Wichita State guard Landry Shamet is about to enter rare territory in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Valley is an upperclassman’s league. It takes a special freshman to grab individual honors in a conference filled with juniors and seniors. Freshmen who do play significant minutes often play on bad teams (bad because they’re inexperienced) and will be passed over in voting.
On Tuesday morning, Shamet is expected to earn All-MVC honors and join Creighton’s Doug McDermott (2011), Shocker Cleo Littleton (1952) and Oklahoma State’s Vernon Yates (1942) as freshmen on the first team.
The company is just as swanky among Shockers who made any of the All-MVC teams as a freshman.
That list includes Antoine Carr and Cliff Levingston, both second-teamers in 1980, as well as Littleton.
Randy Burns earned honorable mention in 2002 as a freshman.
That’s it. That’s the list.
The explainer for that short list must include the fact the NCAA didn’t make freshmen eligible until 1972. Littleton played during a two-year exception during the Korean War and is the only four-time All-MVC pick in conference history.
The MVC’s definition of All-MVC changes over the years, most often with first and second teams. The MVC recognized a 10-man team from 1962-75. This season, the MVC will also name a third team with no honorable mention.
Shamet, from Kansas City, averages 11.4 points and 3.4 assists while shooting 45.7 percent from three-point range.
Over the past 12 games, he averages 12.5 points, 3.6 assists and 2.5 rebounds. He is 29 of 50 from three-point range (58 percent) in that span, 51 of 86 (59.3 percent) from the field.
Wichita State’s All-MVC freshmen and Freshman of the Year.
F Markis McDuffie — 2016 Freshman of the Year
G Randy Burns — 2002 All-MVC (honorable mention), Freshman of the Year
G Jason Perez — 1997 Freshman of the Year
G Joe Griffin — 1987 Freshman of the Year
F Antoine Carr — 1980 All-MVC (second team)
F Cliff Levingston — 1980 All-MVC (second team)
F Cleo Littleton — 1952 All-MVC (first team)