March 10, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men's basketball seniors Spencer Butterfield and Jarred Shaw, were the first Utah State men's basketball players to earn all-Mountain West honors, as the pair of Aggies were tabbed to the league's honorable mention list as the MW released the all-conference awards Monday, prior to the start of the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Men's Basketball Championships in Las Vegas, Nev.
The league's 11 men's head coaches, along with a select media panel, picked the All-Conference teams, as well as the coach, player, newcomer, freshman, sixth man and defensive honors.
Butterfield and Shaw both earned second-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors last season, as well as being named to the WAC's all-Newcomer Team. The Aggies have had at least one player earn all-conference honors of some sort in each of the last nine years and this is the seventh time in the last nine years that multiple USU players have earned all-conference accolades. Overall, it is the 20th time since 1979 that the Aggies have had more than one player on the all-conference honors list.
The Aggie duo are the first USU players to earn two all-conference honors since Tai Wesley earned all-WAC accolades in 2010 and 2011. USU men's basketball players have earned 33 all-conference honors under head coach Stew Morrill.
"We're always pleased when any of our players get honored on an all-conference team," Morrill said. "Obviously, the higher you finish in the league, the more players get honored at a higher level. That being said, we're certainly pleased for Spencer and Jarred for them being recognized for their accomplishments. We're very proud of their efforts, for sure."
Butterfield, a 6-3, guard/forward from Loomis, Calif., (Del Oro HS/Yuba CC), is second in the MW-only stats in three-point field goal percentage (.460), while ranking fourth in three-point field goals made (2.2), as well as 19th in scoring (12.8) and 16th in rebounds (5.8). He has posted double-digit points in 14 league games, in addition to double-digit rebounds once. He has netted multiple three-pointers in 13 conference contests, including draining a career-high six treys at San José State on March 1.
"It feels great. I'm honored to get that accolade, but we definitely have more things to do as a team," Butterfield said.
In the overall MW statistics, Butterfield currently leads the MW in three-point field goal percentage at 47.5 percent (67-of-141), also ranking 16th in scoring (13.3) and tied for 14th in rebounding (6.2). He has made 67 three-pointers in 30 games to rank tied for fifth in three-pointers made with 2.2. Butterfield scored in double-figures in 24 games this season and in 43 of last 53 career games played. The sharpshooting senior has made at least one three-pointer in 29 of the 30 games this season, with the New Mexico game (1/28/14) as the lone game without a trey. He has made a triple in 52 of last 55 games, and has 20 multi three-pointer games this season, including 14 of last 19 games, as part of 34 career multi three-pointer games, including new career-best with six triples at San José State (3/1/14).
Shaw, a 6-10 junior center from Dallas, Texas (Carter HS/Oklahoma State), ranks tied for 14th in MW-only in scoring (13.6), as well as fifth in both rebounds (8.8) and field goal percentage (.455) and eighth in blocked shots (1.2). He has 12 double-figure scoring games during MW play, along with seven double-digit rebounding league games, posting six double-double, during MW action. Shaw has also posted two or more blocked shots in seven conference games.
"I wish I could have made a team, but it was good to be honorable mention my first year in the conference. It means a lot, and I'll try to take this and build on it and move forward," Shaw said. "It's a positive thing to earn all-conference two years in a row. It just shows all the hard work that I've put in is paying off somehow, and I just try to keep getting better."
In the NCAA stats as of March 10, Shaw ranks 63rd in overall rebounding (8.5), also ranking 26th in defensive rebounds per game (6.48). In the MW overall statistics, Shaw ranks 13th in the MW in scoring (14.4) and seventh in rebounding (8.5), also ranking fifth in field goal percentage (.482), as well as eighth in blocks (1.2). He posted his second-straight and eighth double-double of the season as well as his 17th of career with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Wyoming (3/5/14), which came after 19 points and career-high 17 rebounds at San José State (3/1/14). Shaw has snared at least seven boards in 18 of the last 20 games played and 21 total times this season. He has had double-digit rebounds in nine games this season and 17 career games.
San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher earned MW Coach of the Year honors, while the Aztecs' Xavier Thames was selected as the Player of the Year. Additionally, UNLV junior forward Khem Birch garnered Defensive Player of the Year accolades for the second consecutive season, while Fresno State guard/forward Paul Watson was recognized as the Freshman of the Year. San Diego State teammates Josh Davis and Dwayne Polee II were chosen as the Newcomer and Sixth Man of the Year, respectively.
Four student-athletes are repeat selections to the All-Conference list in 2013-14, while the remaining 11 make their first appearance on the team. New Mexico's Kendall Williams is the only three-time all-MW honoree among the group, earning first-team accolades for the second straight year following a second-team selection in 2011-12.
Fisher received his third MW coaching award after leading the Aztecs to their fourth Mountain West regular-season crown. San Diego State, picked to finish fourth in the league's preseason poll, amassed a 16-2 record in Conference play in 2013-14.
Utah State men's basketball will be the eighth seed for the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Men's Basketball Championships and will play ninth-seeded Colorado State on Wednesday, March 12 at 3 p.m. (MT) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
Wednesday's game will not be televised, but will be streamed on the Mountain West Network online, with Rich Cellini providing play-by-play with analysis from Joe Cravens. Fans can access the web streaming by clicking on the "Watch Live" link on USU's website, www.UtahStateAggies.com.
The game will also be aired on the radio and audio streamed online on the Aggie Sports Network by clicking on the "Listen Live" link on USU's website, www.UtahStateAggies.com. Al Lewis serves as the play-by-play announcer, while former USU head coach and athletics director Rod Tueller serves as the analyst.
Utah State finished regular-season play with a 17-13 overall record and a 7-11 Mountain West mark, winning its last two games. USU honored its five seniors before the game Wednesday on Senior Night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, then battled to a 65-54 win over Wyoming in the Aggies' regular-season finale.
USU is in its first season in the Mountain West after eight seasons in the Western Athletic Conference. While in its first Reese's Mountain West Men's Championships, Utah State is 25-9 (.735) in conference tournament play under head coach Stew Morrill, who is 32-20 (.615) all-time in tournament play. Overall, Utah State is 38-27 (.594) all-time in conference tournaments, winning seven of its last 10.
The Aggies are also 14-9 against current members of the MW in conference tournament play, but will be facing Colorado State for the first time in a conference tournament contest.
Despite facing off in the postseason for the first time, as well as on a neutral court for the first time, Utah State and Colorado State will be meeting for the 90th time in school history, which is USU's fifth-oldest rivalry. The Aggies and Rams, who also used to be known as Aggies, first met during the 1925-26 season, with USU winning, 39-23. Wednesday's meeting will be the third this season, after the Aggies swept the season-series with the Rams, winning, 57-50, on Jan. 15 in Logan, and 71-62 on Feb. 11 in Fort Collins. USU holds a 54-35 series advantage, as the Aggies' two wins this season come after a five-game win streak for the Rams.
Morrill and USU associate coach Tim Duryea both coached at CSU, with Morrill serving as head coach for the Rams from 1992-98, posting a 121-86 (.585) record there. Duryea, who is in his 13th season at USU, began his coaching career in 1988 at Colorado State, being on the Rams' bench for the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons under head coach Boyd Grant.
Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy was head coach at Utah State from 1994-98, being replaced by Morrill from CSU after Eustachy left USU for Iowa State. Eustachy posted a 98-53 (.649) during his five seasons at USU.
Wednesday's USU-CSU game is the opening game of the Reese's Mountain West Men's Basketball Championships. Following the Aggies-Rams match-up, seventh-seeded Fresno State (16-15, 9-9 MW) takes on 10th-seeded Air Force (12-17, 6-12 MW) at 5:30 p.m. (MT) in game two. Game three pits sixth-seeded Boise State (19-12, 9-9 MW) against 11th-seeded San José State (7-23, 1-17 MW) at 8 p.m. (MT). The first-round games will not be televised, but will be streamed through the Mountain West Network.
Thursday's quarterfinals open with the winner of the USU-CSU match-up taking on top-seed and regular-season champion San Diego State (27-3, 16-2 MW) at 1 p.m. (MT). The Aztecs, who are No. 10 in the nation, knocked off 21st-ranked New Mexico, 51-48, Saturday night in San Diego for the regular-season title and the top seed. The second game of the quarterfinals matches up fourth-seeded UNLV (19-12, 10-8 MW) against fifth-seeded Wyoming (18-13, 9-9 MW) at 3:30 p.m. (MT). Second-seeded New Mexico (24-6, 15-3 MW), takes on the winner of the Fresno State-Air Force game at 7 p.m. (MT), followed by third-seeded Nevada (15-16, 10-8 MW) facing-off with the Boise State-San José State winner. All four quarterfinal games and the two semifinals will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network (Comcast Ch. 269/753HD, Dish Network Ch. 158, DirecTV Ch. 221).
The semifinal round will be played on Friday, March 14, with the winner of the SDSU-game one winner taking on the UNLV-Wyoming winner at 7 p.m. (MT), followed by the UNM-game two winner against the UNLV-game three winner at 9:30 p.m. (MT).
The MW Championship game will tip-off on Saturday, March 15 at 4 p.m. (MT), and will be nationally televised on CBS (Comcast Ch. 2/654HD; Dish Network Ch. 2; DirecTV Ch. 2 in Cache Valley/Salt Lake City).
For Utah State men's basketball ticket information for the Reese's Mountain West Men's Basketball Championships, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation, or in person during regular hours of operation at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Fans can follow the Aggie men's basketball program at twitter.com/AggieHoops. USU fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics, on facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on instagram at instagram.com/USUAthletics.
2013-14 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM (Selected by media and head coaches)
First-Team All-Mountain West Name, Team Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. City, State Cameron Bairstow, New Mexico Sr. F 6-9 250 Brisbane, Australia Deonte Burton, Nevada* Sr. G 6-1 190 Los Angeles, Calif. Kendall Williams, New Mexico** Sr. G 6-4 180 Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Xavier Thames, San Diego State Sr. G 6-3 195 Sacramento, Calif. Larry Nance Jr., Wyoming Jr. F 6-8 225 Akron, Ohio
Second-Team All-Mountain West Name, Team Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. City, State Anthony Drmic, Boise State* Jr. G/F 6-6 196 Endeavor Hills, Victoria Ryan Watkins, Boise State Sr. F 6-9 229 Canyon Country, Calif. Daniel Bejarano, Colorado State Jr. G 6-4 202 Phoenix, Ariz. Tyler Johnson, Fresno State Sr. G 6-4 186 Mountain View, Calif. Khem Birch, UNLV Jr. F 6-9 220 Montreal, Quebec
Third-Team All-Mountain West Name, Team Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. City, State Tre' Coggins, Air Force So. G 6-2 185 San Juan Capistrano, Calif. J.J. Avila, Colorado State Jr. F 6-7 246 McAllen, Texas Alex Kirk, New Mexico* Jr. C 7-0 250 Los Alamos, N.M. Josh Davis, San Diego State Sr. F 6-8 215 Raleigh, N.C. Bryce Dejean-Jones, UNLV Jr. G 6-5 210 Los Angeles, Calif.
All-Defensive Team Name, Team Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. City, State Alex Kirk, New Mexico Jr. C 7-0 250 Los Alamos, N.M. Kendall Williams, New Mexico Sr. G 6-4 180 Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Skylar Spencer, San Diego State So. F 6-10 235 Inglewood, Calif. Xavier Thames, San Diego State Sr. G 6-3 195 Sacramento, Calif. Khem Birch, UNLV Jr. F 6-9 220 Montreal, Quebec Larry Nance Jr., Wyoming Jr. F 6-8 225 Akron, Ohio
Honorable Mention All-Mountain West Derrick Marks, Jr., G, Boise State Marvelle Harris, So., G, Fresno State Cole Huff, So., F, Nevada Hugh Greenwood, Jr., G, New Mexico JJ O'Brien, Jr., F, San Diego State Winston Shepard, So., F, San Diego State Roscoe Smith, Jr., F, UNLV Spencer Butterfield, Sr., G/F, Utah State Jarred Shaw, Sr., C, Utah State
Player of the Year: Xavier Thames, Sr., G, San Diego State Defensive Player of the Year: Khem Birch, Jr., F, UNLV Newcomer of the Year: Josh Davis, Sr., F, San Diego State Freshman of the Year: Paul Watson, Fr., G/F, Fresno State Sixth Man of the Year: Dwayne Polee II, Jr., F, San Diego State Coach of the Year: Steve Fisher, San Diego State
*Indicates number of previous All-Conference selections
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