Stepp Named Honorable Mention AP All-American

April 3, 2003

By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer

David West knows how to get the most, whether it's points on the court or votes off of it.

He became the first Xavier player to earn AP All-America honors Thursday as the leading vote-getter on the 2002-03 team.

The three-time Atlantic 10 player of the year was joined on the first team by fellow seniors Nick Collison of Kansas and Josh Howard of Wake Forest, along with junior Dwyane Wade of Marquette and sophomore T.J. Ford of Texas.

Collison, Wade and Ford play Saturday in the Final Four.

Gonzaga junior point guard Blake Stepp, the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, received honorable mention recognition. He became the fourth Bulldog in the last five years honored on the AP All-America squad, including Dan Dickau who became the Bulldogs' inaugural first-team selection a year ago. Stepp averaged 18.0 ppg and 6.0 assists/game in leading Gonzaga to the WCC regular-season title and an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, Gonzaga's fifth straight trip to the NCAA tourney.

The 6-foot-9 West, a second-team All-American last year, averaged 20.3 points and 12.0 rebounds for the Musketeers, leading them to a Top 10 ranking and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament.

West surprised a lot of people when he decided to pass up the NBA draft and return for his senior season. He admitted honors like these were part of the reason.

"That was always the goal that I wanted to give myself a chance at things like that, and that's what I thought about as I went through all that hard work in the offseason," he said.

His most remarkable performance came against Dayton on Feb. 8, when he scored 47 points and had 18 rebounds, just missing a double-double in each half.

"I've always wanted to set myself apart from other players, and to be the first player picked from Xavier is part of all that," he said.

West, the only preseason All-American to earn the postseason honor, received 64 first-team votes and 344 points from the 72-member national media panel that selects the weekly AP Top 25. Each voter picked three teams and players received points on a 5-3-1 basis. The voting was done before the NCAA tournament.

The 5-10 Ford averaged 15.0 points and 7.5 assists to lead the Longhorns to a No. 1 seed in the tournament, and then to the Final Four, the school's first since 1947. An honorable mention pick as a freshman, Ford became the first Texas player to be selected for the first team since Chris Mihm in 2000.

Ford had two more first-team votes than West but finished with 343 points.

Howard was the Atlantic Coast Conference's player of the year, averaging 20 points and 8.1 rebounds to lead the Demon Deacons to their first outright regular-season league championship in 41 years and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. The 6-6 forward received 47 first-team votes and 303 points to become the first Wake Forest All-American since Tim Duncan in 1997.

Collison gives Kansas an All-American for the second straight year (Drew Gooden was selected in 2002 as a junior). The 6-9 Collison averaged 18.4 points and 9.3 rebounds, helping the Jayhawks win the Big 12 regular-season title, and earn a No. 2 seed in the tournament and a second straight Final Four appearance.

Collison, an honorable-mention pick last season, was on 42 first-team ballots and had 281 points.

Wade was the first Marquette player to make the first team since Butch Lee in 1978. The 6-4 Wade averaged 21.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists to lead the Golden Eagles to the Conference USA championship, and then to the school's first Final Four since coach Al McGuire's team won the national title in 1977.

Wade, an honorable-mention selection as a sophomore, had 273 points and received 43 first-team votes.

Hollis Price of Oklahoma was one of four seniors on the second team. He was joined by Kyle Korver of Creighton, Troy Bell of Boston College and Jason Gardner of Arizona. Freshman Carmelo Anthony of Syracuse was seventh in the voting with 203 points, 58 behind Price.

Seniors made up the third team: Brian Cook of Illinois, Reece Gaines of Louisville, Kirk Hinrich of Kansas, Keith Bogans of Kentucky, and Ron Slay of Tennessee.

Hinrich, an honorable-mention pick as a junior, was also on the preseason All-America team this season with West, Gardner, Luke Walton of Arizona and Erwin Dudley of Alabama.

Last year's All-America team was comprised of seniors Steve Logan of Cincinnati, Juan Dixon of Maryland and Dickau, and juniors Gooden and Jason Williams of Duke, both of whom left early for the NBA.

Associated Press Men's Basketball All-America Team
FIRST TEAM

David West, Xavier, 6-9, 232, senior, Teaneck, N.J., 20.3 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 51.9 fg pct, 36.7 minutes (64 first-place votes, 344 points).

T.J. Ford, Texas, 5-10, 165, sophomore, Houston, 15.0 ppg, 7.5 apg, 2.0 steals (66, 343).

Josh Howard, Wake Forest, 6-6, 203, senior, Winston-Salem, N.C., 20.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.0 steals (47, 303).

Nick Collison, Kansas, 6-9, 255, senior, Iowa Falls, Iowa, 18.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 53.8 pg pct, 1.8 blocks (42, 281).

Dwyane Wade, Marquette, 6-4, 210, junior, Oak Lawn, Ill., 21.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 2.2 steals (43, 273).

SECOND TEAM

Hollis Price, Oklahoma, 6-1, 170, senior, New Orleans, 19.5 ppg, 44.4 3-pt fg pct, 93.4 ft pct (36, 261).

Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse, 6-8, 220, freshman, Baltimore, 22.7 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 36.4 minutes (19, 203).

Kyle Korver, Creighton, 6-7, 210, senior, Pella, Iowa, 17.7 ppg, 6-3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 47.7 3-pt fg pct, 90.7 ft pct (5, 133).

Troy Bell, Boston College, 6-1, 183, senior, Minneapolis, 25.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.8 apg, 40.0 3-pt fg pct, 2.3 steals, 38.6 minutes (4, 120).

Jason Gardner, Arizona, 5-10, 181, senior, Indianapolis, 14.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.9 steals (7, 113).

THIRD TEAM

Brian Cook, Illinois, 6-10, 240, senior, Lincoln, Ill., 20.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, (6, 112).

Reece Gaines, Louisville, 6-6, 205, senior, Madison, Wis., 17.7 ppg, 5.0 apg (1, 85).

Kirk Hinrich, Kansas, 6-3, 190, senior, Sioux City, Iowa, 17.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.6 apg, 2.0 steals, 42.4 3-pt fg pct (2, 84).

Keith Bogans, Kentucky, 6-5, 213, senior, Alexandria, Va., 16.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg (4, 74).

Ron Slay, Tennessee, 6-8, 240, senior, Nashville, Tenn., 21.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg (3, 68).

HONORABLE MENTION
(In alphabetical order)

Mario Austin, Mississippi State; Marcus Banks, UNLV; Steve Blake, Maryland; Brett Blizzard, North Carolina-Wilmington; Matt Bonner, Florida; Jermaine Boyette, Weber State; Gregory Burks, Prairie View A&M; Torrey Butler, Coastal Carolina; Matt Carroll, Notre Dame; Donald Cole, Sam Houston State.

Taylor Coppenrath, Vermont; Ike Diogu, Arizona State; Ruben Douglas, New Mexico; Luis Flores, Manhattan; Branduinn Fullove, UC Santa Barbara; Antonio Gates, Kent State; Willie Green, Detroit; Jermaine Hall, Wagner; Jarvis Hayes, Georgia; Mike Helms, Oakland, Mich.

Dahntay Jones, Duke; Chris Kaman, Central Michigan; Brandin Knight, Pittsburgh; Ricky Minard, Morehead State; James Moore, New Mexico State; Jameer Nelson, Saint Joseph's; Emeka Okafor, Connecticut; Ugonna Onyekwe, Pennsylvania; Kirk Penney, Wisconsin; Luke Ridnour, Oregon.

Quinton Ross, Southern Methodist; Joe Shipp, California; Adam Sonn, Belmont; Blake Stepp, Gonzaga; Mike Sweetney, Georgetown; Chris Thomas, Notre Dame; Luke Walton, Arizona; Patrick Whearty, Holy Cross; Troy Wheless, College of Charleston; Ron Williamson, Howard.

 

 

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