UC Irvine, Hawai'i Claim All-Specialty Awards
2018 Men's Basketball All-Specialty Team
UC Irvine junior Jonathan Galloway’s repeat selection as the league’s Best Defensive Player highlighted the announcement of the 2018 Big West Men’s Basketball All-Specialty awards. Hawai‘i teammates Jack Purchase and Sheriff Drammeh also earned top praise as recipients of the Best Sixth Player and Best Hustle Player honors, respectively.
The conference’s nine head coaches voted on the awards – the 18th straight year that the Big West has had held these honors.
Galloway continued UC Irvine’s grip on the Best Defensive Player award, as an Anteater representative has held the hardware five times in the last six years. Galloway became just the second player in Big West history to repeat as top defender, joining Pacific’s Joe Ford in 2009 and 2010. Former UCI standout Mamadou Ndiaye earned the award twice in 2014 and 2016. Will Davis II was UCI’s initial honoree in 2013.
The 6-foot-10 forward finished the regular season ranked third in blocked shots (1.4 bpg) in overall games, helping UCI to a No. 1 team ranking with over four swats per game. A key cog in UCI’s No. 1-rated defense, which allowed opponents to average just 61.9 points per game in Big West play, Galloway is the conference’s No. 2 rebounder at 7.7 per game. The Brentwood, Calif. native is the Big West’s active career leader in rebounds (658) and blocked shots (108). His nine double-figure rebounding games is third-best among conference players. Galloway also had a team third-best 16 steals.
Purchase is the first Hawai‘i representative of the Best Sixth Player award. The 6-foot-9 junior forward came off the bench 22 times in 29 games while averaging 7.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Purchase hit a team-best 50 three-pointers and ranked No. 7 in the Big West in three-pointers made per game (1.7). His also had 15 steals and 16 blocked shots – the latter stat placing him second on the squad. Purchase drained two or more treys in 15 games, including a season-high six in a victory over Howard on Dec. 29. The Melbourne, Australia native also delivered 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting, seven rebounds and three steals in a home win over Big West regular season champion UC Davis on Jan. 20.
Drammeh joined Purchase as another first-time UH representative of a major award – Best Hustle Player. Known for his intensity and frenetic pace on the floor, Drammeh is UH’s No. 2 scorer (10.8 ppg) while averaging 3.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. The 6-foot-3 guard posted two or more steals in 10 games, and he grabbed at least three rebounds in 20 contests. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Drammeh also has the reputation of being the best in the Big West – and among the best in the country – at drawing charges.
2017-18 BIG WEST BEST SIXTH PLAYER
Jack Purchase, Hawai‘i
2017-18 BIG WEST BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER
Jonathan Galloway, UC Irvine
2017-18 BIG WEST BEST HUSTLE PLAYER
Sheriff Drammeh, Hawai‘i