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Big West Season Recap

April 16, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Big West Conference Recap

by Shaan Hassan

The conference season started unusually with UCSB playing very poorly and teams such as Cal Poly SLO and Idaho starting well. But when all was said and done, it was the most consistent team in the conference, Utah State, which advanced through to the NCAA and the regular season champion, UC Santa Barbara, competing in the NIT.

Cal Poly SLO was the Cinderella in the conference that eventually upset UCSB in the tournament. That set up a match-up against Utah State. To get there, the Aggies beat their archrival UCI, which had beaten them twice during the regular season. Utah State won the most meaningful game against the Anteaters and then broke Cinderella’s glass slipper.

But that was about it. 15th seed Utah State put up a valiant effort against second-seed Kansas in the NCAA tournament’s first round and was within one three-pointer of sending it to overtime. Yet, Kansas survived 64-61 March 20 and is now battling for a championship. UCSB received an invite to the NIT and met San Diego State in the first round. Like Utah State, the Gauchos almost seemed like they were ready to advance, but their opponent never let them. San Diego State defeated UCSB 67-62 at San Diego State March 19.

Shaan’s Stand-Outs

First Team All-Conference:

Utah State forward Desmond Penigar
Utah State center Spencer Nelson
UCSB forward Branduinn Fullove
Cal State Fullerton guard Ralphy Holmes
Cal Poly SLO’s Varney Dennis

Player of the Year:

Utah State senior forward Desmond Penigar. UCSB forward Branduinn Fullove was the conference’s pick, but including the tournament, Penigar came up with huge performances against Irvine and nearly single-handedly defeated Kansas. Through the season, Penigar averaged 15.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game to go with a 47 percent shooting percentage.

Freshman of the Year: Riverside guard Nate Carter

Newcomer of the Year: Cal State Fullerton guard Ralphy Holmes

Defensive Player of the Year: UCI guard Jeff Gloger

Coach of the Year:

Idaho’s Leonard Perry. Perry guided a team that featured three players above 6-6, none taller than 6-9 into a 9-9 conference season that included match-ups against several bigger, taller players. I picked the Vandals to finish last. They ended fourth.

Team Reviews

UC Santa Barbara (18-14, 14-4)

Starters leaving: Mark Hull

Starters staying: Nick Jones, Jacoby Atako, Branduinn Fullove, Bryan Whitehead

Key players staying: Nick Jones, Jacoby Atako, Branduinn Fullove

Leading scorer: Branduinn Fullove, 15 points per game

Leading rebounder: Mark Hull, 5.0 rebounds per game

Leading assists guy: Jacoby Atako, 3.1 assists per game

UC Irvine (20-9, 13-5)

Starters leaving: Jordan Harris, Mike Hood

Starters staying: Jeff Gloger, Stanislav Zuzak, Adam Parada

Key players staying: Jeff Gloger, Stanislav Zuzak, Adam Parada, Matt Okoro

Leading scorer: Jordan Harris, 12.7 points per game

Leading rebounder: Adam Parada, 6.2 rebounds per game

Leading assists guy: Jeff Gloger, 3.0 assists per game

Utah State (24-9, 12-6)

Starters leaving: Ronnie Ross, Desmond Penigar

Starters staying: Spencer Nelson, Mark Brown, Cardell Butler

Key players staying: Toraino Johnson, Spencer Nelson, Mark Brown, Cardell Butler, Chad Evans

Leading scorer: Desmond Penigar, 15.4 points per game

Leading rebounder: Spencer Nelson, 7.3 rebounds per game

Leading assists guy: Mark Brown, 4.6 assists per game

Cal Poly SLO (16-14, 10-8)

Starters leaving: Jason Allen, Steve Geary, Eric Jackson

Starters staying: Varney Dennis, Shane Schilling

Key players staying: Varney Dennis, Shane Schilling

Leading scorer: Varney Dennis, 17.5 points per game

Leading rebounder: Varney Dennis, 7.2 rebounds per game

Leading assists guy: Jason Allen, 2.7 assists per game

Idaho (13-15, 9-9)

Starters leaving: Justin Logan

Starters staying: Tyrone Hayes, Tanoris Shepard, Dwayne Williams, Rashaad Powell

Key players staying: Tyrone Hayes, Tanoris Shepard, Dwayne Williams, Rashaad Powell, Jon Tinnon, Jack May

Leading scorer: Tyrone Hayes, 13.1 points per game

Leading rebounder: Tyrone Hayes, 6.6 rebounds per game

Leading assists guy: Justin Logan, 3.9 assists per game

Cal State Fullerton (10-19, 8-10)

Starters leaving: None

Starters staying: Anthony Bolton, Zakee Smith, Derick Andrew, Pape Sow, Ralphy Holmes

Key players staying: Anthony Bolton, Zakee Smith, Derick Andrew, Pape Sow, Ralphy Holmes, Federic Holm-Hadulla

Leading scorer: Ralphy Holmes, 16.8 points per game

Leading rebounder: Pape Sow, 8.8 rebounds per game

Leading assists guy: Zakee Smith, 4.7 assists per game

Cal State Northridge (14-15, 8-10)

Starters leaving: Lionel Benjamin

Starters staying: Ian Boylan, Curtis Slaughter, Chris Davis, John Clark

Key players staying: Ian Boylan, Curtis Slaughter, Chris Davis, John Clark

Leading scorer: Ian Boylan, 15.8 points per game

Leading rebounder: Lionel Benjamin, 5.3 rebounds per game

Leading assists guy: Curtis Slaughter, 4.2 assists per game

Pacific (12-16, 7-11)

Starters leaving: Demetrius Jackson

Starters staying: Christian Maraker, Miah Davis, Matt Kemper, Jasko Korajkic

Key players staying: Christian Maraker, Miah Davis, Matt Kemper, Jasko Korajkic, Myree Bowden

Leading scorer: Demetrius Jackson, 13.6 points per game

Leading rebounder: Christian Maraker, 6.1 rebounds per game

Leading assists guy: Demetrius Jackson, 3.0 assists per game

UC Riverside (6-18, 5-13)

Starters leaving: John Galbreath, Aaron Hands

Starters staying: Nate Carter, Ted Bell, Kevin Butler

Key players staying: Nate Carter, Ted Bell, Kevin Butler, Klaus Schille

Leading scorer: Nate Carter, 16.3 points per game

Leading rebounder: Aaron Hands, 5.9 rebounds per game

Leading assists guy: Kevin Butler, 2.9 assists per game

Long Beach State (5-22, 4-14)

Starters leaving: Tony Darden, Vance Lawhorn, Lemi Williams

Starters staying: Kevin Roberts, Darnell Thompson

Key players staying: Jibril Hodges, Cody Pearson, Kevin Roberts, Darnell Thompson

Leading scorer: Tony Darden, 15.9 points per game

Leading rebounder: Kevin Roberts: 6.0 rebounds per game

Leading assists guy: Tony Darden, 2.4 assists per game

     

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