Jared Quayle and Tai Wesley Among Five Aggies To Receive Postseason WAC Honors, While Stew Morrill Earns Second-Straight Coach of the Year Award
March 7, 2010
LOGAN, Utah -
For the first time in its five years in the Western Athletic Conference, Utah State had two players earn first-team all-league honors in Jared Quayle and Tai Wesley, while head coach Stew Morrill was named the Don Haskins Coach of the Year for the second-straight season as the men's basketball postseason awards as selected by the league's nine head coaches were announced Sunday.
In all, Utah State had five players named to various all-conference teams as Nate Bendall and Brian Green were both named to the all-newcomer team, while Pooh Williams was tabbed to the WAC's all-defensive team.
For the second straight year, Utah State steamrolled its way to a 14-2 league record as it won outright WAC Championships each year, along with its co-regular season title in 2008. USU's 28-4 WAC mark during the past two seasons is the best two-year stretch by any member of the league since Utah went a combined 26-2 in conference play during the 1998 and 1999 seasons.
As for Utah State, its three consecutive league titles are the most in school history, bettering the 1997 and 1998 teams that won back-to-back Big West Conference titles.
Nevada's Luke Babbitt was named the WAC's Player of the Year, while Fresno State's Greg Smith was named the league's Freshman of the Year. USU had claimed player of the year honors from the WAC in each of the past two seasons as Jaycee Carroll won the award in 2008 and Gary Wilkinson in 2009.
Quayle, a 6-1, 180-pound senior guard from Perry, Utah (Box Elder HS/Western Wyoming CC) ranks first in the WAC in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.59), is third in the league in free throw shooting (.889), fifth in three-point shooting (.432) and assists (4.26), ninth in steals (1.19), 11th in rebounding (6.2) and 15th in scoring (11.9).
Quayle earned second-team all-WAC honors in his first year at Utah State along with being named to the league's all-newcomer team. He was also named to the WAC's all-tournament team, was named a second-team all-district player by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), and was named a high major honorable mention All-American by CollegeHoops.net.
Wesley, a 6-7, 240-pound junior forward from Provo, Utah (Provo HS) ranks third in the WAC in field goal shooting (.578) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.02), seventh in blocked shots (1.29), 10th in rebounding (6.4), 11th in assists (3.23), 13th in scoring (13.7) and 15th in free throw shooting (.715).
Utah State has now had 18 first-team all-conference selections over the last 11 seasons, and it is the 11th straight year that USU has had at least one first-team all-league selection. Overall, Utah State has had six first-team all-WAC players in its five years in the league and 30 first-team all-conference selections in the last 32 years.
Williams, a 6-3, 200-pound junior guard/forward from Federal Way, Wash. (Federal Way HS) becomes the first Aggie ever to be named to the WAC's all-defensive team. During the season, Williams averaged 8.7 points, 2.4 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 45.2 percent from the field, 37.8 percent from three-point range and 55.8 percent at the free throw line.
Bendall, a 6-9, 245-pound junior forward from Salt Lake City, Utah (Skyline HS/Salt Lake CC) started 29 games for Utah State this season and averaged 10.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots per game, while shooting 56.8 percent from the field and 81.4 percent from three-point range. He currently ranks seventh in the WAC in field goal shooting, eighth in free throw shooting and 10th in blocked shots.
Green, a 6-1, 195-pound guard from Kaysville, Utah (Davis HS/Salt Lake CC) played in 30 games and started three during his first year at USU, and averaged 7.2 points while shooting 46.9 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from three-point range and 90.9 percent at the free throw line. During league play, Green averaged 8.8 points and shot a robust 56.3 percent from the field and 63.3 percent from behind the arc. He currently ranks first in the WAC in three-point shooting, which also ranks first all-time at USU for a single season.
As for Morrill, he has now been named Coach of the Year in his respective conference five times during his illustrious career as he was named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year in 1991 while at Montana, and the Big West Conference Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2002 while at Utah State, along with earning WAC Coach of the Year honors in each of the last two seasons.
Utah State (25-6, 14-2) is the top seed in the upcoming WAC Tournament in Reno, Nev., and will play Boise State (15-16, 5-11) in the quarterfinals on Thursday, Mar. 11 at 1 p.m. (MT) in a game that will be televised live on ESPNU.
2009-10 WAC Men's Basketball Postseason Award Winners
Player of the Year: Luke Babbitt, Nevada