MARION, Ind. – The unprecedented freshman season for Indiana Wesleyan University guard Kyle Mangas continued on Wednesday as he was voted the Crossroads League Men’s Basketball Player of the Year.
In addition, Mangas was named All-Crossroads League First Team and the Crossroads League Freshman of the Year. Greg Tonagel was tabbed Crossroads League Coach of the Year, Evan Maxwell earned All-Crossroads League Second Team, Jacob Johnson was an All-Crossroads League Third Team selection, and Joel Okafor was voted to the All-Defense Team. Mangas and Grant Smith made up 40-percent of the All-Freshman Team.
“Individual accolades are always a result of team success,” said Wildcat head coach Greg Tonagel. “Each of these guys put their teammates above themselves all year long. As a result, the team reached new levels as did they.”
Mangas is the first freshman to earn the Player of the Year award in the Crossroads League since the inception of the honor in the 1989-90 season (91 and 94 winners are unknown at this time). Alex Kock of Huntington (Ind.) was the last non-senior to win the award when he shared it with senior Eric Ford of Taylor (Ind.) in 2005-06 and he was the last non-senior to win the award outright as a sophomore in 2004-05. Mangas and Kock are the only underclassmen to earn the Player of the Year award in the Crossroads League.
The Warsaw, Indiana product currently averages 21.8 points, 4.9 rounds, and 3.0 assists per game. His 718 points this season are third most in program history and fifth in NAIA Division II. Mangas is the fourth Wildcat to ever be named Crossroads League Player of the Year, joining Lane Mahurin (2016-17), Jordan Weidner (2013-14), and Patrick Hopkins (2012-13).
Tonagel was named Crossroads League Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his 13-year career. He last received the recognition in 2014-15.
Maxwell averages 16.9 points and a team-leading 6.6 rebounds for the Wildcats. The Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania native has six double-doubles this season and has shot 58-percent from the field and a team-best 47-percent from 3-point range.
Johnson contributes 11.7 points and 5.3 rebounds as a senior leader for the team. The Mooresville, Indiana product has shot 49-percent from the floor and was an All-Crossroads League Honorable Mention choice last season.
Okafor was a presence on the defensive end all season from the point guard position. He currently has a team-best 42 steals.
Smith has provided a huge spark off the bench with 9.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists during his freshman campaign.
“We measure success by the growth of others,” said Tonagel. “Each of these guys played a significant role in the growth of their teammates.”
Indiana Wesleyan is 26-7 on the season and won the Crossroads League regular season and tournament championships. IWU has punched their ticket to the NAIA Division II National Championship and will learn their First Round opponent later today when the Selection Show airs at 6 p.m.