Big West Names 2013-14 Men's Basketball All-Conference Team
2014 Big West Men's Basketball All-Conference Release
Big West regular season champion UC Irvine claimed two prized awards to highlight the announcement of the 2013-14 men’s basketball all-conference team as determined by the nine head coaches. Russell Turner earned his first Big West Coach of the Year honor while pupil Luke Nelson secured Freshman of the Year accolades. UC Santa Barbara junior Alan Williams was tabbed the Big West Player of the Year and Cal State Fullerton senior Michael Williams rounded out the marquee list as Newcomer of the Year.
Turner, in his fourth season at the UCI helm, directed the Anteaters to a 13-3 conference record and the first outright Big West championship since 2000-01. UC Irvine amassed the third-highest win total in program history with a 22-10 regular season mark – just three wins shy of tying the school record. Turner’s troops enter the Big West Tournament as the No. 1 seed for the first time since the 2000-01 club earned that designation. He also has led UCI to back-to-back 20-win seasons – 43 overall – representing the program’s second-highest win total in any two-year period. Defense led the way this season as UCI went 20-0 when limiting the opposition to under 40-percent shooting and 15-0 when holding the opponents to less than 60 points. Turner is UCI’s fourth Coach of the Year recipient, and first since 2001.
Nelson is the second straight UC Irvine player and the fifth in school history to notch the Big West’s top freshman award. Nelson’s backcourt mate, Alex Young, received co-freshman of the year acclaim last season. The Worthing, England native led the Anteaters in scoring with 11.8 points per game and posted double figure points 22 times, including a career-high 28 against Long Beach State on Feb. 6. He also poured in 26 points with a career-best six three-pointers at UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 30. A starter in 30 of UCI’s 32 games, the 6-3 guard ranks fifth in the Big West with 67 three-pointers.
Alan Williams joined Brian Shaw (1988), Lucius Davis (1992), Branduinn Fullove (2003), Alex Harris (co-2008) and Orlando Johnson (2010) as the sixth Gaucho to earn the Player of the Year award. The 6-7 center topped the Big West in scoring and rebounding, and he’s ranked in the top 15 nationally in both categories for much of the season. The Big West scoring champion at 21.6 points per game, Williams sits at No. 2 in the country in rebounding (11.6 rpg) A native of Phoenix, Ariz., Williams scored in double digits in 26 games, including 18 with 20 or more points, and recorded the conference’s second-best double-double total with 15. Williams set two career-bests this season when he scored 39 points against South Dakota State and registered 20 rebounds versus UC Davis. Among the Big West leaders, he also ranks seventh in field goal percentage (.538), second in blocked shots (2.4 bpg) and eighth in steals (1.2 spg). His season’s accomplishments also include becoming the 26th player in UC Santa Barbara history to amass 1,000 career points, and just the fourth with at least 1,000 points and 800 rebounds.
Michael Williams, a transfer from San Francisco, excelled in his lone season on the court for Cal State Fullerton. He is the third Titan honoree to be tabbed Newcomer of the Year in the four years the award has existed. The 6-2 guard started all 30 regular season games and scored at least 10 points in all of them. As the team’s scoring leader at 17.6 points per game, Williams produced a dozen performances of 20 or more points, including seven times in the last 10 contests. Williams registered a season-best 29 points at UC Santa Barbara (Feb. 22) and made 12 of 18 shots en route to 28 points in a victory over Long Beach State (Mar. 1). The native of Van Nuys, Calif. ranked fourth in the Big West with 68 three-pointers, and hit at least one trey in all but one game.
The All-Big West First Team features three players with back-to-back selections – Long Beach State junior Mike Caffey, UC Santa Barbara’s Alan Williams, and Hawai‘i senior Christian Standhardinger. Hawai‘i sophomore Isaac Fotu, Cal State Northridge junior Stephen Maxwell and UC Irvine senior Chris McNealy made their first appearances on the first team.
Of the 21 players who received first team, second team or honorable mention recognition, 15 have at least one year of remaining eligibility.
The complete 2013-14 Big West men’s basketball all-conference team is available at the above link.