Isaac Brown and Tyson Etienne win major conference awards


Khánh Nguyễn/ The Sunflower

Interim Head Coach Isaac Brown talks to his players during the game against USF on March 6 at Charles Koch Arena.

After winning the conference championship last Saturday, Wichita State had four members of the program receive awards for the American Athletic Conference all-conference awards on Wednesday.

Isaac Brown won Coach of the Year with an unanimous vote after leading the Shockers to a first-place despite taking over as the interim head coach eight days before the season. Brown becomes the first WSU head coach to win the AAC coach of the year since the Shockers joined the AAC in 2017.

Brown is the eighth Shocker head coach to win a conference coach of the year the award and is the third to win as a first-year head coach.

“Coaching honors are nice,” Brown said. “It’s a sign that you have good players and that you have good team success. I’m more into the team awards like championships. I’m honored. I’m excited about it, but it’s just a sign that you have good players, that your team has success. I’m more into championships, and that’s what we’re trying to get this weekend.”

Brown said that one of his main goals since taking over in November was to have the team play together as aunit.

“We started our first practice, I remember going at Dexter and Tyson and I thought if I could coach those guys, the young guys would see that and get in line. I give it up to those guys that took the coaching early on and it sent a message to the rest of the players.”

Sophomore Tyson Etienne was selected as co-player of the year after averaging 17.1 points while shooting 40% on three-pointers in the regular season.

Etienne became the fifth Shocker to win a conference player of the year award. That list includes Antoine Carr (1983), Xavier McDaniel (1984, 1985), Paul Miller (206) and Fred VanVleet (2014 and 2016). Etienne was also an unanimous selection for all-conference first team.

“What allowed me to win this award is my teammates and my coaching staff,” Etienne said. “I am always going to put the work in and be prepared, but at the end of the day, I’m only one player. There’s still 15 other guys I go to war with every night. Having those guys is why I believe I won the award. A team finishes first in the American, not a player.”

Etienne said that by working on his weaknesses over the offseason, it allowed him to gain more confidence in his play.

“To me, it’s more of an internal thing and believing in myself and believing everything I am capable of is possible for me and not thinking it’s so far off,” he said. “I think the growth in my game came from an internal place and building the confidence and building belief in myself just knowing I am what I believe I am.”

Redshirt senior Alterique Gilbert was awarded with all-conference third team for his performance in his first year as a Shocker.

Gilbert has dealt with mental health issues and injuries to start his career with Connecticut but has overcome them and is averaging 10.1 points and leads the team in assists (4.2) and steals (1.5) this season. Gilbert is also the leader for career assists as an active player in the AAC.

“I feel great. I really think it’s a big accomplishment,” Gilbert said. “It just gives me more confidence. It continues to build me up. It’s really an honor, but I’m blessed to be in this position. It’s all God-willing. This is just a part of my story.”

Freshman Ricky Council IV became the second Shocker to make the AAC’s All-Freshman team, joining junior Dexter Dennis. Council has made an impact as a freshman this season off the bench and is averaging 7.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per game.

“It means a lot,” Council IV said. “I’m thinking about my whole career and how far I’ve come. I’m thinking about next year and I’ll have even bigger goals.”

All-Conference First Team

Jayden Gardner, F, East Carolina

Quentin Grimes, G, Houston

Landers Nolley II, G, Memphis

Kendric Davis, G, SMU

Tyson Etienne, G, Wichita State

All-Conference Second Team:

Keith Williams, G, Cincinnati

DeJon Jarreau, G, Houston

Justin Gorham, F, Houston

Marcus Sasser, G, Houston

Brandon Rachal, F, Tulsa

All-Conference Third Team

Brandon Mahan, G, UCF

Darius Perry, G, UCF

Feron Hunt, G, SMU

Khalif Battle, G, Temple

Jaylen Forbes, G, Tulane

Alterique Gilbert, G, Wichita State

All-Freshman Team

Isaiah Adams, G, UCF

Tari Eason, F, Cincinnati

Moussa Cisse, C, Memphis

Caleb Murphy, G, USF

Damian Dunn, G, Temple

Ricky Council IV, G, Wichita State

Coach of the Year

Isaac Brown, Wichita State

Player of the Year

Tyson Etienne, G, Wichita State

Quentin Grimes, G, Houston

Defensive Player of the Year

DeJon Jarreau, G, Houston

Freshman of the Year

Moussa Cisse, C, Memphis

Most Improved Player

Justin Gorham, F, Houston

Sixth Man of the Year

Boogie Ellis, G, Memphis

Darien Jackson, G, Tulsa

Sportsmanship Award

J.P. Moorman II, F, Temple