Men's Basketball - bigwest.org
Men's Basketball

A Look Back At The 2015-16 Men's Basketball Season

5/23/2016

Hawai'i captured their first Big West Tournament title since returning to the conference, making their first NCAA trip since 2001.

2015-16 Men's Basketball Final Release


Highlighting the 2015-16 men's basketball season was Hawaii's first round NCAA Tournament victory over California and UC Irvine's trek to the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.  Both schools won a school record 28 games.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

WILLIAMS REACHES 300 WINS
Bob Williams reached the landmark 300th career win on Feb. 18 at UC Riverside, becoming just the third head coach in Big West history to do so.  In completing his 18th year at UC Santa Barbara, Williams has compiled a 307-238 record, including five 20-win seasons.  The only other two coaches to attain 300 wins have actually gone over the 400 mark – Pacific’s Bob Thomason (436) and Jerry Tarkanian, who collected 405 victories between Long Beach State and UNLV.  Williams is the longest tenured Division I head coach west of the Mississippi River.

ALL-TIME WINS LEADERS – BIG WEST HEAD COACHES
Rk. Coach, School Wins Years
1. Bob Thomason, Pacific 436 1988-2013
2. Jerry Tarkanian, Long Beach State & UNLV 405 1970-73 & 1983-92
3. Bob Williams, UC Santa Barbara 307 1998-2015
4. Neil McCarthy, New Mexico State 248 1986-97
5. Jerry Pimm, UC Santa Barbara 222 1983-98
         
YOUNG GETS TO 500 CAREER ASSISTS
Only 11 players in Big West men’s basketball history had accumulated 500 career assists entering the 2015-16 season.  Add UC Irvine senior Alex Young as the 12th.  His six assists against UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 16 allowed him to join the exclusive club.  The school’s all-time assist leader, Young finished his career in the Big West top 10 with 576.  Young also owned one of the top assist-to-turnover ratios in the country in 2015-16, with 162 assists against just 59 turnovers.  He finished No. 40 in the category with a +2.75 ratio.

BIG WEST CAREER ASSIST LEADERS
Rk. Player, School No. Years
1. Greg Anthony, UNLV 838 1988-91
2. Leon Wood, Cal State Fullerton 744 1981-84
3. Mark Wade, UNLV 689 1985-87
4. Sam Crawford, New Mexico State 592 1991-93
5. Danny Tarkanian, UNLV 582 1982-84
6. Alex Young, UC Irvine  576 2012-15
7. Dedan Thomas, UNLV 549 1991-94
8. Casper Ware, Long Beach State 545 2008-12
9. Wayne Williams, Cal State Fullerton 537 1988-91
10. Bobby Brown, Cal State Fullerton 516 2003-07
11. Ray Kelly, UC Santa Barbara 515 1990-93
12. Billy Walker, Long Beach State 507 1984-88
          
CALLERO REACHES 100-WIN MARK
Cal Poly’s Joe Callero joined the 100-win club, becoming the 19th head coach in Big West history to record 100 career wins at his institution.  The seventh-year mentor did so on Feb. 18 against UC Davis, which also made him the winningest Division I head coach in school history.  Current UC Santa Barbara assistant coach Kevin Bromley held the previous distinction.  Bromley posted a 99-145 record from 2001-09.  Callero is 100-119 in seven seasons on the Central Coast.

MAMADOU REWRITES HISTORY
UC Irvine junior center Mamadou Ndiaye became the fourth player in Big West history to accumulate 200 career blocked shots.  His third swat against Hawai‘i on Feb. 20 landed him in the exclusive club alongside UC Santa Barbara’s Eric McArthur (249) and Alan Williams (219), as well as UC Irvine’s Will Davis II (208).  Ndiaye replaced Davis II as UCI’s all-time swat leader on Mar. 5 at UC Riverside, registering his 209th block and moving into third in Big West history.  Ndiaye completed the 2015-16 campaign with 218 blocks, two shy of moving into second on the Big West’s all-time list.

CAREER BLOCKED SHOTS LEADERS
Rk. Player, School Blocks Years
1. Eric McArthur, UC Santa Barbara 249 1986-90
2. Alan Williams, UC Santa Barbara 219 2011-15
3. Mamadou Ndiaye, UC Irvine 218 2013-16
4. Will Davis II, UC Irvine 208 2011-15
5. Greg Somogyi, UC Santa Barbara 189 2008-12
6. Tre Hale-Edmerson, CSUN 188 2012-16
7. Taylor Johns, UC Riverside 182 2012-16
8. Michael Olowokandi, Pacific 160 1995-98

BIG WEST TOURNAMENT CROWNS HAWAI‘I AS CHAMP
Demonstrating the parity within the Big West, Hawai‘i became the sixth different Big West Tournament champion in six years as the top-seeded Rainbow Warriors dispatched Cal State Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State.  Honda Center has witnessed UC Santa Barbara (2011), LBSU (2012), Pacific (2013), Cal Poly (2014), UC Irvine (2015) and UH hoist the crown in its sixth year of hosting the conference’s postseason tournament.

PREVIOUS TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS AT HONDA CENTER
Year School Seed
2011 UC Santa Barbara No. 5
2012 Long Beach State No. 1
2013 Pacific No. 2
2014 Cal Poly No. 7
2015 UC Irvine No. 3
2016 Hawai‘i No. 1
 
HAWAI‘I WINS NCAA FIRST ROUND GAME
Hawai‘i, as a No. 13 seed, defeated fourth-seeded California in an NCAA Tournament first round game.  The 77-66 triumph represented the first NCAA victory in program victory, and the Rainbow Warriors became the first Big West team to advance to the Round of 32 since Pacific in 2005.  UH fell to No. 5 seed Maryland in the Second Round, 73-60, concluding the campaign 28-6 with the 28 wins a program record and surpassing the 27 that the 2001-02 squad accumulated.

In addition, the ‘Bows also enjoyed these accomplishments in 2015-16:

• Became the first Big West squad since Long Beach State in 2011-12 to win both the conference regular season and tournament titles.

• The 28 wins were the most by any Big West school since former member Utah State finished 28-6 in 2000-01.

• Eran Ganot’s 28 wins represented the most by a rookie head coach in Big West history, surpassing the 24 that former Long Beach State legends Jerry Tarkanian and Lute Olson amassed in their first head coaching gigs at the Division I level.

• Ganot is the fourth individual to earn Big West Coach of the Year honors in his rookie season, joining UC Santa Barbara’s Bob Williams (1998-99), San Jose State’s Bill Berry (1979-80) and Fresno State’s Boyd Grant (1977-78).

BIG WEST HOME STREAK ENDS FOR UC DAVIS

UC Davis saw its 12-game win streak against Big West opponents at home vanquished with a loss to UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 11.  The 12 straight wins tied for the fourth-longest among league institutions since the Aggies joined the Big West for the 2007-08 season.  The longest home court conference win streak in that span was 26 by Long Beach State.

LONGEST HOME COURT WIN STREAK VERSUS BIG WEST OPPONENTS
(Since 2007-08)
Rk. School Wins Dates
1. Long Beach State 26 3/5/10 - 2/20/13
2. Cal Poly 16 1/21/12 - 1/16/14
3. UC Santa Barbara 13 2/14/09 - 3/3/10
4. UC Irvine 12 2/25/12 - 1/23/14
  UC Davis 12 1/7/14 - 1/30/16

BLAND JOINS CENTURY CLUB
UC Riverside senior Jaylen Bland closed out his career with 118 three-point baskets, which tied him for No. 3 nationally this season. He finished tied for fourth in Big West single-season history.  Only the 10th player in league history to reach the century mark in threes, Bland has hit as many as seven treys in a game this season.

For historical perspective, Cal State Fullerton’s Josh Akognon was the only player to drain at least 100 threes in back-to-back seasons, accomplishing the feat in 2007-08 and 2008-09.  Previous players to hit 100 or more threes in Big West history are as follows:

SINGLE-SEASON THREE-POINT MADE LEADERS
Rk. Player, School Threes Year
1. Freddie Banks, UNLV 152 1986-87
2. Josh Akognon, Cal State Fullerton 136 2008-09
3. Chris Brown, UC Irvine  122 1993-94
4. Jaylen Bland, UC Riverside 118 2015-16
  Gerald Paddio, UNLV 118 1987-88

BEACH AMONG MOST CONSISTENT PROGRAMS
Long Beach State earned its 10th conference win on Feb. 27 against UC Riverside.  It marked the sixth straight season under head coach Dan Monson that the Beach has recorded double-digit victories in league action.  Only three other teams have strung together six or more 10-win conference seasons.

MOST CONSECUTIVE 10-WIN SEASONS IN BIG WEST PLAY
Rk. School Seasons Years
1. UNLV 12 1982-83 thru 1993-94
2. New Mexico State 7 1988-89 thru 1994-95
3. Long Beach State 6 2010-11 thru 2015-16
  Utah State 6 1999-00 thru 2004-05

TOP DUOS THIS SEASON
Here are the top scoring, rebounding, assists and steals duos in the Big West:

POINTS (1042) – Michael Bryson (577) & Gabe Vincent (465), UC Santa Barbara
REBOUNDS (462) – Mamadou Ndiaye (267) & Mike Best (195), UC Irvine
ASSISTS (311) – Alex Young (162) & Luke Nelson (149), UC Irvine
STEALS (125) – Roderick Bobbitt (68) & Quincy Smith (57), Hawai‘i

UC IRVINE JUST MISSES CIT CHAMPIONSHIP
UC Irvine reached the finals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament and came up just short in the championship game, falling 73-67 at Columbia.  The Anteaters won three straight road games against North Dakota, Louisiana and Coastal Carolina to reach the title game.  UCI’s finished 13-5 in away games this season, setting a program record for most road wins in a season.  The Anteaters equalled the most road victories by a Big West squad since Pacific had 13 in 2004-05.

The Anteaters also fell just short from becoming the third Big West team to win the championship of a postseason tournament.  Fresno State won the 1983 National Invitation Tournament, and UNLV was the 1990 NCAA Tournament national champion.

It was the second time a Big West school has reached the finals of the CIT.  In 2010, Pacific lost to Missouri State in the championship game.

POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS
Year School Tournament Result
1983 Fresno State NIT Defeated DePaul, 69-60
1990 UNLV NCAA Defeated Duke, 103-73

BRYSON FINISHES AMONG THREE-POINT LEADERS
UC Santa Barbara senior Michael Bryson concluded his career with 1,620 points, finishing sixth on the Gaucho all-time list.  The 6-4 guard proved to be one of the top perimeter shooters in both school and Big West history.  His 241 three-pointers shattered the previous school record of 221, and landed Bryson at No. 10 on the Big West career list.  In addition, he placed No. 9 on the three-pointers attempted list with 651.

CAREER THREE-POINT MADE LEADERS
Rk. Player, School Threes Years
1. Ryan Sypkens, UC Davis 315 2009-14
2. Adam Jacobsen, Pacific 311 1993-98
3. Mike Wozniak, Cal Poly 308 1996-00
4. Bobby Brown, Cal State Fullerton 307 2003-07
5. Tony Brown, Utah State 283 1999-02
  Anderson Hunt, UNLV 283 1989-91
7. Wilbert Hooker, Fresno State 262 1989-92
8. Josh Akognon, Cal State Fullerton 252 2007-09
  Jibril Hodges, Long Beach State 252 2002-06
10. Michael Bryson, UC Santa Barbara 241 2012-16