Mountain West Announces 2014-15 Men's Basketball All-Conference Team
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Mountain West announced its 2014-15 men's basketball awards today. The Conference's 11 head coaches voted on the All-Conference teams, as well as the coach, player, newcomer, sixth man, freshman and defensive honors.
Boise State head coach Leon Rice earned MW Coach of the Year honors, while the Broncos’ Derrick Marks was selected as the Player of the Year. Additionally, San Diego State junior forward Skylar Spencer and Wyoming senior forward Larry Nance Jr. shared Defensive Player of the Year accolades, and UNLV guard Rashad Vaughn was recognized as the Freshman of the Year. Boise State sophomore forward James Webb III and Colorado State sophomore guard John Gillon were chosen as the Newcomer and Sixth Man of the Year, respectively.
Four student-athletes were repeat selections to the All-Conference list in 2014-15, while the remaining 11 made their first appearance on the team. Nance led the group of repeat All-Conference honorees, earning first-team accolades for the second straight year. Marks and Colorado State's J.J. Avila moved up to the first team following second-and third-team selections in 2012-13 and 2013-14, respectively, while Colorado State’s Daniel Bejarano earned second-team honors for the second consecutive year.
Rice received his first MW coaching award after leading the Broncos to a share of their first Mountain West regular-season crown. Boise State, picked to finish second in the league’s preseason poll, amassed a 14-4 record in league play in 2014-15. The 14 wins set a program record for most conference victories, surpassing the previous mark of 13, shared by the 1987-88 and 1988-89 squads. After opening league play with three straight losses, the Broncos reeled off wins in 14 of their last 15 games to clinch a share of the MW crown. Boise State is the first team in Mountain West history to win a regular-season title after starting Conference play with an 0-3 mark.
Marks, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior guard, finished the Conference slate ranked among league leaders in several statistical categories in 2014-15. The Chicago, Ill., native concluded MW play with a league-high 384 points and 21.3 scoring average, which placed him third and fourth, respectively, on the MW’s all-time lists for Conference-only contests. He was second in the Mountain West in shooting percentage (.498), with 142 made and 285 attempted field goals, figures that rank second and third, respectively, all-time for MW games. Marks was third in the Conference with 2.1 steals per game, while his 38 total steals tied for fourth-best in a single season of league action. He started all 18 games of the Broncos’ Mountain West slate this season, averaging 32.2 minutes per contest. Marks netted double figures in all but one of those games, including four with 30 or more points.
Spencer, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound junior forward, blocked at least one shot in 17 of 18 Conference games this season, finishing fourth in the league with 40 total rejections (2.2 bpg). He registered multiple blocks in 11 MW contests, including a career-high six against Colorado State on Feb. 14. He also contributed 86 rebounds, including 54 on the defensive end of the glass, as well as seven steals.
Nance, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound senior forward, assisted the Cowboys’ defensive efforts with 20 blocked shots and 18 steals in Conference play this season. Despite missing four games due to illness, the Akron, Ohio, product tied for second in the league with a 7.0 rebounding average on the defensive end of the court against Conference opponents. He was also seventh in MW play with his 1.4 blocks per game.
Webb, a 6-foot-9, 202-pound sophomore forward, registered eight double-figure rebounding performances in Conference play this season to rank third in the league with a team-high 9.0 average on the glass. He pulled down no fewer than four rebounds in each of the 18 Conference games. A product of Augusta., Ga., Webb ranked second on the team and 11th in the MW with a 12.9 scoring average in league action, tallying 13 double-digit performances, including a career-high 23 points at New Mexico on Jan. 18. He averaged 31.9 minutes of play while starting all 18 Conference contests.
Vaughn, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound guard, started the Runnin’ Rebels’ first 11 MW contests before being sidelined for the remainder of the 2014-15 regular season with a knee injury. At the time of his injury, Vaughn was averaging a team-high 18.3 points per game, which led all MW freshmen. He also contributed 55 rebounds, 20 assists, 13 steals and four blocks. The Minneapolis, Minn., native scored in double figures in all 11 Conference games in which he played, including four with 20 or more points and two 30-point outings. His season-high 31 points vs. Utah State on Jan. 24 matched the MW freshman class single-game record for most against a league opponent. Vaughn was averaging 33.4 minutes of action before being injured.
Gillon, a 6-foot-0, 168-pound sophomore forward, averaged 8.1 points and 1.9 rebounds off the bench for the Rams in Conference play in 2014-15. Hailing from Houston, Texas, Gillon shot 35.1 percent (34-of-97) from the field, including 37 percent (17-of-46) from 3-point range, and 81.1 percent (60-of-74) from the free throw line, while also contributing 11 steals and one block. He led the league with a 3.9 assist average against Conference opponents, registering at least one assist in 17 of the 18 games, with 11 outings of three or more, to finish with a total of 70. His 11-assist performance vs. Nevada on Jan. 14 tied a MW sophomore class single-game record for most against a Conference opponent. Gillon played in all 18 MW contests, averaging 22.9 minutes per game.
* Indicates number of previous All-Conference selections