Senior guard Trevor Hill swept both the Player of the Year and Defender of the Year awards to highlight Dixie State’s representation in the 2017-18 Pacific West Conference men’s basketball postseason honors announcement on Wednesday.
Hill, along with fellow senior guard Brandon Simister, earned first-team all-PacWest honors, while senior forward Zac Hunter was an honorable mention pick. In addition, head coach Jon Judkins was named PacWest Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career after he led the Trailblazers to their sixth conference regular season crown in 11 seasons as DSU closed the season with a program-record 15-straight victories.
Hill, who is the first player in conference history to sweep the player and defender of the year awards, is a three-time all-PacWest selection overall, having earned 2015-16 second-team and 2016-17 first-team accolades. He started in all 27 games this season and currently leads DSU in scoring (15.3 ppg), rebounding (5.7 rpg), assists 4.9 (apg) and steals (2.1 spg). Additionally, Hill finished the regular season as the PacWest leader in steals with a DSU single-season record 56, which included a DSU single game record-tying six steals in a road win at Dominican, and he is ranked third in the conference in assists, seventh in scoring, 13th in assist/turnover ratio (1.5) and 22nd in rebounding.
Hill scored in double figures in 22 games with five games of 20 or more points, and he led the team in scoring and rebounding 10 times, assists 16 times and steals 13 times. He also posted a team-high three double-doubles. He earned PacWest Player of the Week honors in November after he became the first player in the DSU’s NCAA era to record consecutive 30-point games, which included a school single-game record 35 points in a win against Eastern New Mexico and 30 points the next night against the top team in the West Region in Western Oregon.
The senior is ranked in the top 10 all-time in 13 statistical categories and is DSU's career leader in free throws made (442), steals (159) and assists (409). He is also second all-time in scoring (1,397) and rebounding (575). In addition, Hill earlier this month moved into ninth place on the PacWest’s career rebounding list.
Simister, who was a 2016-17 All-PacWest Honorable Mention pick, started in all 25 games he played in this season and is currently DSU’s second-leading scorer at 15.0 ppg (tied for ninth in PWC). He scored in double figures in 21 of his 25 starts with a team-high five 20-plus point outings, and he led the team in scoring 11 times overall. He poured in a career-high 25 points with a DSU single game record-tying six 3-pointers in a win over Holy Names, and he followed that up with a game-high 19 points, 13 of which came in the second half, in DSU’s PacWest title-clinching win at Point Loma last Saturday and earned him PacWest Player of the Week honors.
He currently leads the PacWest and is ranked 11th nationally in free throw percentage (.900), which includes breaking DSU and PacWest single-game records with 18-straight free throws made in a win at Concordia-Irvine, going 18-for-18 overall. Simister is also third in the conference in assist/turnover ratio (2.4), tied for sixth in 3-pointers made with a DSU single-season record 60 (2.4 3FG/G) and is 10th in assists (3.8 apg).
Simister is DSU’s career leader in 3-pointers made (159) and free throw percentage (.869), and he is currently ranked fourth in career scoring with 1,097 points. In all, he is ranked in the top 10 all-time in 13 DSU career statistical categories, including second all-time in free throws made (326), third in assists (303) and third in career 3-point percentage (.426).
Hunter started in 22 of 27 games played this past season and averaged nearly 10 points and six rebounds in PacWest play. He posted his first collegiate double-double with 12 points and 10 boards in the home win over Holy Names and reached double figures in points in 13 games overall.
Judkins led Dixie State to a 21-6 overall record, which is tied for the second-most wins in program history, and includes an 18-2 PacWest mark. DSU’s 18 wins in conference play tied a league record, while the Trailblazers ended their 11 years of conference membership as the PacWest’s all-time winningest program with 156 conference wins (156-42) and a .788 league winning percentage.
No. 18 Dixie State is the top seed in this weekend’s Pacific West Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, which will be held Thursday through Saturday at California Baptist University’s new Events Center in Riverside, California. The Trailblazers will play the winner of the No. 4 Point Loma/No. 5 Concordia-Irvine game on Friday, March 2, at 7:15 p.m. PT. The PacWest tournament championship game will be played on Saturday, March 3, at 4:30 p.m., with the winner earning the PacWest’s automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Tournament West Regional, which will be held March 9-12.
Steve Johnson is the Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Collegiate Licensing at Dixie State University. For more DSU Athletics news, please visit www.dixiestateathletics.com and follow Dixie State on Twitter at @DixieAthletics.