DENVER - Kyle Barone can add Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year to the resume he has been building throughout his four-year career on the Idaho men's basketball team, as the 6-foot-10 senior was voted the league's best by the 10 head coaches, the WAC announced today.
Barone led the WAC in both scoring and rebounding with 18.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game in WAC games. He was second in the league with a 58.3 field goal percentage, fourth with an 80.9 free throw percentage, and eighth with 1.1 blocks per game. He is the first Idaho player to earn WAC Player of the Year honors.
The center from Garden Grove, Calif., scored a career-high 27 points twice in 2012-13, racked up 16 double-doubles, scored 20 or more points nine times and had 20-point, 10-rebound efforts on eight occasions. His 59.0 field goal percentage for the season is the eighth-best single-season total in school history, and his 155 free throws made entering next week's WAC tournament are the fourth-most.
Barone has never missed a game in his four-year career, and is Idaho's career-leader with 125 games played. His 1,414 career points rank fourth in program history, his 864 career rebounds rank second, just 13 shy of all-time leader Deon Watson.
Barone, a two-time WAC Player of the Week in 2012-13, was also a first-team All-WAC pick and was the only Idaho player selected to the All-WAC teams. He was a second-team All-WAC selection in 2011-12 and an All-WAC honorable mention in 2010-11.
Joining Barone on the first-team All-WAC are Denver's Chris Udofia, New Mexico State's Bandja Sy and Raheem Appleby and Kenneth Smith from Louisiana Tech.
This year's all-WAC second team consists of Denver's Chase Hallam, New Mexico State's Daniel Mullings, Texas State's Joel Wright and Utah State's Spencer Butterfield and Jarred Shaw.
The all-WAC third team consists of Denver's Brett Olson and Royce O'Neale, New Mexico State's Sim Bhullar, UT Arlington's Kevin Butler and UTSA's Michael Hale III.
New Mexico State's Bhullar becomes the first Aggie in school history to earn the WAC's Freshman of the Year award. In 18 conference games, Bhullar averaged 11.3 points per contest, 7.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game, while shooting 60.2 percent from the field.
Louisiana Tech head coach Michael White earned his first Don Haskins Coach of the Year honor by leading the Bulldogs to a share of the school's first-ever regular season WAC title. In his second year with Louisiana Tech, White led the Bulldogs to a 16-2 conference record. Coach White is the first Louisiana Tech coach in school history to receive WAC Coach of the Year honors.
Those named to the WAC's all-defensive team were Denver's Hallam and Udofia, Louisiana Tech's Michale Kyser and Smith and New Mexico State's Mullings.
Selected to the WAC's all-newcomer team were Louisiana Tech's Alex Hamilton, New Mexico State's Bhullar, Texas State's Wright and Utah State's Butterfield and Shaw.
The 2013 WAC Tournament will be held March 12-16, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Idaho, the No. 6 seed in the tournament, will take on No. 3 New Mexico State at 11 a.m. (PT) on March 14.