Big West Announces 2012-13 Men's Basketball All-Conference Team
2012-13 Men's Basketball All-Conference Team
The architect of Long Beach State’s third straight regular season title – Dan Monson – captured his third straight Big West Coach of the Year honor while prized pupil James Ennis took home Player of the Year honors, highlighting the announcement of the 2012-13 all-conference team as voted on by the 10 head coaches. UC Davis sophomore senaation Corey Hawkins nabbed the Newcomer of the Year award while Alex Young of UC Irvine and Isaac Fotu of Hawai’i were named Co-Freshmen of the Year to round out the honor roll.
Monson has the Long Beach State program rolling as the 49ers claimed their third straight outright Big West regular season title. The 49ers are the first Big West program to stand alone for three straight seasons atop the standings since UNLV reeled off seven straight from 1982-89. After losing four starters from the 2011-12 club that made an NCAA Tournament appearance, Monson crafted a starting lineup comprised of two returning letterwinners (Ennis, Mike Caffey) and three Division I transfers (Dan Jennings, Tony Freeland, Keala King), and molded them into a champion. The 49ers finished the regular season 18-12 overall, but won 14 of their 18 conference games once Freeland and King became eligible. Monson led Long Beach State to an undefeated home conference record (9-0) for the third straight season, and the 49ers have won 26 straight games against Big West foes in the Walter Pyramid. The sixth-year head coach also collected career win No. 100 at LBSU on Feb. 13 against Cal State Fullerton. Monson’s three straight championship teams have tallied a collective record of 65-33 (.663) overall and 43-7 (.860) in Big West games.
Ennis is the third straight 49er to capture the conference’s top individual award, following two-time Player of the Year Casper Ware. The senior contributed in all facets of the team’s success this season, ranking in the Big West top 10 statistically in scoring (17.0 ppg - 5th), rebounding (6.9 rpg - 8th), field goal percentage (.491 - 7th), free throw percentage (.847 - 2nd), steals (1.8 - 3rd) and blocked shots (1.4 bpg - 4th). Ennis, who scored in double figures in all 29 games this season, extended that streak to 35 straight dating back to 2011-12. The 6-7 guard/forward amassed nine games with 20 or more points and notched seven double-doubles, tying for fifth-most in the league. Ennis, a native of Ventura, Calif., produced 26 points and 15 rebounds against Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 13), and had 24 points to go along with 14 boards in LBSU’s 77-76 win at UC Davis (Mar. 7) that clinched the Big West regular season title. Ennis is the ninth 49er in school history to earn Player of the Year honors.
Hawkins, a transfer from Arizona State, impacted UC Davis tremendously as he ascended to the top of the Big West in scoring. The first Aggie Big West scoring champion, the sophomore averaged 20.9 points per game and ranked among the nation’s top 20 scorers all season long. The 6-3 guard scored 30 or more points on five occasions, culminating with career-highs of 40 points and 12 rebounds at Hawai’i (Feb. 14). In front of a sellout crowd and the program’s first nationally televised appearance, Hawkins put the Aggies on his back with 34 points in a near upset of first place Long Beach State. In addition to his scoring prowess, Hawkins ranked among the Big West leaders in other categories, including rebounding (5.6 rpg - 15th), field goal percentage (.480 - 9th), free throw percentage (.846 - 3rd), steals (1.5 spg - 7th), three-point field goal percentage (.405 - 9th) and three-pointers made per game (1.7 pg - 10th). Hawkins helped spur a nine-win improvement in the win column from a year ago.
The Big West features co-freshmen of the year recipients for the second time in three seasons. Young is the first UC Irvine top frosh since Jerry Green (1999), the school’s all-time leading scorer. Young entered the starting lineup eight games into the season and directed one of the nation’s top sharing offenses. Under Young’s direction, the Anteaters have ranked in the top 15 nationally in assists and he sits among the nation’s leaders in assist-to-turnover ratio with 132 assists against only 51 turnovers. The 6-1 guard ranks third on the team with 9.2 points per game and is tied for third with 23 steals.
Fotu becomes Hawaii’s first major award winner in the school’s first season as a Big West men’s basketball member. The 6-8 forward helped beef up an already formidable Rainbow Warrior frontline and ended up leading the Big West with a .635 field goal percentage in conference games only. Fotu also ranked No. 15 in rebounding (5.7 rpg). His overall averages of 9.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game placed him third on the team, while his most explosive performance came on Jan. 3 when he scored 29 points against Cal State Fullerton.
The All-Big West First Team has an entirely new look to it with three sophomores, two juniors and one senior comprising the list. In addition to Ennis and Hawkins, Long Beach State sophomore Mike Caffey, Cal Poly junior Chris Eversley, UC Santa Barbara sophomore Alan Williams and Hawai’i junior Christian Standhardinger were honored as first-team recipients.
The complete 2012-13 Big West men’s basketball all-conference team can be found at the link above.