Four Cougars Earn All-MWC Honors

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Mountain West Conference announced its 2008-09 men’s basketball awards today. The league’s nine men’s head coaches, along with a selected media panel, picked the all-conference teams, as well as the coach, player, newcomer, freshman, sixth man and defensive awards.

New Mexico head coach Steve Alford captured MWC Coach of the Year honors for the first time, while Utah’s Luke Nevill was named both the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Additionally, TCU’s Zvonko Buljan garnered Newcomer of the Year accolades, Wyoming’s Afam Muojeke was chosen as the Freshman of the Year and Utah’s Shaun Green received the Sixth Man of the Year award. Eight of the nine Mountain West institutions were represented on the 15-member all-MWC teams.

BYU and San Diego State led the league with three all-conference selections apiece. New Mexico, UNLV and Utah also had multiple players chosen with two each, while Colorado State, TCU and Wyoming had one apiece. Eight players were repeat all-Conference selections this season.

Wyoming’s Brandon Ewing is the first four-time all-MWC honoree in the league’s 10-year history, earning first-team accolades after consecutive second-team kudos in 2006-07 and 2007-08, and a third-team selection in 2005-06.

BYU’s Lee Cummard is a first-team honoree for the second straight year after receiving third-team honors in 2006-07, while Nevill moves up to the first team following a second-team appearance last year and a third-team selection in 2006-07.

UNLV’s Wink Adams is a second-team member this year after earning first-team honors last season and second-team kudos in 2006-07.

San Diego State’s Lorrenzo Wade received second-team accolades this season following a first-team selection a year ago, while TCU’s Kevin Langford moved up to the second team from a third-team nod in 2007-08.

Colorado State’s Marcus Walker is a third-team choice after garnering second-team honors last season, while BYU’s Jonathan Tavernari is a third-team pick for the second straight year. Alford collected his first MWC coaching honor after guiding the Lobos to a share of the regular-season crown and second straight 20-win campaign.

Nevill, a 7-2, 265-pound senior center, is the first individual to receive both the MWC Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season.

The Perth, Australia, product averaged 16.7 points per game in Conference play and was the league’s top rebounder and shot blocker in league action, averaging 9.6 boards and 3.1 blocks per game while leading the Utes to a share of their fifth MWC regular-season crown. His 50 blocks in MWC games ranks as the third-most in a single season.

Buljan, a 6-9, 220-pound junior center from Split, Croatia, averaged 12.6 points per game in Conference play and was the league’s second-leading rebounder with an 8.9 average on the glass. He scored in double figures in 12 of 16 MWC outings, adding eight double-digit rebounding efforts to finish with an MWC-best seven double-doubles against league opponents.

Muojeke, a 6-7, 201-pound forward from Jamaica Queens, N.Y., was the league’s top freshman scorer and rebounder, averaging 12.4 points and 6.3 boards in Conference play. He was the only freshman ranked among the league’s scoring leaders and one of only two in the rebounding category.

Green, a 6-8, 220-pound senior forward, averaged 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds off the bench for the Utes in Conference play. In addition to ranking sixth and seventh, respectively, in 3-point field goal shooting (.416) and average (2.3 pg), the Salt Lake City native was also among the MWC’s top shot-blockers, ranking sixth with a 1.0 average against league opponents.

2008-09 All-Mountain West Conference Men’s Basketball Team (Selected by media and head coaches)

First-Team All-Mountain West

Luke Nevill, Utah**, Sr., C, 7-2, 265, Perth, Australia (Kell HS-Ga.)
Lee Cummard, BYU**, Sr., G, 6-7, 190, Mesa, Ariz. (Mesa HS)
Jimmer Fredette, BYU, So., G, 6-2, 195, Glen Falls, N.Y. (Glen Falls HS)
Tony Danridge, New Mexico, Sr., G/F, 6-5, 215, San Bernardino, Calif. (Cojon HS)
Brandon Ewing, Wyoming***, Sr., G, 6-2, 190, Chicago, Ill. (Julian HS)

Second-Team All-Mountain West

Daniel Faris, New Mexico, Sr., C, 6-9, 235, Albuquerque, N.M. (Eldorado HS)
Kyle Spain, San Diego State, Sr., F, 6-5, 220, Newark, Calif. (Newark Memorial HS)
Lorrenzo Wade, San Diego State*, Sr., F, 6-6, 225, Las Vegas, Nev. (Univ. of Louisville)
Kevin Langford, TCU*, Sr., F, 6-8, 245, Fort Worth, Texas (Univ. of California)
Wink Adams, UNLV**, Sr., G, 6-0, 200, Houston, Texas (Gulf Shores Academy)

Third-Team All-Mountain West

Jonathan Tavernari, BYU*, Jr., G/F, 6-6, 215, Sao Bernardo, Brazil (Bishop Gorman HS)
Marcus Walker, Colorado State*, Sr., G, 6-0, 175, Kansas City, Mo. (Indian Hills CC)
Richie Williams, San Diego State, Sr., G, 5-10, 162, San Diego, Calif. (Steele Canyon HS)
Ren Rougeau, UNLV, Sr., G, 6-6, 210, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Etiwanda HS)
Lawrence Borha, Utah, Sr., G, 6-3, 205, Staten Island, N.Y. (Stonebridge Prep)

All-Defensive Team

Luke Nevill, Utah, Sr., C, 7-2, 265, Perth, Australia (Kell HS-Ga.)
Jackson Emery, BYU, So., G, 6-3, 185, Alpine, Utah (Lone Peak HS)
Richie Williams, San Diego State, Sr., G, 5-10, 162, San Diego, Calif. (Steele Canyon HS)
Ren Rougeau, UNLV, Sr., G, 6-6, 210, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Etiwanda HS)
Lawrence Borha, Utah, Sr., G, 6-3, 205, Staten Island, N.Y. (Stonebridge Prep)

Honorable Mention All-Mountain West

Andrew Henke, Sr., G, Air Force
Roman Martinez, Jr., F, New Mexico
Chad Toppert, Sr., G, New Mexico
Billy White, So., F, San Diego State
Zvonko Buljan, Jr., C, TCU
Carlon Brown, So., G, Utah
Luka Drca, Jr., G, Utah
Shaun Green, Sr., F, Utah
Tyler Kepkay, Sr., G, Utah
Tyson Johnson, Sr., F, Wyoming
Sean Ogirri, Sr., G, Wyoming

Player of the Year: Luke Nevill,
Utah Defensive Player of the Year: Luke Nevill,
Utah Newcomer of the Year: Zvonko Buljan,
TCU Freshman of the Year: Afam Muojeke,
Wyoming Sixth Man of the Year: Shaun Green,
Utah Coach of the Year: Steve Alford, New Mexico *Indicates number of previous all-conference selections

BYU's All-Conference Honorees

Lee Cummard — All-MWC First Team -A three-time all-MWC honoree, including first-team and co-player of the year honors in 2008 and third-team honors in 2007 -Started all 16 conference games and helped BYU to a third-straight MWC title with a 12-4 record -Ranked in the top-10 in nine MWC statistical categories including: sixth in scoring (16.4), fourth in rebounding (6.7), ninth in field goal percentage (.500), tied for ninth in assists (3.13), first in free throw percentage (.896), fifth in blocks (1.06), tied for eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.67), fifth in defensive rebounds (5.63) and fifth in minutes per game (34.44) -Owns shooting percentages of .500 from the field, .409 on threes and .896 from the free throw line -Shot over .500 in nine conference games and .600 or better in six conference games -Led the team in blocks (17), three-point field goal percentage (.409), and free throw percentage (.896) and was second in assists (50), scoring (16.4 ppg), made free throws (60) and rebounds per game (6.7) in conference action -Had a block in all but three conference games and had two blocks in four conference games -Scored in double figures in 12 of 14 conference games and 20-plus in four conference games -Hit at least one three in 12 conference games including nights of 2-of-2 at Colorado State and at TCU, 3-of-3 at Utah and 3-of-4 at home vs. San Diego State -At Utah hit 10-of-14 from the field and 3-of-3 from downtown for 23 points to go with seven rebounds, three assists, one block and three steals -At TCU hit 6-of-10 from the field, 2-of-2 from downtown and 10-of-10 from the line for 24 points to go with two blocks, two steals, two assists and five rebounds -At Wyoming scored 24 points while hitting 13-of-15 from the free throw line while adding eight rebounds, one block and one steal -His defense was a major factor in BYU leading the conference in field goal percentage defense, 3-point field goal percentage defense, scoring margin and rebounding offense while ranking second in rebounding margin, blocked shots and third in steals

Jimmer Fredette — All-MWC First Team -Started all 16 conference games and helped BYU to a third-straight MWC title with a 12-4 record -Ranked in the top-10 in six MWC statistical categories, including: third in scoring (17.0), second in assists (4.06), second in free throw percentage (.873), tied for fourth in steals (1.44), tied for eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.67) and third in minutes played (34.56) -Led the team in scoring (17.0 ppg), assists (4.1), minutes per game (34.6) and made free throws (62) and was second in free throw percentage (.873) and steals (23) -Owns shooting percentages of .474 from the field, .358 on threes and .873 on free throws and shot .500 or better in eight conference games and .600 or better in three games -Hit a three in 13 conference games and multiple threes in seven conference games -Had four-or-more assists in 10 games, including six vs. TCU, 10 at Utah, five at TCU, six vs. New Mexico -Had a steal in 13 of 16 conference games including five at San Diego State -Had a double-double at Utah with 21 points and 10 assists to go with one block and two steals -At San Diego State tied a career high with 28 points—20 in the second half—and set a career high with five steals—all in the second half while adding five rebounds and four assists in helping BYU erase a 14-point second half deficit for the win -Scored a career-high 28 points on 11-of-13 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 from downtown against Wyoming -Against Utah at home scored 25 points, hit 8-of-9 from the free throw line and had three assists and two steals -Scored in double figures in 15 of 16 conference games and posted 20-plus points in five games, including a stretch of three-straight with 21 at Utah, 28 vs. Wyoming and 20 at Air Force

Jonathan Tavernari — All-MWC Third Team -A repeat third-team honoree from 2008 -Started all 16 conference games and helped BYU to a third-straight MWC title with a 12-4 record -Ranked in the top-10 in six MWC statistical categories, including: 10th in scoring (14.1), third in rebounding (7.0), ninth in steals (1.19), fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.422), fifth in three-pointers per game (2.43) and third in defensive rebounds (6.07) -Scored in double figures in 12 conference games and posted 20-plus points three times -Recorded four double-doubles in conference play with 21 points and 13 rebounds against UNLV, 21 points and 11 rebounds against Colorado State, 19 points and 11 rebounds at UNLV and 19 points and 11 rebounds at Wyoming -Against Colorado State hit 8-of-11 from the field and 5-of-5 from downtown for 21 points -Made at least one three in 15-of-16 conference games and multiple threes in 11 conference games -Led the team in made threes (38), rebounds (7.0 per game) and three-point percentage (.422) and was third in steals (19), scoring (14.1) and minutes played (31.3) -Posted a steal in 11 games and multiple steals in four games, including a career-high five vs. UNLV and three at Air Force -Against New Mexico hit 9-of-17 from the field, 3-of-5 threes for 22 points while adding seven boards -Has shot .500 or better in five conference games

Jackson Emery — MWC All-Defensive Team -Started 15 of 16 conference games and helped BYU to a third-straight MWC title with a 12-4 record -Finished first on the team with 25 steals and tied for fourth with five blocks -Had a steal in 14 of 16 games and two-plus steals in seven different games, including a career-high six steals against Air Force -Regularly assigned to guard the top perimeter player for the opposing team -Averaged 4.1 rebounds per game—third on the team—from the guard position and has had six boards in five games -A key factor in BYU’s defense which ranked first in field goal percentage defense, 3-point field goal percentage defense, rebounding offense and scoring margin and second in defensive rebounds, rebounding margin and blocked shots and third in steals. -Helped BYU hold seven opponents to below .400 shooting, including Utah to .295 shooting -His perimeter defense helped BYU hold opponents to .305 shooting from downtown with eight opponents shooting below .300 and two below .200 -Helped BYU force 13.6 turnovers per game -Averaged 29.2 minutes per game, 7.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 steals while shooting .460 from the field, .358 on threes .844 from the free throw line