Mountain West Announces 2015-16 Men's Basketball All-Conference Team
The Mountain West announced its 2015-16 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.
San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher earned MW Coach of the Year honors, while Fresno State’s Marvelle Harris was selected as Player of the Year. For the second year in a row, San Diego State forward Skylar Spencer was named Defensive Player of the Year, after sharing the honor with Wyoming’s Larry Nance, Jr., in 2014-15. Aztecs freshman Jeremy Hemsley was recognized as Freshman of the Year, while New Mexico’s Elijah Brown and San José State’s Brandon Clarke were chosen as Newcomer and Sixth Man of the Year, respectively.
Fisher, who led the Aztecs to a MW-record tying 16 league victories, has earned his fourth MW Coach of the Year distinction. SDSU, who was projected to finish first in the league’s preseason poll, set the MW record with eight consecutive road conference victories this season. Fisher and the Aztecs have won at least a share of three straight MW crowns.
Harris, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard, finished the Conference slate leading the MW with 4.5 assists and 2.6 steals per game. He ranked third with 22.7 points per game. The native of Rialto, California, is one of two players nationally to rank in the top three in their respective conference in: points per game, assists per game, steals per game, assist-to-turnover ratio and minutes per game. Harris led the Bulldogs to a 13-5 Conference record, their most league victories in a single season since 2002-03 (13). The senior led all MW players with five 30-point games during the 18-game Conference schedule, and he scored at least 20 points in 13 of the league contests.
Spencer, a San Diego State senior, has been named the league Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. He joins UNLV’s Khem Birch (2012-13, 2013-14) and Wyoming’s Justin Williams (2004-05, 2005-06) as the only players in MW history to win the defensive honor in back-to-back years. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound senior averaged 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in Conference play. The Aztec big man is the school’s and conference’s all-time leader in career blocks.
Hemsley, a freshman from Rancho Cucamonga, California, was second on the team with a 13.1 points per game average in league play. As the Aztecs point guard, Hemsley dished out 28 assists and pulled down 46 rebounds. He is the first Aztec to win Freshman of the Year honors since Kawhi Leonard following the 2009-10 season.
Brown, who transferred to New Mexico from Butler University, was second in the league averaging 22.9 points per game. The sophomore guard, who shot 42.3 percent from the field while averaging 3.3 assists and 2.9 3-pointers per game, registered the Mountain West’s first 40-10 game since 2002-03 (Ruben Douglas; New Mexico). Against Fresno State, Brown scored 41 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. The 41 points were the most in a single game by a MW player since the 2012-13 season.
Clarke is the first freshman to be named MW Sixth Man of the Year. Clarke, a 6-foot-8, 205-pound guard, averaged 10.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in league action. The Phoenix, Arizona, native ranked second in the conference with 1.7 blocks per game. Clarke is the first postseason Mountain West men’s basketball award winner in San José State history.
Four student-athletes were repeat selections to the All-MW list in 2015-16, while 11 made their first appearance on the team. Harris led the group of repeat All-Conference honorees, earning first-team accolades for the second consecutive year. Webb III moved up to the first team following a second-team selection last year. Shepard is second team for the second straight year. Josh Adams (first team) and Chris Smith (third team) move up from last year’s third team and honorable mention, respectively.
* Indicates number of previous All-Conference selections