Sacre Top Defender, Pangos Newcomer on All-WCC Team
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Gonzaga University senior Robert Sacre and freshman Kevin Pangos walked off with two of the major awards, and two other Bulldogs were also honored on the All-West Coast Conference men's basketball team announced Tuesday.
Sacre, a 7-0, 260-pounder from North Vancouver, British Columbia, was named the Defensive Player of the Year while Pangos, a 6-1, 180-pounder form Newmarket, Ontario, was named the Newcomer of the Year.
Both players were also named to the 10-man All-WCC first team along with junior forward Elias Harris of Speyer, Germany. Pangos and fellow freshman Gary Bell, Jr., of Kent, Wash., were named to the WCC All-Freshman team.
Junior Matthew Dellavedova of regular-season champion Saint Mary's College was named Player of the Year and Loyola Marymount University head coach Max Good was named the Coach of the Year.
Joining Sacre, Pangos and Harris on the All-WCC team were Dellavedova and senior teammate Rob Jones; senior Angelo Caloiaro of the University of San Francisco; junior Brandon Davies and senior Noah Hartsock of BYU; Anthony Ireland and Drew Viney of LMU.
In addition to Pangos and Bell, the All-Freshman team consisted of Matt Carlino of BYU, Johnny Dee of the University of San Diego and Brad Wadlow of SMC.
The selections were made by a vote of the nine WCC coaches, and coaches could not vote for their players.
Sacre, second on Gonzaga's career blocked shots list with 181, is the fifth Zag to be recognized as Defensive Player of the Year, and the first since Erroll Knight in 2005. Sacre ranked among the conference leaders in rebounding during WCC play, averaging 6.3 boards per game. He also tied for the WCC lead with 25 blocked shots and had 42 blocks overall while helping Gonzaga lead the West Coast Conference in scoring defense (61.9 points allowed) and field goal percentage defense (40.1 percent).
Pangos is the third straight Bulldog (and fourth overall) to be honored as the West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year, joining Marquise Carter (2011) and Elias Harris (2010) as recent Gonzaga honorees. Pangos averaged 12.8 points and 3.2 assists per game during West Coast Conference play, while connecting on a league-best 36 3-point field goals. The Canada native also sank better than 87 percent of his free throw attempts during WCC play. He leads the Zags in overall scoring at 13.4 ppg which ranks eighth in the WCC and assists at 3.4/game to rank seventh in the WCC overall.
Harris averaged 12.9 ppg to rank 10th overall in the WCC and his 8.4 rpg led the Zags in rebounding and ranked third overall in the WCC. He finished the regular season with four double-doubles in his last six games to give him 10 double-doubles this season and 19 in his career. He was named the WCC Player of the Week last week for his 13.0 ppg and 14.0 rpg that helped Gonzaga wrap up second place the and second seed into the WCC Zappos.com Basketball Championships later this week.
Bell had an outstanding rookie campaign for the Zags, starting 22 of 29 his appearances while averaging 10.2 ppg, 1.9 assists/game and 0.8 steals/game. He averaged 28.0 minutes/game, third best on the team.
LMU's Good earned his first Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Lions to a 19-win season, despite the Lions battling significant injuries for much of the season's first six weeks. Under Good's tutelage, the Lions knocked off three top 25 teams, and led the WCC in free throw percentage and three-point field goal percentage defense. Good is the first Loyola Marymount head coach to be named WCC Coach of the Year since John Olive in 1996.
Dellavedova becomes the seventh player in the history of Saint Mary's - and the second straight Gael (Mickey McConnell, 2011) - to be named West Coast Conference Player of the Year. Dellavedova leads the West Coast Conference in assists per game with 6.6, while ranking third in scoring at 16.4 points per contest during WCC play. He led this year's Gaels to a 14-2 WCC record and first place this season, one game ahead of Gonzaga.
All nine West Coast Conference teams head to Las Vegas to compete for the conference championship and subsequent automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Action tips off at the 2012 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships Wednesday February 29, from the Orleans Arena. Gonzaga's first game will be in the semifinals Saturday at 8 p.m. against either No. 3 BYU, No. 6 San Diego or No. 7 Pepperdine University