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WAC Announces Men's Basketball Award Winners

WAC Announces Men's Basketball Award Winners
Complete Release in PDF

DENVER -
The 2017 All-WAC teams have been named, following a vote of the WAC's eight head coaches. NM State's Ian Baker headlines the awards, earning WAC Player of the Year honors, while Seattle U's Matej Kavas was named WAC Freshman of the Year and CSU Bakersfield's Rod Barnes earned Don Haskins WAC Coach of the Year honors for the second year in a row.

Baker was named WAC Player of the Year after ranking second in the league in conference play in assists (5.14) and assist-turnover ratio (2.48), fourth in free throw percentage (82.8), fifth in scoring (17.3) and minutes per game (34.64), ninth in three-pointers per game (1.79) and 12th in rebounding (4.9). He scored in double-digits in 13 of 14 WAC games. Baker was named WAC Player of the Week three times this season.

Kavas earned WAC Freshman of the Year honors after scoring in double figures in nine of 14 WAC games with a season-high 24 points. In conference games only, he ranked fifth in the WAC in three-point field goal percentage (41.3), sixth in three-pointers per game (1.86), 10th in blocked shots (0.57) and 16th in scoring (11.6).

Barnes was named WAC Coach of the Year for the second year in a row after leading the Roadrunners to their first-ever WAC regular-season title. During its 14 WAC games, CSU Bakersfield only allowed its opponent to score more than 65 points three times, holding opponents under 50 points twice and under 60 points six times. Barnes picked up his 100th win at the school this year in just his sixth season at the helm.

Four different schools are represented on the first team. Joining Baker are CSUB's Jaylin Airington, UMKC's LaVell Boyd, and Grand Canyon's Joshua Braun and DeWayne Russell.

The All-WAC second teamers are Nick Dixon of UT Rio Grande Valley, Dedrick Basile and Matt Smith of CSUB, Eli Chuha of NM State and Chicago State's Fred Sims Jr.

The All-Defensive Team is made up of Airington, Smith and Moataz Aly of CSUB, Grand Canyon's Gerard Martin and Isaac Neilson of Utah Valley.

The All-Newcomer Team consists of Aly and Shon Briggs of CSUB, Dixon, Kavas and NM State's Jemerrio Jones.

First Team All-WAC
Jaylin Airington CSU Bakersfield R-Sr. F 6-4 East Chicago, Ind. (Ventura College)
Ian Baker@$ NM State Sr. G 6-1 Washington, D.C. (Arlington Country Day)
LaVell Boyd% UMKC Sr. G 6-1 Chicago, Ill. (South Suburban CC)
Joshua Braun@& Grand Canyon R-Jr. G 6-4 Anthem, Ariz. (Westwind Prep Academy)
DeWayne Russell Grand Canyon R-Sr. G 5-11 Peoria, Ariz. (Northern Arizona)

Second Team All-WAC
Dedrick Basile#$% CSU Bakersfield Sr. G 5-10 Houston, Texas (Trinity Valley CC)
Eli Chuha NM State R-So. F 6-7 Redlands, Calif. (Redlands East Valley)
Nick Dixon UT Rio Grande Valley R-Jr. G 6-2 Hillside, Ill. (Morton College)
Fred Sims Jr. Chicago State So. G 6-4 Chicago, Ill. (North Lawndale)
Matt Smith CSU Bakersfield R-Sr. F 6-6 Jackson, Tenn. (Columbia State CC)

All-Defensive Team
Jaylin Airington CSU Bakersfield R-Sr. F 6-4 East Chicago, Ind. (Ventura College)
Moataz Aly CSU Bakersfield Jr. C 6-10 Alexandria, Egypt (Hutchinson CC)
Gerard Martin Grand Canyon R-So. G 6-6 Manly, Australia (Australian Institute of Sport)
Isaac Neilson Utah Valley R-Jr. F 6-11 Mission Viejo, Calif. (Brigham Young)
Matt Smith CSU Bakersfield R-Sr. F 6-6 Jackson, Tenn. (Columbia State CC)

All-Newcomer Team
Moataz Aly CSU Bakersfield Jr. C 6-10 Alexandria, Egypt (Hutchinson CC)
Shon Briggs CSU Bakersfield Jr. G/F 6-6 Brentwood, Calif. (City College of San Francisco)
Nick Dixon UT Rio Grande Valley R-Jr. G 6-2 Hillside, Ill. (Morton College)
Jemerrio Jones NM State Jr. F 6-5 Memphis, Tenn. (Hill Junior College)
Matej Kavas Seattle U R-Fr. G 6-8 Ljubljana, Slovenia (Gimnazija Bezigrad)

@ - 2015-16 First Team All-WAC selection
# - 2015-16 Second Team All-WAC selection
$ - 2015-16 All-Defensive Team selection
% - 2015-16 All-Newcomer Team selection
& - 2014-15 All-Newcomer Team selection

Player of the Year: Ian Baker, NM State
Freshman of the Year: Matej Kavas, Seattle U
Don Haskins Coach of the Year: Rod Barnes, CSU Bakersfield