Four Mountain West Players Receive Associated Press All-America Honors
April 1, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Four Mountain West players - Colorado State senior center Colton Iverson; New Mexico junior guard Kendall Williams; San Diego State junior guard Jamaal Franklin and UNLV freshman Anthony Bennett - have earned Associated Press All-America honorable mention for the 2012-13 season, the organization announced on Monday.
Iverson, a native of Yankton, S.D., becomes the third player in Colorado State history to be honored on the AP All-America list, joining Bill Green (1963 consensus All-American) and Lonnie Wright (1965 AP honorable mention). The Rams won a school-record 26 games and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, before being knocked out by No. 1-seed Louisville on March 23 in Lexington, Ky. The senior center ranked ninth nationally in field-goal percentage (.556) and scored 14.2 points per game. The 2012-13 MW first team honoree's 14 double-doubles ranked 20th in the NCAA and he was also the No. 20 rebounder in the country (best in the MW) at 9.8 per game. As a team, Colorado State led the NCAA in rebounding margin, out-boarding opponents by an average of nearly 12 rebounds per game.
Williams, the 2012-13 MW Player of the Year, helped lead the Lobos to the MW regular season and tournament championships the past two seasons. The junior point guard averaged 13.3 points, 4.88 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. Williams set and tied school and MW records, respectively, with 10 3-pointers en route to a career-high 46 points, which was the third-highest scoring effort by a Division I players this season. He's the first New Mexico player (eighth overall) since Darington Hobson in 2010 (third team) to earn AP All-America status.
Hailing from Hawthorne, Calif., Franklin earned honorable mention status for the second straight season. It is the third straight year in which an Aztec has garnered All-America recognition from the AP. Franklin led San Diego State in scoring (17.0), rebounds (9.5) assists (3.3) and steals (1.6), making him the only Division I player to lead his team in all four categories. A first-team all-MW selection, Franklin scored in double figures in 31 of the Aztecs' 33 games, as the team advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. He's the first San Diego State player since Michael Cage (honorable mention 1983, second team 1984) to earn multiple All-America awards from the AP. The Aztecs are coming off their eighth-straight 20-win season and their eighth-consecutive postseason appearance.
Bennett, the MW Freshman of the Year, led the Runnin' Rebels in scoring and rebounding at 16.1 and 8.1, respectively. He was second on the team with 43 blocked shots and his 1.2 blocks per game were fourth-best in the MW. He led UNLV in 3-point shooting percentage at .375 and was second in the MW in field-goal percentage at .533. In addition to the All-America nod, the Brampton, Ontario, native was named as a member of the Sporting News' All-Freshman Team and was also a part of the United States Basketball Writers Association's Freshman All-America Team. He was one of 15 players appearing on the final ballot of the John R. Wooden Award and was included as a finalist for the USBWA's Oscar Robertson Trophy and Wayman Tisdale Award, given to the National Player and Freshman of the Year, respectively. An all-MW first team selection, Bennett is the 16th UNLV player to earn AP All-America honors; teammate Mike Moser (honorable mention) was selected last year and prior to that, Marcus Banks (honorable mention) in 2003.