MEAC’s best coach, best player at NCCU

Mar. 10, 2014 @ 08:53 PM

N.C. Central this season lost just once in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

The Eagles are 25-5 overall, and one of those wins was an overtime victory against N.C. State on Nov. 20, NCCU’s first time beating an Atlantic Coast Conference team.

NCCU coach LeVelle Moton said all of that success isn’t so much tied to his ability to draw Xs and Os on whiteboards and hold up various combinations of fingers and talk real loud — often to the refs — while wearing nice suits.

The shot callers in the MEAC obviously believe otherwise, announcing Monday that Moton is the league’s coach of the year.

“I’m no fool,” Moton said. “The easiest way to succeed is to get really good basketball players.”

Yep. NCCU senior shooting guard Jeremy Ingram in the player of the year in the MEAC.

NCCU senior point guard Emanuel Chapman earned a third-team spot on the MEAC’s all-conference squad.

“We’re a grimy team,” Moton said. “We’re not sexy. We’re not ultra-talented. We can’t outshoot you. We can’t outscore you. So we have to be this grimy team.”

Ingram sure can generate some offense, averaging 20.2 points a game, second-best in the league. He’s the No. 22 scorer in the whole country.

Moton played for NCCU when the Eagles competed in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. He was CIAA player of the year in 1996.

Chapman, the top assist man in NCCU history, led the MEAC in that category this season. He’ll go into this week’s MEAC Tournament averaging 6.8 assists per game, the fifth-best rate in the nation. Chapman also leads the MEAC with 2.2 steals per game.

NCCU is the top seed in the MEAC Tournament. The winner gets the league’s lone ticket to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles earned a first-round bye and on Wednesday will play the winner of the No. 8 Howard-No. 9 N.C. A&T game.

This is Moton’s fifth season as NCCU’s head coach, and the Eagles have gotten progressively better. In 2009-10, NCCU was 7-22; 2010-11, 15-15; 2011-12, 17-15; 2012-13: 22-9.

Kansas State transfer Dominique Sutton suited up for NCCU during the 2011-12 season. Moton said Sutton was the best player he ever coached.

But after Sutton went to the NBA Development League, Moton coached NCCU to an even better season.

And Moton outdid himself this time around after the transfer of Stanton Kidd, the third-leading scorer in the MEAC during the 2012-13 season.

NCCU is the 2013-14 regular-season MEAC champion.

The Eagles have won 23 games in a row at home. Overall, NCCU has a 17-game winning streak.

But Moton said he’s not all that.

“I don’t take myself as a coach that seriously,” Moton said.