Gray, Sacre All-WCC First Team; Carter Newcomer Of The Year

March 1, 2011

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Gonzaga University's men's basketball players Steven Gray, Robert Sacre, Elias Harris, Marquise Carter and Sam Dower were honored as the West Coast Conference announced its All-WCC teams and individual award winners as voted by the league's eight head coaches.

Gray and Sacre were named to the All-WCC first team while Harris was an honorable mention selection. Carter was named the WCC Newcomer of the Year and Dower was named to the WCC All-Freshman team.

Saint Mary's College senior guard Mickey McConnell was named the WCC Player of the Year and Santa Clara University senior Troy Payne was recognized as the WCC Defensive Player of the Year. The Gaels' Randy Bennett earned conference Coach of the Year honors for the second time.

Gray, a senior from Irondale, Wash., earned his second straight All-WCC honor after being an honorable mention selection in 2009 and a member of the All-Freshman team in 2008. He averaged 13.9 ppg overall and 14.2 ppg in WCC action for the Bulldogs, who rallied from three-game behind Saint Mary's midway through the season to tie the Gaels for the top spot, the 11th straight regular-season title for the Bulldogs. Gray also averaged a team-high 4.0 assists/game and a team-high 1.8 steals/game. His 1,376 career points rank 16th on the all-time Gonzaga charts, and he is in the top 10 in steals, assists and 3-point field goals made.

Sacre earned his first All-WCC recognition. The junior from North Vancouver, B.C., was one of two Bulldogs to start all 31 games to date for the club which received a bye into the WCC Tournament semifinals this Sunday in Las Vegas, Nev., as the No. 2 seed. He averaged 12.5 ppg overall and paced the Bulldogs in rebounding at 6.2 rpg and blocked shots with 1.8/ game. He is third on the all-time blocked shots list with 131.



Harris was honored for the second straight year. The sophomore from Speyer, Germany, was a .first-team selection and an All-Freshman team pick a year ago in addition to receiving the WCC Newcomer of the Year honor. He averaged 12.2 ppg and 6.0 rebounds for the Bulldogs this season.

Carter joined the Bulldogs from Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff, Mo. He started just two of the first 23 games of the season, but came on strong at the end of the year to start the final eight regular-season games. He averaged 5.4 ppg and 1.9 assists/game for the season, but averaged 10.6 ppg in his final eight starts. Carter is the third Gonzaga player to earn Newcomer of the Year honors, joining Harris last year and J.P. Batista in 2005.

Dower was another player who emerged late in the season for the Bulldogs. He played in all 31 games as a reserve, but played double-digit minutes in 14 of the final 15 games. His coming out party was a 15-point, 5-rebound night at home against Saint Mary's and a 27-point, 7-rebound night two days later against the University of San Diego. The redshirt freshman from Brooklyn Park, Minn., averaged 14.1 minutes/game, 7.7 ppg and 3.3 rpg overall. In WCC play he averaged 16.4 minutes/game, 8.9 ppg and 3.5 rpg.

McConnell is the first Gael to earn the league's top honor since Eric Schraeder in 1999. A finalist for the Bob Cousy Award given annually to the nation's top point guard, McConnell leads the West Coast Conference in assists per game with 6.1, assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.6 and 3-point field goal percentage at 47.5 percent. McConnell is third in the conference in scoring at 16.8 points per game, while anchoring a Saint Mary's offense that leads the West Coast Conference in eight statistical categories.

Payne is the first Santa Clara player to be recognized as the WCC Defensive Player of the Year since the award was introduced in 1999. When conference play began, Payne emerged as an integral cog in the Broncos' defense. The Los Angeles native averaged eight rebounds per game during conference play - second overall - while ranking among the WCC leaders in steals. Thanks in large part to Payne's efforts, Santa Clara leads the West Coast Conference in steals.

Bennett earns his second WCC Coach of the Year award, after sharing the honor with Gonzaga's Mark Few in 2008. Under Bennett's guidance the Gaels won a share of their first conference regular season title for the first time since 1997, while securing the WCC tournament's top seed.

Player, Pos., , Wt., Yr., School
Matthew Dellavedova,  G, 6-4, 190, So., Saint Mary's
Kevin Foster, G, 6-2, 219, So. Santa Clara
Steven Gray, G, 6-5, 205, Sr., Gonzaga>
Rashad Green, G, 6-4, 195, Jr., San Francisco
Rob Jones, F, 6-8, 240, Jr., Saint Mary's Jr. F
Mickey McConnell, G, 6-0, 190, Saint Mary's
Nemanja Mitrovic, G, 6-5, 200, Jr., Portland
Robert Sacre C, 7-0, 260, Jr., Gonzaga
Luke Sikma, F, 6-8, 235, Sr., Portland
Michael Williams, G, 6-0, 170, So., San Francisco
Honorable mention: Gonzaga: Elias Harris. Loyola Marymount: Vernon Teel, Drew Viney, Pepperdine: Lorne Jackson, Mychel Thompson. Portland: Jared Stohl. San Francisco: Perris Blackwell.
Player, Pos., Ht., Wt., School
Cody Doolin, G, 6-2, 170, San Francisco
Sam Dower, C, 6-9, 248, Gonzaga
Stephen Holt, G, 6-4, 195, Saint Mary's
Anthony Ireland, G, 5-10, 175, Loyola Marymount
Evan Roquemore, G, 6-3, 165, Santa Clara

Player of the Year Mickey McConnell, Saint Mary's

Defensive Player of the Year Troy Payne, Santa Clara

Newcomer of the Year Marquise Carter, Gonzaga

Coach of the Year Randy Bennett, Saint Mary's

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