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Damian Lillard named to AP All-American third team — the first Weber State player ever to garner that honor

Deseret News

Published: Monday, March 26 2012 11:57 a.m. MDT

Damian Lillard of Weber State slams the ball home after the clock expired in double overtime against San Jose State at the Dee Events Center at Weber State in Ogden Saturday, December 3, 2011. The dunk didn't count but Weber State won in double overtime, 91-89.

Brian Nicholson, Deseret News

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Weber State junior guard Damian Lillard has been named to the 2012 Associated Press All-America third team. He is the first player ever from Weber State and from the Big Sky Conference to be named to the AP All-America team.

Lillard is one of 15 players in the nation named to the teams. The first team includes Thomas Robinson of Kansas, Jared Sullinger of Ohio State, Anthony Davis of Kentucky, Draymond Green of Michigan State and Doug McDermott of Creighton. The second team consists of Isaiah Canaan of Murray State, Marcus Denmon of Missouri, Tyler Zeller from North Carolina, Jae Crowder of Marquette and Kevin Jones of West Virginia.

Joining Lillard on the third team is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of Kentucky, Tyshawn Taylor of Kansas, John Jenkins from Vanderbilt and Kendall Marshall of North Carolina. Lillard received three first-team votes in the voting that included 65 members of the national media.

This is Lillard's second All-American honor this season as last week he was also named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-America third team, also becoming the first player in Big Sky history to earn All-American honors from the NABC. This season he has been named the Big Sky Conference MVP, the District VIII Player of the Year, and now adds All-American honors to his awards lists for the season. He has also been a finalist for the John Wooden Award, Oscar Robertson Award and Bob Cousy Award.

Lillard had perhaps the greatest individual season in Weber State history in helping lead the Wildcats to a 25-7 overall record and a 14-2 record in Big Sky Conference play.

The 6-3 point guard from Oakland, Calif., led the nation in scoring for most of the season and finished second in the country with an average of 24.5 points per game, the best single-season average in Weber State history. He scored 784 points this season which is the most in Weber State single-season history and ranks as the third most in Big Sky Conference single-season history.

Lillard scored in double figures in all 32 games for the Wildcats this season and scored 20 or more points 22 times, 30 or more eight times, and has scored 40 or more points twice this season. He was named Big Sky Player of the Week five times this year and was also named National Player of the Week in January.

He currently ranks 12th in the nation in free-throw percentage after shooting 88.7 percent for the season, the third best single-season percentage in Weber State history. He tied the single-season record for most free throws made with 228 and was fifth in attempts.

Lillard also ranks 15th in the nation in 3-pointers per game. He made 94 3-pointers this season, the most in WSU single-season history and the sixth most in Big Sky history. Lillard also finished third in the Big Sky in assist to turnover ratio, fourth in assists and sixth in steals.

In his career with the Wildcats Lillard appeared in 103 career games for the Wildcats and started 98 games. He ranks second in WSU history in career scoring with 1,934 career points, which also ranks fifth in Big Sky history.

Earlier this month he became Weber State's career leader in three-pointers, now with 246 for his career. He is also WSU's career leader in free throws made with 520 and is second in WSU history in career assists with 362. He also ranks as Weber State's career leader in free throw percentage at 86.7 percent, which is also sixth in Big Sky history.

AP All-America teams

First Team

Thomas Robinson, Kansas, 6-10, 237, junior, Washington, 17.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 53.1 fg pct. (65 first-place votes, 325 points)

Anthony Davis, Kentucky, 6-10, 220, freshman, Chicago, 14.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 64.2 fg pct., 4.6 blocks (63, 321)

Draymond Green, Michigan State, 6-7, 230, senior, Saginaw, Mich., 16.1 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.5 steals (53, 301)

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