Mountain West Conference Announces Men's Basketball All-Conference Team
Utah's Andrew Bogut named MWC Player of the Year
March 7, 2005
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Mountain West Conference announced its 2004-05 men's basketball awards today. The league's eight men's head coaches along with selected media picked the all-conference teams, as well as the coach, player, freshman and defensive awards.
Utah head coach Ray Giacoletti captured Coach of the Year honors, while Andrew Bogut of Utah was selected as the Player of the Year. Freshman of the Year honors went to Jason Smith of Colorado State, while Wyoming's Justin Williams was named Defensive Player of the Year.
Regular-season champion Utah and second-place New Mexico led the league with three all-conference selections apiece. Air Force, Colorado State, San Diego State and Wyoming also had multiple players chosen with two, while BYU, Colorado State and UNLV each had one. All eight institutions were represented on the three all-conference teams for the third straight season.
Seven players were repeat all-conference selections. First-team honorees Danny Granger of New Mexico and Odartey Blankson were first-team selections last season, while Utah's Andrew Bogut and Wyoming's Jay Straight were second-team selections prior to this year. Utah's Marc Jackson was a second-team member in 2002-2003 (sat out the 2003-04 season). Colorado State's Matt Nelson was a third-team selection last season, while BYU's Mike Hall is a repeat third-team member.
Ray Giacoletti led Utah to its fourth straight 20-win season and is currently 25-4 overall and ranked 15th in the nation. The Utes' posted an all-time best league mark of 13-1 to capture their first outright MWC regular-season title and fourth in six years overall. Utah shared the regular-season MWC title in the 1999-2000, 2000-2001 and 2002-2003 seasons. The Utes were propelled by an 18-game win streak earlier this season and a 16-0 home record. Giacoletti becomes the second Ute to garner MWC Coach of the Year honors after Dick Hunsaker was awarded coach of the year accolades in 2000-2001.
Bogut, a 7-0, 245-pound sophomore from Melbourne, Australia, led the Utes to the Mountain West Conference regular season title and a No. 15 national ranking. Among the national leaders in double-doubles with 20 in 29 games this year, Bogut is also among the national leaders for scoring (15th at 20.6 ppg), rebounding (3rd at 12.0 rpg) and field goal percentage (3rd at 63.7 percent). He also led the Utes to a conference record 18-game win streak this season, while scoring double figures in every game. He broke his own league record for rebounds with 348 this year, up from 326 a year ago. Bogut is one of only five players currently leading their respective conference in scoring and rebounding (Wayne Simien-Kansas, Taylor Coppenrath-Vermont, Mike Bell-Florida Atlantic, Ike Diogu-Arizona State), and is the first player in MWC history to accomplish the feat. Along with being named ESPN.com National Player of the Year. Bogut's national accolades include being named to the ESPN.com All-America Team, the John R. Wooden Award watch list, the Naismith Trophy watch list and first-team NABC All-District 13.
Williams, who transferred from Colby Community College last year, set the all-time single-season league mark with 80 blocked shots (2.96 per game). He had a single-game high of eight blocks vs. Denver. He has three double-doubles on the season and has scored in double figures in seven of his last nine games.
Smith, a 7-0, forward from Greeley, Colo., led all freshmen in scoring (10.5 ppg), rebounding (5.8 rpg) and field goal percentage (55 percent). In conference games only, Smith ranked seventh in rebounding (7.2 rpg), eighth in blocked shots (1.25 bpg), 10th in field goal percentage (50 percent) and 15th in scoring (11.3 ppg). He has season-highs of 24 points vs. San Diego State and 14 rebounds against Air Force and has led the Rams in scoring twice this season.
All-Mountain West Conference First-Team Honorees:
New Mexico senior forward Danny Granger led the MWC in steals (2.19 spg), was second in the MWC in scoring (18.3 ppg), third in rebounding (8.5 rpg) and fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.444). He has 10 double-doubles on the season and is the only MWC player to lead his team in points, rebounds, blocks and steals. Granger was voted to the NABC All-District 13 First-Team and was named collegeinsider.com MWC Player of the Year.
Senior guard Jay Straight of Wyoming is a first-team selection this season after being named to the second-team last season. He broke the all-time MWC career assist mark earlier this season and currently has 448. He also ranks third all-time in career points with 1,536. Straight, a NABC All-District 13 second-team member, had a career scoring output of 41 points this season vs. Colorado State, becoming only the third MWC player to break the 40-point mark (Trevor Diggs-UNLV and Ruben Douglas-New Mexico).
UNLV senior forward Odartey Blankson is currently third in the MWC in scoring (18.3 ppg) and fifth in rebounding (8.3 rpg) in overall games this season, and second in scoring (19.5 ppg) in conference play. He has 10 double-doubles this season and 29 for his career, second only to fellow first-team member Andrew Bogut's 34 double-doubles. He led the conference with three games of 30 points or more, including a career-high 33 vs. BYU.
Utah senior guard Marc Jackson is a first-team member this season after being named to the second team in 2002-2003. Jackson ranks second in the MWC in three point shooting percentage (47.7 percent) and is also second in assists for conference games only (4.93). He has three 10 assist games on the season and was also named to the NABC All-District 13 second team.