Gray, Sacre make WCC’s first team
Five Gonzaga Bulldogs were honored as the West Coast Conference released its All-WCC and individual awards Tuesday.
Senior guard Steven Gray and junior center Robert Sacre were selected to the 10-member All-WCC team, voted on by conference coaches. Gray has been honored four straight years. He was All-WCC as a junior, honorable mention as a sophomore and All-WCC freshman team in 2008. Sophomore forward Elias Harris, who made All-WCC and All-WCC freshman team last season, was honorable mention.
Junior guard Marquise Carter, a transfer from Three Rivers Community College, was selected newcomer of the year. Carter averaged 10.6 points after moving into the starting lineup eight games ago. Carter joins Harris (2010) and J.P. Batista (2005) as Bulldogs to win the newcomer award.
Forward Sam Dower, a key contributor in Gonzaga’s run to an 11th straight WCC title, made the All-WCC freshman team. He averaged nearly 9 points and 3.5 rebounds in conference games.
Saint Mary’s senior Mickey McConnell was named player of the year, the first Gael to earn the award since Eric Schraeder in 1999. Randy Bennett took home coach of the year for the second time. He shared it with Gonzaga’s Mark Few in 2008.
It’s the first time since 1959 that Saint Mary’s has won the player and coach awards in the same year.
Santa Clara’s Troy Payne was voted defensive player of the year.
Gray led Gonzaga in scoring (13.9 points), assists (3.97), steals (54) and 3-pointers (63). In conference, he averaged 14.2 points and 4.1 rebounds.
Sacre averaged a career-high 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds. The 7-footer blocked a WCC-leading 58 shots. He made 50.2 percent of his shots and 82.5 percent of his free throws.
Harris, slowed by injuries earlier this season, averaged 12.2 points and 6 rebounds. He was the team’s top rebounder in conference (6.3). He made 51.1 percent from the field and 76 percent at the free-throw line.
Carter had six of his seven best scoring games in WCC play. The junior guard had a season-high 20 points in a win over Santa Clara, and then followed it up with 18 points versus San Francisco. Carter made three 3-pointers in the second half of Gonzaga’s road win against Saint Mary’s last week.
Dower scored a career-high 27 points in a January win over San Diego. He had a combined 36 points on 13-of-15 field-goal shooting in two games against Saint Mary’s. Dower made four free throws in the final 20 seconds as Gonzaga rallied for an overtime win over the Gaels.
Saint Mary’s had three All-WCC selections (McConnell, Matthew Dellavedova and Rob Jones). Gonzaga, San Francisco (Michael Williams and Rashad Green) and Portland (Luke Sikma, Nemanja Mitrovic) each had two. Santa Clara’s Kevin Foster also made the team.
Dower was joined on the freshman team by USF’s Cody Doolin, Saint Mary’s Stephen Holt, Loyola Marymount’s Anthony Ireland and Santa Clara’s Evan Roquemore.