Franklin, Fisher Headline All-MW Honorees
March 5, 2012
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin and Steve Fisher headline the list of all-Mountain West honorees, the league announced Monday night. Franklin is the 2012 conference player of the year, while Fisher was named MW coach of the year for the second straight season.
Franklin, who was also named to the all-MW first team, was joined by Chase Tapley, Tim Shelton and Xavier Thames on the list of all-league selections for SDSU. Tapley was voted to the all-conference second team and Shelton was named to the all-defensive team and was an honorable mention choice. Thames earned honorable mention status in his first year at San Diego State. This is the fourth straight year in which SDSU has had four student-athletes earn all-conference honors.
Hailing from Hawthorne, Calif., Franklin was voted the Mountain West's top player and earned a spot on the first team after leading the league in scoring (19.5) and ranking third in rebounding (9.9). The sophomore also finished the conference season ranked second in free-throw percentage (.866), third in field-goal percentage (.463) and seventh in blocked shots (0.77). Franklin scored in double figures in all 13 games played and registered a double-double on nine different occasions, including 31-point, 16-rebound effort vs. Colorado State and a 35-point, 13-rebound performance in the MW finale at TCU.
Franklin is the second Aztec to garner Mountain West Player-of-the-Year honors and the first since Brandon Heath accomplished the feat in 2006. The 6-5 guard is the third sophomore to capture the league's highest individual honor in MW history and is the first since Andrew Bogut in 2005. Franklin is also the first underclassman to win a league player-of-the-year award in school history. Prior to this season, SDSU had a player earn conference player-of-the-year accolades six times.
Fisher wins the Mountain West Coach-of-the-Year award for the second straight season after guiding the Aztecs to their second consecutive MW regular-season title. Fisher and San Diego State lost four starters and six letterwinners off last year's team and navigated through the conference schedule with a 10-4 record. This is the third time in SDSU history in which an Aztec head coach has been named conference coach of the year.
Tapley is a first-time all-conference choice after finishing league play ranked sixth in steals (1.43), ninth in three-point field goals made (1.50), 10th in scoring (12.8), 10th in field-goal percentage (.369) and 12th in rebounding (4.5). The Sacramento, Calif., native reached the double-figure scoring plateau 12 times and posted a personal conference-high 22 points at UNLV.
Shelton, like Tapley, is a first-time all-league selection as well and it comes in his final season at SDSU. The forward played in all 14 games and upped his offensive production down the stretch. A native of Fresno, Calif., Shelton finished the conference slate by scoring in double figures in four of his last six games, while grabbing at least seven rebounds in three of the final five outings. The ninth-ranked rebounder (5.6) in Mountain West action, Shelton collected six or more boards nine times, including an 11-rebound effort at Air Force. In the game at the Academy, Shelton also added 13 points to record his first double-double of 2011-12. On the defensive side, the senior drew 11 charges and is the third all-defensive team selection in the last two seasons.
Thames picks up honorable mention accolades after going through the MW for the first time in his career. The sophomore transfer from Washington State finished the campaign ranked first in free-throw percentage (.907), sixth in assists (3.36), ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.34) and 20th in scoring (9.6). In 14 conference games, Thames scored in double figures five times, including the final three outings. His top scoring performance came in a win at New Mexico when he poured in 22 points (7-11 FG, 3-5 3FG, 5-5 FT).