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WAC 2002-03 Season Recap

May 2, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Western Athletic Conference 2002-03 Recap

by Phil Dailey

The Western Athletic Conference faired a bit sub-par this past season as only one of its ten teams reached the NCAA Tournament. Tulsa once again did some damage in the postseason beating fourth-seeded Dayton in the first round, but then turned around and lost a 13-point lead against Wisconsin with four minutes to play in the second round. Typical? Well, at least they won a game. Which is far more than any other WAC team accomplished this past year.

Other post-season performances offered Hawai’i beating Nevada-Las Vegas, handily, and then losing to Minnesota in the NIT. Was it the curse of the mainland once again that got the mighty Warriors? No, they just ran into a better team. However, they underachieved and should have made another appearance in the “big dance.”

Nevada was the only other team invited to participate in the postseason NIT, but got a tough draw against Bobby Knight’s Red Raiders. Texas Tech made it all the way to New York and defeated the Wolf Pack by 12 in the process.

Conference player of the year Quinton Ross not only got respect from the WAC, but was also named to the Honorable Mention All-American team by the Associated Press as well. The senior from Dallas led the league in scoring with 20 points per game.

What about the conference champs? Must we forget the Fresno State Bulldogs – the team who stormed through the conference season and won the regular season crown? What the Bulldogs did the season under first-year head coach Ray Lopes should not go unnoticed as they finished the season with 20 wins and a 13-5 conference record. To bad the actions of those before him (academic fraud violations by the Tarkanian era) cost the Bulldogs a shot at the NCAA Tournament, the WAC Tournament, and even the NIT if needed.

ALL-WAC awards

First Team
Quinton Ross, Sr. SMU – WAC Player of the Year
Damon Jackson, Sr. Fresno State
Antonio Meeking, Sr. La. Tech
Kevin Johnson, Sr. Tulsa
Carl English, Jr. Hawai’i
Kirk Snyder, So. Nevada

Second Team
Dante Swanson, Sr. Tulsa
Omar-Seli Mance, Sr. Rice
Hiram Fuller, Sr. Fresno State
Terrance Green, Sr. Fresno State
Michael Harris, So. Rice
Jason Parker, Jr. Tulsa

All- Newcomer Team

Aaron Haynes, Jr. Boise State
Byron Hopkins, Fr. SMU
Michael Kuebler, Jr. Hawai’i
Renaldo Major, Jr. Fresno State
Antonio Lawrence, Fr. San Jose State

All Defensive Team

Yamar Diene, Jr. Rice
Jerry Petty, Sr. Nevada
Brandon Hawkins, Sr. San Jose State
Kevin Johnson, Sr. Tulsa
Mark Campbell, Sr. Hawai’i

Freshman of the Year

Byron Hopkins, SMU

Coach of the Year

Ray Lopes, Fresno State

Boise State Broncos (13-16 overall, 7-11 WAC)

Starters returning
G Bryan Defares
F Aaron Haynes
F Jason Ellis
G Booker Nabors
G Joe Skiffer

Key player returning
F Josh Bates

Key player not returning
G C.J. Williams (Graduating)
F Solomon Wyatt (Transferring)
F/C Kenny Gainous (Leave of absence)

Team leaders
Scoring: Aaron Haynes (14.7)
Assist: Joe Skiffer (3.2)
Rebounds: Jason Ellis (7.8)

Fresno State Bulldogs (20-8 overall, 13-5 WAC)

Starter returning
G Rolando Todd

Starters not returning (Graduating)
G Damon Jackson
F Noel Felix
F Jonathan Woods
F Travis DeManby

Key players returning
G Rolando Major
G Terry Pettis

Team leaders
Scoring: Damon Jackson (13.2)
Assist: Rolando Todd (4.3)
Rebounds: Hiram Fuller (7.4)

Hawai’i Warriors (19-11 overall, 9-9 WAC)

Starters returning
F Phil Martin
G/F Michael Kuebler
F/C Haim Shimonovich

Starters not returning
G Mark Campbell (Graduating)
G/F Carl English (NBA Draft, early entry)

Key players returning
F Nkeruwem Akpan
G Jason Carter
G Peciukas Vaidotas

Team leaders
Scoring: Carl English (19.6)
Assist: Mark Campbell (6.2)
Rebounds: Haim Shimonovich (6.6)

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (12-15 overall, 9-9 WAC0

Starter returning
G Bruce Edwards

Starters not returning (Graduating)
F Antonio Meeking
G Lavelle Felton
G Michael Wilder
G Darrian Brown

Key players returning
G Eric Woods
G Cory Dean

Key player not returning (Graduating)
F Zack Johnson

Team leaders
Scoring: Antonio Meeking (17.9)
Assist: Lavelle Felton (3.3)
Rebounds: Antonio Meeking (7.3)

Nevada Wolf Pack (18-14 overall, 11-7 WAC)

Starters returning
F Kirk Snyder
G Garry Hill-Thomas
G Todd Okeson
F Sean Paul
F Kevin Pinkney

Starter not returning (Graduating)
G Jerry Petty

Key players not returning (Graduating)
C Matt Ochs
G Terrance Green

Team leaders
Scoring: Kirk Snyder (16.2)
Assist: Jerry Petty (2.8)
Rebounds: Kirk Snyder (8.1)

Rice Owls (19-10 overall, 11-7 WAC)

Starters returning
G Jason McKrieth
F/C Yamar Diene
G Rashid Smith

Starters not returning (Graduating)
G Omar Seli-Mance
C/F Brandon Evens

Key players returning
F Michael Harris
G/F Jamaal Moore
G Brock Gillespie

Team leaders
Scoring: Michael Harris and Omar Seli-Mance (15.2)
Assist: Rashid Smith (4.4)
Rebounds: Michael Harris (7.3)

San Jose State (7-21 overall, 4-14 WAC)

Starters returning
F Antonio Lawrence
G Keith West
F Keith Everage
F Eric Walton

Starter not returning (Graduating)
G Brandon Hawkins

Key players not returning
G Scott Sonnenberg (Graduating)
G Moises Alvarez (Graduating)
F Oudie Baker (removed from team)

Team leaders
Scoring Brandon Hawkins (13.0)
Assist: Brandon Hawkins (2.8)
Rebounds: Antonio Lawrence (6.2)

Southern Methodist Mustangs (17-13 overall, 11-7 WAC)

Starters returning
F/C Eric Castro
G Bryan Hopkins
G Justin Isham
F Patrick Simpson

Starter not returning (Graduating)
G/F Quintin Ross

Key players retuning (Graduating)
G Lavardicus Atkins
G/F Kris Lowe

Key player not returning
F Jibran Kelley

Team leaders
Scoring: Quinton Ross (20.3)
Assist: Bryan Hopkins (4.3)
Rebounds: Quinton Ross and Patrick Simpson (6.9)

Texas-El Paso Miners (6-24 overall, 3-15 WAC)

Starters returning
G Giavanni St. Amant
F/C John Tofi
G Chris Craig
G Omar Duran

Starter not returning (Graduating)
F Justino Victoriano

Key players returning
F Joe Devance
F Darius Mattear

Team leaders
Scoring: Giavanni St. Amant (13.6)
Assist: Chris Craig (4.2)
Rebounds: Justino Victoriano (8.5)

Tulsa Golden Hurricane (23-10 overall. 12-6 WAC)

Starters returning
G Jason Parker
G/F Jarius Glenn

Starters not returning (Graduating)
F Charlie Davis
F Kevin Johnson
G Dante Swanson

Key players returning
G Seneca Collins
F Anthony Price

Key players not returning
G Antonio Reed (removed from team)
F Marqus Ledoux (Graduating)

Team leaders
Scoring: Jason Parker (15.4), Kevin Johnson (15.2) and Dante Swanson (15.1).
Assist: Jason Parker (4.1)
Rebounds: Kevin Johnson and Charlie Davis (7.0)


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