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Nigel Williams-Goss named WCC Player and Newcomer of the year

Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss regains control of the ball against BYU guard Elijah Bryant during the second half Saturday. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss regains control of the ball against BYU guard Elijah Bryant during the second half Saturday. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss doubled up on WCC awards and Mark Few was voted Coach of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday.

Williams-Goss was named Player and Newcomer of the Year. He’s the 14th Zag to be Player of the Year, the first since Kevin Pangos in 2015.

Fourth-ranked Gonzaga’s balance during the season was reflected as five starters and backup center Zach Collins received All-WCC recognition, which is voted on by the 10 head coaches.

“It’s always good to be recognized for all the hard work you put in over a long season,” Williams-Goss said. “I’m super excited for all my teammates and the recognition they received. It’s a byproduct of team success and individual sacrifice.”

Williams-Goss was joined on the All-WCC first team by GU senior center Przemek Karnowski and junior forward Johnathan Williams. Saint Mary’s also had three first-teamers in Jock Landale, Calvin Hermanson and Joe Rahon, who won the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Collins was selected to the All-Freshman team and All-WCC second team, along with San Diego senior Brett Bailey, a University High product.

Gonzaga senior guard Jordan Mathews and sophomore guard Josh Perkins were honorable mention.

Williams-Goss, a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award, Cousy Award and Oscar Robertson Trophy, averages 16.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists. His scoring average climbed to 17.9 points in conference play.

Williams-Goss led the WCC at 90.9 percent from the free-throw line and finished the regular season by making his last 38 attempts.

Few guided Gonzaga to a 29-1 record and a WCC regular-season championship, the program’s fifth consecutive and 16th in his 18 years. He has 11 WCC Coach of the Year plaques.

“Individual awards come from team success and team success starts with coaching,” Williams-Goss said. “All of it traces back to Coach Few.”

Karnowski is a two-time first-team selection to go with being named honorable mention in 2014 and All-Freshman in 2013. He averages a career-high 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds. He leads the WCC in field-goal percentage (65.3).

Williams averages 10.1 points and a team-leading 6.5 rebounds. He’s blocked 29 shots and his 62-percent shooting is second in conference behind Karnowski.

Collins has a team-high 48 blocks. He averages 10.5 points and 6 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game. Mathews has made a team-high 63 3-pointers and averages 10.4 points. Perkins contributes 3.7 assists per game and 41.7-percent accuracy beyond the 3-point arc.

The top-seeded Zags face the winner of Friday’s No. 8 Pepperdine-No. 9 Pacific game in the WCC tournament quarterfinals Saturday at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

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