Matt Logie and his players were on the same page from the beginning, and that made for a successful new chapter of basketball at Whitworth University.
“Our goals were the same, and it was really easy to start on a path and take it from there,” said Logie, who on Tuesday was named Northwest Conference coach of the year in his first season.
Logie led the Pirates to their third straight conference title, finishing four games ahead of the field and 22-3 overall entering Thursday’s NWC tournament.
Whitworth, which finished 15-1 in conference games, faces Lewis & Clark at 7 p.m. at the Whitworth Fieldhouse. If the Pirates win, they will take on Puget Sound or Whitman on Saturday for the championship and an automatic bid to the Division III national tournament.
Two Pirates, center Felix Friedt and guard Idris Lasisi, were named to the all-NWC first team.
Point guard Wade Gebbers was picked to the second team and forward Jack Loofburrow was an honorable mention.
“We started out to keep the standards and expectation levels high here,” Logie said. “And it’s been a pleasure to work with this group of guys.”
Friedt is on the All-NWC first team after earning second-team honors in 2011. He is second on the team in scoring with 16.4 points a game while making 59.5 percent of his shots from the field.
Friedt leads the NWC in rebounding with 8.8 per game.
Earlier Tuesday, Friedt was named a first-team Academic All-American.
The senior carries a 3.97 grade-point average while majoring in international business.
Lasisi earned first-team All-NWC honors in his first and only season at Whitworth. A fourth-year transfer from North Idaho College, Lasisi is averaging a team-high 16.4 points and adding 4.6 rebounds per game. His scoring average is fourth in the NWC.
Gebbers is averaging 13.6 points per game and leads the team with 3.4 assists and ranks third in the league in 3-point shooting at 43.5 percent.
Loofburrow, who was sidelined for eight weeks this season, is an honorable mention selection for the second straight season.
Logie, who took over from Jim Hayford, is originally from Mercer Island, Wash., and came to Whitworth from Lehigh University, where he was the associate head coach the previous two seasons.