The Eastern Cincinnati Conference has produced remarkable basketball talent over the last couple of seasons. However, this season is different from the past. The depth of the talent in the conference this year rivals any conference in the city, and the race for ECC Player of the Year will be more competitive than it has ever been.
5 - Talan Noyes, Guard, Kings
Coming off of a year where he averaged 13.8 points per game, expectations were high this year for both Kings and Noyes. However, he has continued to put points up on the board, averaging 15.2 points per game through the first five games of this season, including a career-high 25 against Winton Woods. While Noyes hasn’t been nearly as efficient as he was last year, if he catches fire down the stretch, he will be in the running for the POTY title.
4 - Shea O’Toole, Guard, Turpin
With Brady Hardewig, one of the best pure scorers in ECC history, departing Turpin, the Spartans were pretty much counted out as ECC title contenders. That all changed when O’Toole dropped 32 points in the Spartans’ first game of the season. Since then, O’Toole has led the conference in scoring, while shooting a respectable 42 percent from the field. His ability to make contested shots is unrivaled within the ECC, and the Spartans now sit at 5-0 atop the conference.
3 - Anthony Thompson, Forward, Lebanon
Thompson is probably the most versatile player in the league. Standing at 6’7”, Thompson is an absolute sharpshooter from downtown and moves like a guard on the court. After averaging just over 11 points per game in his freshman year, Thompson is now averaging 15 a night on 52.8 percent shooting from the field. His efficiency, as well as his ability to score at all three levels, should put him near the front of the race for ECC POTY.
2 - Tommy Clark, Guard, Kings
The second piece in the backcourt for the Knights, Clark is another talented scorer across from Noyes. While Noyes is more of a sharpshooter who can get to his spots on the court, Clark is an athletic slasher who can still shoot the three at a reliable rate. Clark is averaging 17.2 points per game, shooting 48 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. With his smooth shooting stroke and superb athleticism, Clark will certainly be a candidate for POTY.
1 - Tyler McKinley, Forward, Winton Woods
The heavy favorite to win Player of the Year, McKinley is a versatile big with great touch around the rim and a smooth midrange game. The future Cincinnati Bearcat won ECC POTY in his sophomore season at Walnut Hills, before transferring to Link Academy for his junior season, where he helped state his case as one of the best players in the nation. Through four games this year, he’s averaging 16 points to go along with 8.5 boards and 4 assists, including a 27-point, 10-rebound, and 6-assist masterclass to lead the Warriors to a win over Kings.
The race for Player of the Year will certainly be something to watch as the season continues to develop, and with chaos already unfolding in this conference, the rest of the year is going to be extremely fun to watch. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.