Here's how the voting broke down.
Jonah Steinmeyer – Malik Newman | SG | Jackson Tigers
It’s a shame that Malik Newman didn’t get more votes from the fan poll because I believe Newman is not only the best shooting guard in the 2015 class, but also in the entire EYBL.
Newman’s numbers on the surface are very good.
He led the league in scoring per game at 24.7 points per game and shot a solid 42 percent from the floor. But when you put those into perspective they get even better.
As the focal point of the Jackson Tigers’ offense, Newman was forced to shoot more shots than most of the other players up for Offensive Player of the Year. Not only that, but he also played a majority of the point guard duties simply because he was the best player on the court. Why wouldn’t you put the ball in his hands and keep it there?
Newman has one more season in the EYBL to impress and he’s not going to let the opportunity slip through his fingers. Already playing on the USA Basketball 16U squad, Newman is making his case for the biggest offensive threat in the country.
Without a doubt, he's got my vote.
Alec Kinsky – Tyus Jones | PG | Howard Pulley Panthers
Look, I love Justin Jackson as much as the next person. I respect the fans and their vote made this a tough choice.
Jackson is clearly an elite talent and in any other season he likely has this award locked up.
However, what Jones did offensively this year is out of this world. In my mind, leading the league in points and assists should lock up the award by itself. Combine his superb shooting percentages and his efficiency at the line, and you get a season that is unrivaled in EYBL history.
Undoubtedly an MVP candidate, Jones was also able to excel with limited weapons. Every one of his teammates transforms into better players when he's on the court, a characteristic that is incredibly important when determining a player’s impact on offense.
The best part about Jones’ game centers around the fact that he keeps the defense guessing. His lights-out shooting and crisp passing compliment each other perfectly, making him one heck of a player to watch.
Owen Kinsky – Tyus Jones
While Justin Jackson was unreal with his superb shooting numbers, Jones nearly matched Jackson’s two-point and three-point field goal percentage numbers.
Additionally, Jones’ ability to get to the line and convert those trips to the line into points cannot be overlooked.
On the season, Jones got to the line 74 more times than Jackson, yet missed only two more total free throws (16 misses for Jones, 14 for Jackson). The increased volume of shots that Jones took while nearly maintaining or eclipsing Jackson’s shooting percentages shows how adept this young man is at scoring the basketball.
Add to that the fact that Jones was second in scoring (22.6 PPG) and the league's assist leader and you can see he had the most balanced and impressive offensive game in the EYBL this season.
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