Mountain West Conference Announces 2009-10 Men's Basketball All-Conference Awards
March 8, 2010
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -The Mountain West Conference announced its 2009-10 men's basketball awards today. The league's nine men's head coaches, along with a select media panel, picked the all-Conference teams, as well as the coach, player, newcomer, freshman, sixth man and defensive awards.
New Mexico head coach Steve Alford captured MWC Coach of the Year honors for the second straight year, while New Mexico's Darington Hobson was named both the Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year. Additionally, Utah's David Foster garnered Defensive Player of the Year accolades, San Diego State's Kawhi Leonard was chosen as the Freshman of the Year and BYU's Jonathan Tavernari received the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Thirteen student-athletes make their first appearance on the all-Conference list this season, while the remaining two are repeat selections from last season. BYU's Jimmer Fredette is a first-team honoree for the second consecutive year, while Cougar teammate Jonathan Tavernari is a third-team pick for the third straight year.
Alford collected his second MWC coaching honor after guiding the Lobos to their second consecutive and first outright Mountain West regular-season title. New Mexico posted a 14-2 record in Conference play this season, setting a school record for most MWC wins.
Hobson, a 6-7, 205-pound junior guard, is the first individual to receive both the MWC Player and Newcomer of the Year awards in the same season. The Las Vegas, Nev., product averaged 14.9 points and 4.8 assists per game in Conference play in 2009-10 and was the league's top rebounder in league action, averaging 10.1 boards per game.
Foster, a 7-3, 255-pound sophomore center from Lake Forest, Calif., averaged a league-best 3.7 blocks per game against MWC opponents. He recorded a block in 14 of the 15 Conference games he played in this season, including 12 outings with multiple rejections. Foster's 55 blocks in Conference play ranks third all-time on the league's single-season charts.
Leonard, a 6-6, 210-pound forward from Riverside, Calif., was the league's top freshman scorer and rebounder, ranking fifth and second, respectively, overall with 14.4 points and 9.6 boards in Conference play this season. He scored in double figures in 13 of 16 MWC outings, adding nine double-digit rebounding efforts to finish with an MWC-best nine double-doubles against league opponents.
Tavernari, a 6-6, 215-pound senior forward, averaged 11.1 points and 4.8 rebounds off the bench for the Cougars in Conference play in 2009-10. In addition to ranking second in 3-point field goal percentage (.452), the native of Sao Bernardo, Brazil, was also among MWC leaders in steals with 27 thefts against league opponents.