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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga dominates WCC awards, Rui Hachimura named Player of the Year

March 5, 2019 Updated Tue., March 5, 2019 at 7:20 p.m.

Gonzaga’s domination of the conference continued with Tuesday’s release of All-West Coast Conference honors.

The top-ranked Zags swept the four individual awards and placed four on the 10-player All-WCC first team, voted on by the 10 conference coaches.

Junior forward Rui Hachimura was named Player of the Year and Mark Few collected his 13th Coach of the Year award. Few guided the Zags to a 16-0 conference record and the program’s seventh consecutive WCC regular-season title.

Junior forward Brandon Clarke, who had 11 double-doubles, was a double winner as the top newcomer and defender. Clarke is the first player in conference history to win both accolades in the same season.

Hachimura and Clarke were joined on the first team by teammates Josh Perkins and Zach Norvell Jr. It’s the first time one school has had four first-team selections since the 1999 Zags (Matt Santangelo, Jeremy Eaton, Richie Frahm, Quentin Hall).

Filip Petrusev was selected to the All-Freshman team.

Hachimura and Perkins were repeat first-team selections. Hachimura averaged 20.6 points and 6.7 rebounds. The native of Toyama, Japan, posted 19 games with at least 20 points. He hit a winning shot in the final second against Washington and the go-ahead basket with 1:15 left in an 89-87 win over Duke.

Hachimura shot 61.3 percent from the field, 46.7 on 3-pointers and 75.3 at the free-throw line.

Clarke, a transfer from San Jose State who sat out last season under NCAA rules, is second nationally with a program single-season record 99 blocks. That’s tied for sixth with Tim Ruff on GU’s career list.

Clarke’s 68.8 shooting percentage is first nationally and he’s on pace to break the WCC record. He averages 16.6 points and 8.5 rebounds.

Perkins, a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award for top point guard, averages 11 points and 6.6 assists. He became Gonzaga’s all-time career assists leader earlier this season. His 205 assists this season are 20 from Matt Santangelo’s single-season record.

Perkins ranks fifth nationally with a 3.42 assist-to-turnover ratio. He has 1,495 career points, tied with former teammate Przemek Karnowski for 15th in school history.

Norvell, who was the 2018 WCC Newcomer of the Year, led the conference with 85 3-pointers, tied for eighth on GU’s single-season list. He averaged 15.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists. His 43 steals share the team lead with Perkins.

Loyola Marymount’s James Batemon, BYU’s Yoeli Childs, San Francisco’s Frankie Ferrari, Jordan Ford of Saint Mary’s, San Diego’s Isaiah Pineiro and Pepperdine’s Colbey Ross were first-team selections.

Petrusev, a 6-foot-11 forward from Serbia, averaged 6.4 points on 54.5-percent shooting. He scored in double figures nine times, with a season-high 15 versus Saint Mary’s on Feb. 9.

Petrusev was joined on the All-Freshman team by BYU’s Gavin Baxter, LMU’s Dameana Douglas, Pepperdine’s Kessler Edwards and Santa Clara’s Trey Wertz.

Second-team All-WCC honors went to Santa Clara’s Tahj Eaddy, Malik Fitts of Saint Mary’s, BYU’s TJ Haws, San Francisco’s Charles Minlend and San Diego’s Olin Carter III.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few visits with forwards Rui Hachimura (21) and Brandon Clarke (15) during the second half against Pepperdine on Feb. 21. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga coach Mark Few visits with forwards Rui Hachimura (21) and Brandon Clarke (15) during the second half against Pepperdine on Feb. 21. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

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