UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara Represented In Men's Hoops All-Specialty Awards
2012-13 Men's Basketball All-Specialty Team
Two program firsts and a repeat selection comprised today’s announcement of the 2013 Big West Men’s Basketball All-Specialty awards. UC Irvine senior Adam Folker was a repeat choice as the conference’s Best Hustle Player, while Anteater teammate Will Davis II became the program’s first recipient of the Defensive Player of the Year honor. Junior Kyle Boswell also became UC Santa Barbara’s first representative as the Best Sixth Player.
The conference’s 10 head coaches voted on the awards, but were not allowed to cast votes for their own players. This is the 13th straight year that the Big West has named the All-Specialty Team.
Folker, a native of Markham, Ontario, collected the Best Hustle award for the second straight season after becoming the first UCI player to do so in 2011-12. Folker, who averaged 9.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in the regular season, led the Big West in field goal percentage (.581) and corralled the fourth-highest total of offensive rebounds (81). He scored double-digit points 13 times and double-digit rebounds on four occasions. The 6-9 center had 15 points and 14 rebounds against UC Davis (Dec. 29) in the Big West opener. Over his last four conference games, Folker has shot nearly 71 percent (29 of 41) from the field. He also is the Big West active leader with 604 career rebounds.
An intimidating shot blocking presence, Davis II is the first post player to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors since Titus Shelton of Cal Poly in 2007. The Anteater sophomore led the Big West with 78 blocked shots and 2.5 blocked shots per game. The 78 rejections shattered the UCI single-season record of 55 he established last year. In addition, his blocked shot total ties him for fourth in Big West single-season history and leaves him just 11 short of the 23-year old record held by UC Santa Barbara’s Eric McArthur (89, 1990). The 6-8 forward/center had at least one swat in all but four of the 28 games he played in the regular season, including a career-high tying eight against Long Beach State (Mar. 2) that also equalled the Big West single-game record he shares with two others. Davis II posted four or more blocked shots nine times this season.
Previous Gauchos had been recipients of Defensive Player of the Year and Best Hustle, but no one had landed the Best Sixth Player award until Boswell. The 6-2 guard came off the bench in 19 of 28 games and averaged 13.2 points per game, which ranked second on the squad. In conference games only, Boswell’s 14.1 points per game was No. 12. Known as one of the Big West’s most explosive three-point shooters, the Huntington Beach, Calif. native knocked down 77 three-pointers for the second-highest total in the conference. Boswell connected for three or more treys in 16 games, and knocked down a career-best seven bombs against No. 15 San Diego State (Dec. 6). In 31 reserve minutes against Hawai’i on Feb. 28, Boswell erupted for a career-high 27 points aided by five three-pointers and 10-of-12 free throw shooting.
2012-13 BIG WEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Will Davis II, UC Irvine
2012-13 BIG WEST BEST SIXTH PLAYER
Kyle Boswell, UC Santa Barbara
2012-13 BIG WEST BEST HUSTLE PLAYER
Adam Folker, UC Irvine