Mid-Con Tourney notes …

By Wes Swietek

Wisconsin-Green Bay dominated the conference honors announced at the beginning of the tournament. Tony Bennett was named Player of the Year while his father, Phoenix head coach Dick Bennett, was named Coach of the Year.

Tony Bennett was also named First-Team All Conference along with Roy Coleman (Akron), Bill Edwards (Wright State), Barry Johnson (Eastern Illinois) and Kenny Williams (UIC).

NIU’s Brian Molis was named Second-Team All Conference. The Huskies’ Vaurice Patterson was named to the All-Newcomer Team.

‘The Mid-Con has had two teams in the NCAAs the last two years. This year’s snub of UW-GB cost the conference about an extra $250,000.

‘Attendance for the three-day tourney was disappointing. After marquee attraction Green Bay and host school Cleveland State were eliminated in the semi-finals, only 4,113 fans filled the new 13,610-seat Goodman Arena for the nationally-broadcast (ESPN) title game between Eastern and UIC. Total attendance for the three sessions was 12,282.

But Cleveland State Athletic Director John Konstantinos said he’s not disappointed. “It was the feeling of the university that we wanted to host the tournament in order to showcase the facility. In that respect, it has been a great success,” Konstantinos told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

‘Cleveland State received 117 media credential requests for the tournament.

‘The members of the NIU band decided to stay in Cleveland even after the Huskies were eliminated Sunday. The band performed during the UW-GB—Eastern Illinois game March 9.

‘The Mid-Con has one fewer coach with the announcement last week that Western Illinois’ Jack Margenthaler would not have his contract renewed. Margenthaler, a 15-year veteran at Western, led his team to a 10-18 record this season and a first-round loss to UW-GB.

‘Next year’s tournament will be hosted by Wright State in Dayton, Ohio.

‘The conference also announced the results of its voting for the Mid-Con All-Decade team. Joining Tony Bennett, the only active player named to the squad, is Kevin Duckworth (Eastern ’82-‘86), Kenny McFadden (CSU ’85-‘89), Winston Garland (Southwest Missouri State ’85-‘87) and Clinton Ransey (CSU ’83-‘87).