Junior third Bulldog to capture first-team honor
The awards continue to stack up for Gonzaga junior forward Kelly Olynyk.
The 7-footer from Kamloops, B.C., became the third Gonzaga player to be honored as a first-team Associated Press men’s basketball All-American, joining Dan Dickau in 2002 and Adam Morrison in 2006. Frank Burgess (1961) and Blake Stepp (2004) were AP second-team selections.
Olynyk was joined on the first team by Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Michigan’s Trey Burke, Georgetown’s Otto Porter Jr. and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo. Burke and Porter led the way with 62 first-place votes and 319 points. Olynyk received 278 points, fifth behind McDermott’s 279.
Olynyk made 63 percent of his shots and averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds. He blocked 36 shots and averaged 1.7 assists per game.
“It’s a great honor to be slotted in with the guys who are there this year,” Olynyk said. “And, obviously, the tradition and excellence that Dickau and Morrison put in here, it’s a great honor to be placed in the same sentence as them.”
McDermott was the lone repeat selection. Saint Mary’s Matthew Dellavedova was honorable mention.
Later Monday, Olynyk made the 10-player Wooden Award All-America team. He’s the fifth Zag to receive Top 10 Wooden status, joining Casey Calvary, Blake Stepp, Dickau and Morrison.
Olynyk was joined by Burke, McDermott, Oladipo, Porter, Miami’s Shane Larkin, Kansas’ Ben McLemore, Duke’s Mason Plumlee, Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas and Indiana’s Cody Zeller, giving the Big Ten four of the 10 players.
Olynyk helped Gonzaga win a school-record 32 games and earn the first No. 1 ranking in school history. He was named WCC Player of the Year after GU went 16-0 in the conference season.