regional champion” to his resume next season.
Wyatt Hill, Ottawa
This kid is a sophomore? He certainly didn’t look like it, hitting 37 percent of his 3-point attempts and averaging nearly 12 points per game for the Pirates. Wyatt was not selected to the Plano Christmas Classic All-Tournament Team, but he connected on five treys in the title game to lift Ottawa to their third championship in five years. If Hill was on the floor, opposing defenses needed to account for him.
D’Angelo Pryor, Streator
Pryor was a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for the Bulldogs, posting team highs in points per game (14), rebounds (8.4), assists (2.9) and blocks (19) despite missing six games. The senior swingman posted six double doubles on the season and was a Plano All-Tournament selection.
Nate Wegener, Somonauk
One half of the Bobcats’ dynamic backcourt duo, Wegener was adept at getting to the rim and finished just shy of 17 points per game, while grabbing 6.3 rebounds and adding 3.5 assists.
Addison Bode, Somonauk
How good was Bode? The Bobcats’ senior nearly accomplished a quadruple double at the Marseilles Holiday Tournament, posting 16 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and nine steals in Somonauk’s win over Gardner-South Wilmington. Bode led the ‘Cats with 17.2 points and 5.5 assists per game.
Jakob Setchell, Serena
Always a threat to fill it up, the sophomore went off for 29 points on Somonauk in the Little 10 Tournament and closed the season with an impressive 24-point effort against Aurora Christian. Setchell averaged 15.2 points for the Huskers, but also made 80 percent of his free throw attempts to rank third in the WCMY listening area.
Jack Snook, Marquette
The growth in the sophomore point guard was evident as the season went along, culminating with a selection to the Tri-County All-Tournament team. Snook emerged as Marquette’s primary and most reliable ball handler, and also among their most trustworthy free throw shooters. Snook missed seven of his first 10 attempts in the Crusaders’ December win at Peoria Christian; he made 82 percent of his freebies the rest of the season.
Sam Grushkin, Seneca
Seneca struggled throughout the season but they sure played hard, and the high-energy Grushkin was emblematic of the team’s identity. Grushkin led the Irish with 9.2 points and 4.9 boars per game, as well as a team-high 15 blocks. The sophomore appears to have a bright future ahead of him.
Andrew Bacon, Ottawa
Arguably the heart and soul of the Pirates, Bacon ran the point and was the team’s defensive specialist. The senior’s finest moment was holding Newark’s Will Clausel to only two points in the Plano Christmas Classic final. But his game-winning basket in Ottawa’s upset of United Township in the regional semifinals ranks up there, too.
Adam Brown, Streator
If opponents left Adam Brown open behind the arc, he frequently made them pay. The Bulldogs’ senior connected on 39 percent of his 3-point attempts, draining three or more in a game seven times.
Brad Byrnes, Serena
The Huskers’ post announced his arrival with a 23-point, 16-rebound explosion in Serena’s season-opening win at Coal City. It was the first of six double doubles for the Serena senior, who also added 54 blocks on the campaign.