ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia’s Yante Maten was named co-Georgia Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year on Friday morning by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Maten, who also was named the AP SEC Player of the Year and is a top-10 candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, shared the in-state honor with Georgia State’s D’Marcus Simonds.
A 6-8, 243-pound senior from Pontiac, Mich., Maten is the third straight Bulldog to earn the state’s top accolade from the Tipoff Club. J.J. Frazier was selected in both 2016 and 2017. This marks the first time in the award’s 35-year history that Georgia players have claimed the award three consecutive years. The previous winners were Vern Fleming in 1984 (the award’s first year or existence), Litterial Green in 1992, Jumaine Jones in 1999, Jarvis Hayes in both 2002 and 2003, Trey Thompkins in 2011, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in 2013 and Frazier each of the past two years.
Maten is set to become the fifth Georgia Bulldog to lead the SEC in scoring at the season’s end, joining Dominique Wilkins in 1981, Fleming in 1984, Jones in 1999 and Hayes in 2002. He currently leads the league in scoring at 19.3 points per game. No SEC player still active in postseason play is averaging more than 14.7 ppg. Maten also ranks among the SEC’s top 10 in rebounding (No. 3), minutes played (No. 3), field goal percentage No. 8), blocked shots (No. 10) and free throw percentage (No. 10).
This season, Maten scored in double digits in 31 of 33 games, with 17 20-point outings and a league-high 14 double-doubles.
Maten is the SEC’s active career leader in points, rebounds, blocks and double-doubles. Among Georgia’s career statistical leaders, he ranks in the top 10 in seven categories, most notably No. 2 in points (1886), No. 4 in rebounds (889) and No. 3 in blocked shots (149).
The state honor adds to a growing list of recognition for Maten. He became the third Bulldog to earn SEC Player or the Year honors, following Caldwell-Pope in 2013 and Wilkins in 1981. Maten was tabbed first-team All-SEC in balloting of both league coaches and the AP. In the process, he became just the sixth Bulldog to be a three-time All-SEC pick and the first in more than 25 years. For the second-straight year, Maten also was featured on the All-District teams of both the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). He was one of 10 players on the final Watch List for the Karl Malone Award as the top power forward in the nation.