College basketball • BYU players make conference's first team; Gonzaga dominates individual awards.
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Provo • After finishing in third place in the West Coast Conference men's basketball regular-season race, the BYU Cougars were rewarded Tuesday when senior forward Brandon Davies and sophomore guard Tyler Haws were named to the 10-member All-WCC First Team.
The Cougars were shut out of the individual honors, dominated by No. 1-ranked Gonzaga. The Zags' Kelly Olynyk, a junior, is the league's Player of the Year, while teammate Mike Hart is the Defensive Player of the Year. Gonzaga's Mark Few is the Coach of the Year, and Pepperdine's Stacy Davis, a freshman, is the Newcomer of the Year.
It was the second consecutive year that Davies has made the all-conference team. Haws, who returned from an LDS Church mission to the Philippines last April, made the All-Mountain West Conference third team in 2009-10 when he was a freshman.
BYU has now had at least one player make an all-league team in 16 straight seasons.
Sophomore guard Matt Carlino was an honorable mention pick last year, but was not honored this year as the Cougars prepare for their conference tournament opener. They will take on the winner of Thursday's San Diego-Pepperdine game on Friday at 9:30 p.m. MST at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The game will be televised by ESPNU.
Davies averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in 31 regular-season games for the Cougars. Haws led the WCC in scoring with a 20.9 average and also grabbed 4.7 rebounds per game.
Juco star picks BYU
Skyler Halford, who was recently named the Region 18 MVP after leading Salt Lake Community College to that league's championship, committed to continuing his college basketball career at BYU on Monday night. From Orem, the 6-foot-1 Halford played at Timpanogos High and walked on at Utah State for a redshirt season prior to an LDS Church mission to Brazil.
A self-described "combo-guard," Halford played the last two seasons for coach Todd Phillips at SLCC, averaging 17.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists for the Bruins this past season.
"I like the pace and tempo they play at, most of all," Halford said of BYU. "I like the way coach [Dave] Rose handles his teams."
Haws is a candidate for the Lou Henson Award, which goes to the top player at a so-called "mid-major." ... Carlino was shut out of the all-WCC awards despite scoring in double figures in 13 of 16 conference games this season. He had 16 double-figure scoring games all season. ... Davies has moved into 10th place on BYU's career rebounds list, with 794. He's eight caroms away from ninth place.
West Coast Conference Tournament
O At Orleans Arena (Las Vegas)
Friday's quarterfinal game
BYU vs. Pepperdine-San Diego winner, 9:30 p.m. MST
TV • ESPNU