SAN BRUNO, Calif. – Forward Sam Dower Jr. and guard Kevin Pangos of regular-season champion Gonzaga University were named to the All-West Coast Conference men’s basketball team Monday, while sophomore center Przemek Karnowski earned honorable mention honors.
The team was selected by a vote of the 10 conference coaches who were not allowed to vote for their players.
The Bulldogs went 15-3 to win the regular-season title by two games and with it the No. 1 seed into the WCC Basketball Championship which begins this week in Las Vegas. It was the fifteenth regular-season title in the last seventeen years for the Bulldogs, and their 17th overall WCC regular-season crown.
After ranking third nationally in scoring as a junior, BYU’s Tyler Haws captured WCC Player of the Year honors. Senior Pepperdine University forward Brendan Lane earned conference Defensive Player of the Year accolades, while Santa Clara University freshman Jared Brownridge collected the Crons Newcomer of the Year award. The University of San Francisco’s Rex Walters was selected as Coach of the Year. All four individual awards – along with the All-West Coast Conference Team and the All-Freshman Team – were voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches. It’s the first time since 2009 the WCC regular-season champion did not receive one of the four major awards.
Dower, a graduate student from Minneapolis, Minn., paced the Bulldogs in scoring at 14.6 ppg and tied with Karnowski for the team rebounding lead with 7.0 rpg overall. In WCC play Dower averaged 15.1 ppg and 7.0 rpg. He had seven double-doubles this season to give him eight in his career. He scored a career-high 28 points at Loyola Marymount University and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds at home against Bryant University this season. Dower’s 1,206 career points rank 25th all-time at Gonzaga.
Pangos, who played injured much of the year with turf toe and later a sprained ankle, averaged 14.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 3.9 assists/game overall. In WCC action the junior from Holland Landing, Ontario, averaged 12.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 3.6 assists/game. He has scored 1,318 career points to rank 21st on the all-time Gonzaga list, 23 shy of surpassing John Stockton for 20th. It’s his third All-WCC first-team selection.
Karnowski was a mainstay under the basket for the Bulldogs, averaging 10.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg and swatting 56 blocks for 1.8 blocks/game overall. In WCC play he averaged 10.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 1.9 blocks/game. His 56 blocks rank sixth on the Gonzaga single-season list and his 67 career blocks are 10 shy of cracking the all-time Top 10 list.
Haws is the first BYU student-athlete selected as WCC Player of the Year in its three seasons in the conference and the first for the Cougars since 2011 National Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette captured Mountain West Conference accolades in 2010-11. Haws averaged 23.5 points per game, while shooting 48.0 percent from the field during league play. Haws turned in the highest scoring game since 1990 when he scored 48 in a triple overtime game at Portland and scored at least 20 points 18 times.
Lane is the third Pepperdine student-athlete to capture Defensive Player of the Year and the first since Cedric Suitt won it in 2001-02. A member of the 2013-14 WCC All-Academic Team, the senior forward led the league in blocked shots (2.5). In addition, Lane averaged 12.0 points on 49.7 percent shooting from the field to go along with 6.6 rebounds during league play as the Waves posted an upper echelon finish after being picked last in the preseason poll.
Brownridge is the eighth Bronco student-athlete named Crons Newcomer of the year and the first since Kevin Foster – the second leading scorer in WCC history – was tabbed for the award in 2008-09. Brownridge ranked second in scoring at 18.4 points per game during league contests.
Walters is the 11th San Francisco mentor to collect Coach of the Year honors and the first since Pete Barry picked up the hardware in 1981. Walters guided San Francisco to just the second 20-win campaign since 1982 – both coming under Walters’s guidance. The Dons finished tied for second in the WCC standings at 13-5, the highest league win tally since 1977.
Of the 10-member All-WCC First Team, eight appeared on the 2013-14 preseason All-WCC squad. Loyola Marymount’s Anthony Ireland and Pangos both appear on the postseason first team for the third consecutive year.