Few, Olynyk, Hart Capture West Coast Conference Hardware
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Gonzaga University won three of the four major awards on the All-West Coast Conference team released Tuesday as Mark Few was named the Coach of the Year, junior Kelly Olynyk the Player of the Year and senior Mike Hart the Defender of the Year in a vote of the conference coaches.
Senior Elias Harris and sophomore Kevin Pangos joined Olynyk on the All-WCC team, sophomore Gary Bell Jr., was accorded honorable mention accolades and Przemek Karnowski was named to the All-Freshman Team.
Olynyk helped lead the Bulldogs to a 16-0 West Coast Conference mark and a 29-2 regular-season record. The Bulldogs earned their inaugural No. 1 ranking in the polls this week after being No. 2 last week when the WCC votes were tabulated. The native of Kamloops, British Columbia, averaged 17.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 1.2 blocks/game. It's the 12th time a Bulldog has been named the WCC Player of the Year, Matt Bouldin the last to receive the honor in 2010. Olynyk's 66.8 field goal percentage on 189-of-283 ranks second nationally.
Olynyk is among the 14 finalists for the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year award.
Few guided the Bulldogs to their fourth undefeated season since 2004 and the first time a team has gone 16-0 in the two years of the nine-team conference alignment since BYU joined the ranks last season. The 14th-year head coach earned his ninth Coach of the Year accolade and his first since 2010. He is the winningest coach in WCC games with a 179-21 record, and his 371-92 overall record and 80.1 winning percentage makes him the winningest active coach in the NCAA Division I ranks.
Hart, from Portland, Ore., is the glue that holds the Bulldogs together and has earned the reputation as one of the most blue-collar players in the WCC. He took more than 10 charges this season to lead the team. Known throughout his career as an invaluable sixth man, he started 16 of Gonzaga's 31 games to date. He averaged 2.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 0.8 blocks/game. He has committed just 8 turnovers in 502 minutes and has a team-leading 4.50 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Zags allowed just 60.1 ppg in WCC contests while opponents shot 38.5 percent in conference action. He made it two straight Bulldogs to win Defender of the Year honors, following in the footsteps of Robert Sacre last season. Hart is the fifth Zag to win the award.
Harris, from Speyer, Germany, was one of the main cogs in the well-oiled Gonzaga machine this season, starting all 30 of his appearances. He has started a remarkable 130 of 131 appearances in his career. This season he is averaging 14.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 1.2 steals/game. He has 1,800 career points to rank fifth and 952 rebounds to rank second on the all-time Gonzaga charts.
Pangos was again the quarterback, averaging 11.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg and a team-leading 3.3 assists/game. The native of Newmarket, Ontario, shot a team-leading 42.5 percent from 3-point range on 68-for-160. He is the only player to start all 31 games to date this season.
Bell, from Seattle, Wash., started 29 of 30 appearances, giving way to Guy Landry Edi for Senior Night. He averaged 9.3 ppg and 2.3 rpg and is shooting 38.5 percent from 3-point range on 50-for-130.
Karnowski came to the Bulldogs from Torun, Poland, and played in all 31 games with one start. He averaged 5.7 ppg and 2.5 rpg while shooting 56.9 percent from the field on 74-of-130.
Pepperdine freshman Stacy Davis is the West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year,
the eighth player from the Waves to earn Newcomer of the Year.