BYU basketball: Cougars dominate Mountain West Conference awards
Ravell Call, Deseret News
BYU captured a piece of the Mountain West Conference championship in its final year in the league.
And on Monday, the Cougars collected plenty of league honors as parting gifts.
As expected, senior guard Jimmer Fredette, the MWC's all-time leading scorer and a top candidate for national player of the year, was named the MWC player of the year.
Dave Rose and San Diego State's Steve Fisher shared the coach of the year award, while Cougar guard Jackson Emery earned defensive player of the year honors.
Fredette was also named to the All-MWC first team, along with San Diego State's DJ Gay and Kawhi Leonard; New Mexico's Dairese Gary; and Colorado State's Andy Ogide.
Jackson Emery was selected on the All-MWC second team while Brandon Davies, who was suspended last week for the remainder of the season, was part of the All-MWC third team. Noah Hartsock was an All-MWC honorable mention selection.
"I'm really pleased with the fact our team was really recognized because this is a team," Rose said. "That's how we won games, with those guys."
Said Emery: "All of (the awards) are well-deserved. We all worked extremely hard to be where we're at today. I'm obviously happy to win defensive player of the year. This what makes us a great team - all these accolades. Hopefully we don't let those get to our head as we move on to (MWC) tournament play."
The top-seeded Cougars face either Wyoming or TCU on Thursday afternoon (1 p.m. MT) in the MWC Tournament quarterfinals at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
The conference's nine coaches and a select media panel, picked the all-MWC teams and the individual awards.
Fredette, the nation's leading scorer (28.9 points per game), and the first three-time first-team honoree in MWC history, was happy to be recognized.
"It's a great honor. I'm glad I was able to be honored that way," he said. "I wouldn't be able to do it without my teammates. We've had a great season this year and the success that we've had has really helped me out a lot with my personal accolades and everything. It's a good honor and hopefully I'll be able to play like it."
Emery, also a senior, averaged a league-best 2.7 steals per game against MWC opponents and is the all-time leader in steals at BYU.
"I'm proud of those guys. These seniors, they've been great for us through their whole careers," said junior Charles Abouo. "They're deserving of everything that comes their way. They're great leaders. They get out there and compete. It's great to see other people give them the recognition they deserve. It was great to see our big men get some accolades also because they do a lot of the dirty work for us and we wouldn't be here without them."
For Rose, it marked his third MWC coach of the year award.
Fredette credited Rose and his staff for recruiting players that fit the program's style of play, and then helping those players reach their potential..
"He's also a good motivator and knows how to get them to play as hard as they possibly can every single day," Fredette said of Rose. "If you don't, you're not going to play. They realize that. That's why we work so hard and we get in such good shape in the off-season, to play his style of basketball.. He's just a great guy, a great coach and people love playing for him because he's a genuine guy and will tell you like it is. He does a great job here and I don't see anything changing."
New Mexico's Drew Gordon was picked as the MWC newcomer of the year and his teammate, Kendall Williams, was selected as freshman of the year. Colorado State's Pierce Hornung was the six man of the year.
For Utah, Will Clyburn was named to the All-MWC second team, David Foster was part of the all-defensive team and Josh Watkins was honorable mention All-MWC.
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