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Men's Basketball

2002 Tournament Recaps

Long Beach State’s Johnson Repeats As Best Hustle As Specialty Team Awards Are Announced
The 2001-02 Big West All-Conference Specialty Team was announced today and Long Beach State’s Ron Johnson was the top vote getter for the second year in a row as the league’s Best Hustle award winner. UC Riverside’s Vili Morton was an overwhelming choice as the Defensive Player of the Year and Cal Poly’s Steve Geary was voted the league’s Best Sixth Man.

Johnson, a 6-0 senior guard from San Diego, CA, ranked third in the league in steals, averaging 1.76 per game overall and 1.6 in league play. Johnson also ranked 11th in the league in scoring (12.5 ppg). He was a key player in Long Beach State’s five-game winning streak at the end of the conference season and averaged 17.8 points during that stretch.

Morton, a 6-8 sophomore forward from Twenty-Nine Palms, CA, led the league in rebounds and blocked shots and ranked among the nation’s leaders in blocked shots throughout the season. Morton averaged 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocked shots this past season. He was a dominant force in league play throughout the season and was the league’s second-ranked shooter, hitting 58.6% from the floor. Yesterday, Morton was voted to the All-Big West Second Team by the league’s coaches.

Geary, a 5-11 junior guard from Tulsa, OK, averaged 10.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game coming off the bench for Cal Poly and ranked third on the team in scoring in just 16 games. Geary also shot 51.5% from the floor.

The three Specialty Team awards are being given for the second straight season and were voted on by the conference’s players. Nominations were submitted by the league’s coaches, one nominee per school per award. Players could not vote for players on their own team.

Defensive Player of the Year: Vili Morton, UC Riverside
Best Sixth Man: Steve Geary, Cal Poly
Best Hustle: Ron Johnson, Long Beach State

UC Irvine's Jerry Green Repeats As Player of the Year

UC Irvine's Jerry Green was named the Big West Player of the Year for the second straight year as the 2001-02 Big West All-Conference teams were announced today. Green, a 6-3 guard from Pomona, CA, led the conference in scoring during the regular season, averaging 20.7 points per game overall. He is the first player in the Big West to repeat as the Player of the Year since UNLV's Larry Johnson did in 1990 and 1991.

Joining Green on the First Team are Utah State's Tony Brown (Hyrum, UT) and Desmond Penigar (Upland, CA), Cal State Northridge's Markus Carr (Palmdale, CA), Long Beach State's Travis Reed (Fontana, CA), and UC Santa Barbara's Mark Hull (Glendale, CA). A total of four seniors and two juniors were selected to the team by the Big West Conference coaches. Green and Reed are making appearances on the team for the second time while Brown and Hull were Second Team selections last season.

Head Coach Stew Morrill was selected by his peers as the Big West Coach of the Year after guiding the Aggies to their second regular season title in the last three years. The Aggies recorded a 13-5 league mark and went 21-6 overall. It marks the third straight year the Aggies have won more than 20 games. The Aggies had one eight-game winning streak and a pair of five-game winning streaks during the season. The Aggies also have been ranked in the national polls, receiving votes in both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and the Associated Press poll throughout the season.

The complete team can be found in the Men's Basketball Release PDF file in the link above.

Visit the ESPN Zone
Visit the ESPN Zone to watch tournament action as the road to the Final Four kicks up a couple of notches over the next few weeks.

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