Wesley Named MWC Player of the Year

Colorado Springs, Colo. (March 5, 2001) -- The Mountain West Conference announced it's 2001 men's basketball awards today. The league's eight men's head coaches selected the all-conference teams, coach, player, freshman and newcomer awards.

Utah head coach Dick Hunsaker captured Coach of the Year honors, while Mekeli Wesley of BYU was selected as the Player of the Year and Uche Nsonwu-Amadi of Wyoming was named Newcomer of the Year. Freshman of the Year honors went to Nick Jacobson of Utah.

BYU and Wyoming, two of the three regular season tri-champions with Utah, placed two players each on the first team. Mekeli Wesley and Terrell Lyday of BYU were honored, while Wyoming had Marcus Bailey and Josh Davis garner first-team acclaim. UNLV's Kaspars Kambala was the fifth member of the MWC's first-team. The Cowboys' Davis and Runnin' Rebels' Kambala were both first team selections last year, while the Cougars' Wesley was a second team honoree.

Utah's Dick Hunsaker became the interim head coach for the remainder of the season after Rick Majerus decided to take a leave of absence after the first game in order to devote more time to family matters and personal health issues. Hunsaker led the Utes to at least a share of a conference title for the seventh consecutive year with a 19-10 overall record and 10-4 conference mark.

BYU senior Mekeli Wesley was selected as Player of the Year after leading the Cougars to at least a share of a conference title for the first time since the 1992-93 season. Wesley averaged 17.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in conference play this season while shooting 50.7 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point line. He averaged 16.5 points per and 5.5 rebounds per game and shot 49.5 percent from the field. Wesley was named the MWC Player of the Week twice this season (Dec. 11 and Jan. 2) and was a second-team All-MWC selection last year. He becomes the first Cougar to be named conference Player of the Year award since Michael Smith in 1987-88.

Sophomore center/forward Uche Nsonwu-Amadi of Wyoming was named Newcomer of the Year by the conference coaches. Nsonwu-Amadi transferred to Wyoming from Indian Hills Community College in Iowa prior to the 1999-2000 season. He averaged 11.8 points per league contest and is first in the league in shooting percentage (.594) and second in rebounds (8.3). Nsonwu-Amadi tallied six double doubles on the year and had eight double-figure rebound games.

Freshman of the Year honors went to Utah's Nick Jacobson, a forward from Roseville Minn. (Roseville HS). Jacobson averaged 8.9 points per conference game and ranked third in 3-point field goal percentage in league play at 43.8. Overall, he averaged 7.9 points per game and was tenth in the MWC with a 37.8 3-point field goal percentage. Jacobson is the first Ute to garner conference Freshman of the Year honors since Keith Van Horn in 1993-94.

All-Mountain West Conference First-Team Honorees:

Wyoming sophomore guard Marcus Bailey leads the conference in scoring in both conference play (18.0 ppg) and all games (17.9 ppg). He is also fifth in league action in steals (4.07spg) and seventh in all games (3.30 spg). Bailey has scored 20 points or more in a league-high 12 contests this season, including a career-high 34 vs. UNLV on March 3, and received player of the week honors twice this season (Dec. 4 and Jan. 22).

Wyoming junior forward Josh Davis captured first-team All-MWC honors for the second consecutive year. He leads the league with 11 double-figure rebound games, including a season-high 18 at LSU. Davis ranks in the top 10 in conference only stats for rebounding (1st 8.6 rpg), blocked shots (1st-2.21 bpg), field goal percentage (4th-51.7 percent), and scoring (7th-14.4 ppg). In all games, he averages 13.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.78 blocks per game. Davis was named the conference Player of the Week on Feb. 11 and recorded the second-most double-doubles in the league at seven to bring his career total to 23.

Senior center Kaspars Kambala of UNLV is a MWC first-team selection for the second year in a row. He averaged 16.9 points per game (2nd in the MWC) overall and 15.4 points (5th) in conference play. He also ranks second and third, respectively, in both categories in rebounding with an average of 9.1 rpg in all games and 7.9 in league contests. Kambala leads the MWC with nine double-doubles (37 career) and ranks second with 10 double-figure rebounding games. He was selected the Player of the Week a Nov. 27 and won the award a total four times in his two seasons in the league

BYU's Terrell Lyday was the MWC's Newcomer of the Year last season. The senior guard ranks third in scoring in league play with a 16.8 average and fourth in all-games at 15.9 points per game. He is a 80.9 percent free throw shooter (6th) in league contests and 81.5 percent in all games. Lyday also averages 1.50 steals per conference game (6th) and 1.24 in all games (9th).

All-Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Team

(selected by head coaches)

First-Team All-Mountain West

Marcus Bailey, Wyoming, So., 6-5, 190, G/F, Cheyenne, Wyo. (East HS)

$Josh Davis, Wyoming, Jr., 6-8, 235, F/C, Salem, Ore. (Salem Academy HS)

$Kaspars Kambala, UNLV, Sr., 6-9, 250, C, Riga, Latvia (Homestead HS)

&Terrell Lyday, BYU, Sr., 6-3, 195, G, Fresno, Calif. (Fresno City College)

!Mekeli Wesley, BYU, Sr., 6-9, 235, F, Provo, Utah (Provo HS)

Second-Team All-Mountain West

Kevin Bradley, Utah, Jr., 6-0, 170, G, Los Angeles, Cailf. (Compton CC)

Ruben Douglas, New Mexico, So., 6-4, 185, G, Altadena, Calif. (Univ. of

Arizona)

Britton Johnson, Utah, 6-9, 205, So., F, Murray, Utah (Murray HS)

Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, Wyoming, So., 6-10, 260, F/C, Enugu, Nigeria (Indian

Hills CC)

Trent Whiting, BYU, Sr., 6-1, 185, G, Kuna, Idaho (Univ. of Utah)

All-Mountain West Newcomer Team

Kevin Bradley, Utah, Jr., 6-0, 170, G, Los Angeles, Cailf. (Compton CC)

Ruben Douglas, New Mexico, So., 6-4, 185, G, Altadena, Calif. (Univ. of

Arizona)

Randy Holcomb, San Diego State, Jr., 6-9, 219, F, Chicago, Ill. (LA City

College)

Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, Wyoming, So., 6-10, 260, F/C, Enugu, Nigeria (Indian

Hills CC)

Trent Whiting, BYU, Sr., 6-1, 185, G, Kuna, Idaho (Univ. of Utah)

Player of the Year -- Mekeli Wesley, BYU

Newcomer of the Year -- Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, Wyoming

Freshmen of the Year -- Nick Jacobson, Utah

Coach of the Year -- Dick Hunsaker, Utah

$ 1999-2000 All-MWC First-Team Selection

! 1999-2000 MWC All-MWC Second-Team Selection

&1999-2000 Newcomer of the Year