Stepp Gets Basketball Times Honor
March 26, 2003
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Gonzaga University junior guard Blake Stepp has been named to the West Coast All-Region team as selected by the editors of Basketball Times that will appear in the April issue.
The publication named David West of Xavier University as its national Player of the Year and Tubby Smith of the University of Kentucky as its national Coach of the Year. West and Tubbs will be featured on the front and back covers, respectively, of Basketball Times' April issue.
Stepp led the Bulldogs to the West Coast Conference regular-season title and to the championship game of the WCC Tournament. The Bulldogs, an at-large pick into the NCAA Tournament, downed the University of Cincinnati in the first round and then lost a 96-95 double-overtime decision to top-seeded University of Arizona in the second round in one of the most memorable and talked about games in the history of the tournament. Stepp, the WCC Player of the Year, had 25 points against the Wildcats.
Joining Stepp on the West squad were Luke Jackson and Luke Ridnour, University of Oregon; Jason Keep, University of San Diego, and Joe Shipp, University of California. Mike Montgomery of Stanford University was named the top coach in the region.
West returned for his senior season at Xavier after making a surprise announcement at the team banquet last spring that he would not enter the NBA draft. West made the most of his return, averaging 20.3 points and 12.1 rebounds this season while being named the Atlantic-10 Conference Player of the Year for a third consecutive season.
Smith directed the Wildcats' stifling defense and selfless offense to a national-best 23-game winning streak going into the NCAA Tournament, quite a turnaround from a season in which Kentucky had been labeled "Team Turmoil."
Carmelo Anthony of Syracuse also was named Basketball Times' Freshman of the Year. He averaged 22.7 points and 10.0 rebounds for the Orangemen.
Basketball Times also named three All-America teams, seven All-Region teams and two All-Freshman teams.
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