Zags Sweep All-West Coast Conference Major Awards
Few, Clarke and Hachimura receive league’s top annual honors
SAN BRUNO, Calif. – Mark Few was selected as the West Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year, Rui Hachimura was titled the Player of the Year and Brandon Clarke was named the Defender and Newcomer of the Year league officials announced Tuesday.
Hachimura, Clarke, Zach Norvell Jr., and Josh Perkins were tabbed First Team All-WCC. Filip Petrusev was on the conference’s All-Freshman Team. It’s only the third time in league history that four players from the same team have been named first team, and the first time since GU’s Jeremy Eaton, Richie Frahm, Quentin Hall and Matt Santangelo were tabbed first team in 1998-99. Loyola Marymount had four WCC first team selections in 1987-88.
Few extended his own conference record, capturing his 13th Coach of the Year honor. He receives the honor for the third straight season, after leading Gonzaga to a 29-2 record thus far, which marks their 12th straight season with at least 25 wins. The Bulldogs are one victory from reaching 30 wins for the fifth time in program history. It would be the third straight 30-win season, and all five would have come in the last seven years. Few has also led GU to its seventh straight WCC regular season title. The top-ranked Zags returned to No. 1 poll twice this season, the third and fourth times in program history.
Hachimura is third in the West Coast Conference averaging 20.6 points per game. He is sixth in the league shooting 61.3 percent from the field and eighth grabbing 6.6 rebounds per game. The junior also has 23 blocks this season. He made 63.5 percent of his shots from the field in conference play, which ranks fourth in the league. Hachimura has scored in double-digits in each of the Zags’ 31 games this season, reaching 20 or more points 19 times. He has four double-doubles so far this season. The Toyama, Japan, native scored a career-high 33 points against Idaho State. This was his second straight All-WCC First Team honor.
Clarke’s 99 blocks are the second-most in the country, while his 3.19 blocks per game ranks third. He’s already broken the GU single-season record, and now ranks sixth in program history for most blocks in a career, with all 99 blocks coming this season. The Phoenix, Ariz., native now ranks second in WCC history for most blocks in a single season, 15 away from the record. He finished second in league history with 52 blocks in conference action. Clarke tops the nation shooting 68.8 percent from the field, which is on pace for the WCC record. He leads the conference, and is ninth in country, making 70.5 percent of his shots inside-the-arc. The redshirt junior is averaging 16.6 points per game, which is eighth in the WCC, and 8.5 rebounds per outing, which is third in the league. He leads the conference averaging 3.1 offensive rebounds per game.
Norvell Jr. tops the conference with 85 made three-pointers this season, which also ranks eighth for most makes in a single season in program history. His 15.7 points per game ranks 10th in the WCC, along with his 3.1 assists per game. The redshirt sophomore is third in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6). He is making 1.4 steals per game, which ranks seventh in the conference. He was tabbed the conference’s Newcomer of the Year last season, along with honorable mention All-WCC and All-Freshman Team.
Perkins receives his second straight All-WCC First Team honor, was honorable mention in 2016-17, and All-Freshman in 2015-16. He became Gonzaga’s all-time assist leader this season, breaking the program’s career assists record. The redshirt senior sits at 683 assists in his career, which ranks sixth in West Coast Conference history, and 205 this season. His 205 assists are the second-most in a single season in program history. Perkins is five points away from 1,500 in his career. This season, he is fifth in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.42), seventh with 205 assists and 10th averaging 6.6 assists per game. The Park Hill, Colo., native is averaging 11 points and 1.4 steals per game. He is also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, and Senior CLASS Award for his efforts in the classroom, community and on the court.
Petrusev is averaging 6.4 points on 54.5 percent shooting from the field during his first year with the Zags. He has appeared in 30 games this season, averaging 11.6 minutes per game. The Belgrade, Serbia, native scored a season-high 15 points against Saint Mary’s on Feb. 9. He has scored in double-digits nine times this season.
James Batemon of LMU, BYU’s Yoeli Childs, San Francisco’s Frankie Ferrari, Jordan Ford of Saint Mary’s, San Diego’s Isaiah Pineiro and Pepperdine’s Colbey Ross were also named First Team All-WCC.
All four individual awards — along with the All-West Coast Conference Teams and the All-Freshman Team — were voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches.
The West Coast Conference Championships begin Thursday in Las Vegas, Nev. The tournament, played inside the Orleans Arena, concludes with the championship game on March 12.
2018-19 All-WCC Men’s Basketball Major Individual Honors
Player of the Year: Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga
Coach of the Year: Mark Few, Gonzaga
Defensive Player of the Year: Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga
Newcomer of the Year: Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga
2018-19 All-WCC Men’s Basketball First Team
|Frankie Ferrari||Sr.||G||San Francisco|
|Jordan Ford||Jr.||G||Saint Mary’s|
|Zach Norvell Jr.||So.||G||Gonzaga|
|Isaiah Pineiro||Sr.||F||San Diego|
2018-19 All-WCC Men’s Basketball Second Team
|Tahj Eaddy||So.||G||Santa Clara|
|Malik Fitts||So.||F||Saint Mary’s|
|Charles Minlend||So.||G||San Francisco|
|Olin Carter III||Sr.||G||San Diego|
2018-19 All-WCC Men’s Basketball Freshman Team
|Trey Wertz||G||Santa Clara|
2018-19 WCC Men’s Basketball Honorable Mention Selections
Kameron Edwards, Pepperdine; Roberto Gallinat, Pacific; Mattias Markusson, LMU; Marcus Shaver, Portland; Jalil Tripp, Pacific; Josip Vrankic, Santa Clara; Isaiah Wright, San Diego