April 24, 2010

Best of the decade: Non-Big Six leagues

Rivals.com is wrapping up the 2000s in college basketball by selecting the player, coach and team of the decade for all 31 Division I conferences.

Friday, we looked at the "Big Six" conferences. Today, we're examining the other 25 leagues.

ALL-DECADE NON-BIG SIX
AMERICA EAST
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Vermont F Taylor Coppenrath, 2001-05. Coppenrath averaged 21.4 points per game in his career, finishing second in the nation in scoring as a senior (25.1 ppg). He was the league's rookie of the year in 2001-02 before winning America East player of the year in each of his other three seasons on campus.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Vermont's Tom Brennan. His first season with the Catamounts was 1986-87, but Vermont blossomed in the 2000s. Brennan's teams won or shared four regular-season titles while winning three tournament championships before he retired in 2005.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Vermont, 2004-05. Brennan's last team was the only one to win the regular season and America East tournament in the same season. That team will be remembered more for its NCAA tournament appearance. The 13th-seeded Catamounts upset Big East tournament champion Syracuse 60-57 in the first round for the league's only tournament win this decade.
ATLANTIC 10
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Xavier F David West, 1999-2003. West was a four-year starter and a three-time A-10 player of the year for the Musketeers. He helped Xavier to the NCAA tourney in '01, '02 and '03. He averaged double-doubles as a sophomore and as a senior, and finished his career averaging 16.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.4 steals. He shot 53.1 percent from the field for his career.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Xavier's Sean Miller. Miller coached Xavier from 2004-09 and led the Musketeers to the NCAA tournament in each of his final four seasons with the team. Xavier reached the Elite Eight in 2008 and the Sweet 16 in '09. Xavier won the A-10 regular-season title in 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Saint Joseph's, 2003-04. The Hawks blew through the league that season, going 16-0 and winning the regular-season title by four games. Their only pre-NCAA tournament loss came in their first game in the A-10 tourney. Still, they were 27-1 in the regular season and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. They advanced to the Elite Eight before falling to Oklahoma State. Senior G Jameer Nelson was part of a big-time backcourt and was the national player of the year.
ATLANTIC SUN
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Jacksonville G Ben Smith, 2006-10. Smith was a four-year starter for the Dolphins, a three-time first-team All-Sun Belt pick and a league all-freshman selection.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Belmont's Rick Byrd. Byrd guided the Bruins to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 2006-08.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Georgia State, 2000-01. The Atlantic Sun was known as the Trans-America Athletic Conference back then, and the Lefty Driesell-coached Panthers rolled to a 16-2 conference mark, winning the regular-season title by four games. They then won three league tournament games by an average of 24.3 points and earned a No. 11 seed in the NCAA tournament. The run-and-fun Panthers were matched up with a plodding Wisconsin team in the first round and still pulled the upset, 50-49, before falling in the second round to Maryland (which advanced to the Final Four).
BIG SKY
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Eastern Washington G Rodney Stuckey, 2005-07. Although Stuckey played only two seasons of college basketball, he still made quite an impact. Stuckey ranked eighth in the nation in scoring (24.2) as a freshman and seventh (24.6) as a sophomore. He averaged 24.3 points and 4.8 assists while producing 137 steals during his two-year career.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Weber State's Randy Rahe. Rahe has produced a 77-47 overall record and a 52-17 mark in conference play during his four seasons at Weber State. He has led Weber State to three regular-season conference titles, one NCAA tournament bid and two NIT invitations.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Weber State, 2002-03. Weber State posted a 23-6 mark that included a perfect 14-0 regular-season conference record as well as the league tournament title. Weber State - then coached by Joe Cravens - earned a No. 12 seed in the NCAA tournament, where it lost 81-74 to Wisconsin in the opening round.
BIG SOUTH
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: High Point F Arizona Reid, 2004-08. It's a shame Reid never had the chance to play in the NCAA tournament. He's the only player in conference history to finish with 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. He is fourth in Big South history in scoring and first in rebounding. Reid, a two-time conference player of the year, averaged 20 points per game in his final two seasons and averaged a double-double as a senior.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Winthrop's Gregg Marshall. Marshall built Winthrop into the marquee program in the Big South and into one of the nation's most intriguing low-majors. Winthrop won the regular-season title five times and the conference tournament five times from 2001-07 (four times in the same seasons) before Marshall left for Wichita State.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Winthrop, 2006-07. Marshall's last team at Winthrop was his best. The Eagles went 29-5 and undefeated in conference play (14-0). They capped the season by upsetting sixth-seeded Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament.
BIG WEST
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Pacific F Christian Maraker, 2001-06. Maraker, from Sweden, was a three-time first-team all-league performer and was the Big West player of the year in '06. He redshirted as a freshman, then started for four years. He helped the Tigers to three consecutive Big West titles and three consecutive NCAA appearances. Maraker finished his career averaging 13.4 points and 6.6 rebounds. He shot 48.8 percent from the floor and 79.7 percent from the line.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Pacific's Bob Thomason. Thomason guided the Tigers to seven 20-win seasons and three NCAA appearances during the decade. He also won league coach of the year honors three times. Pacific set a school record for wins in 2004-05 with 27.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Pacific, 2004-05. The Tigers dominated league competition, going 18-0 in conference play and winning the regular-season title by five games. They were seeded eighth in the NCAA tournament, receiving an at-large bid after they lost in the league tourney final (that loss snapped a 22-game winning streak). Pacific beat Pittsburgh in the first round of the NCAA tournament before falling to top-seeded Washington in the second round. The Tigers finished 27-4.
COLONIAL
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: VCU G Eric Maynor, 2005-09. After serving as a key backup as a freshman, Maynor was a three-year starter for the Rams, guiding them to NCAA tournament appearances in his sophomore and senior seasons. The Rams won an NCAA tourney game in 2007 as a No. 11 seed, beating Duke. He was a three-time first-team All-CAA performer and a two-time league player of the year.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Old Dominion's Blaine Taylor. Taylor guided the Monarchs to five 20-win seasons during the decade. There also were three CAA tournament titles and two regular-season titles. ODU made postseason appearances in each of the last six seasons of the decade and finished no lower than fourth in the league in any of the last seven seasons.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: George Mason, 2005-06. In one of the most memorable - and, frankly, unbelievable - runs in NCAA tournament history, the Patriots made it to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed. George Mason beat Michigan State in the first round, shocked defending champ North Carolina in the second round, ousted Wichita State in the third round and won an overtime thriller over Connecticut in the regional final. George Mason fell to eventual national champ Florida in a national semifinal. The Patriots tied for the regular-season title with UNC Wilmington, but fell in a league tourney semifinal. Still, they got in the NCAAs as a No. 11.
CONFERENCE USA
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Marquette G Dwyane Wade, 2001-03. Wade was academically ineligible as a freshman, then made up for lost time as a sophomore and junior. He won league player of the year honors as a junior, when he guided Marquette to the Final Four as a No. 3 seed. He averaged 18.7 points as a sophomore and 21.5 as a junior. On the way to the '03 Final Four, Wade had a triple-double - 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists - in Marquette's regional final upset of top-seeded Kentucky.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Memphis' John Calipari. Calipari guided the Tigers to six NCAA appearances during the decade, including a Final Four run in 2007-08. His teams finished first or second in the league or division eight times and had perfect records in conference play in 2006-07, '07-08 and '08-09. In his last four seasons with the Tigers, they were 61-1 in conference action and lost just 14 times overall. Memphis also win an NIT title and made it to the semifinals in its two other NIT appearances in the decade.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Memphis, 2007-08. The Tigers rolled to a 16-0 conference record, winning the regular-season title by four games. Only four of their C-USA games were decided by fewer than 10 points. The Tigers lost just once in the regular season, were third in the RPI and received a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament. They advanced to the national title game but lost to Kansas 65-68 in overtime after blowing a lead because of poor free-throw shooting in the final two minutes. The appearance later was vacated because of NCAA violations.
HORIZON LEAGUE
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Detroit G Willie Green, 1999-2003. This four-year starter earned honorable mention All-America honors from the Associated Press after ranking 11th in the nation in scoring at 22.6 points per game as a senior. He ended his career as the fourth-leading scorer (1,779) in school history.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Brad Stevens, Butler. Not only did he continue Butler's remarkable run of outstanding coaches, Stevens managed to build upon the success of predecessors Barry Collier, Thad Matta and Todd Lickliter. Butler has posted an overall record of 89-15 and a conference mark of 49-5 in Stevens' three seasons and reached the NCAA championship game this season.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Butler, 2009-10. This might be the biggest no-brainer of any category. Butler posted a 33-5 record that included an 18-0 mark in conference play and a league tournament title. The Bulldogs reeled off 25 consecutive victories before falling 61-59 to Duke in the NCAA championship game.
IVY LEAGUE
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Cornell F Ryan Wittman, 2006-10. Wittman earned first-team all-Ivy League honors each of his last three years. He was a unanimous pick as league player of the year and an honorable mention Associated Press All-America selection as a senior. He set Ivy League records for 3-pointers in a season (109) and a career (377). Wittman averaged 17.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while leading Cornell to the Sweet 16 in 2010.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Penn's Fran Dunphy. Dunphy led Penn to league titles in 2002, '03, '05 and '06 before leaving to take over Temple's program. Penn posted an overall record of 104-41 and an Ivy League mark of 60-10 in Dunphy's last five years at the helm.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Cornell, 2009-10. Cornell won its third consecutive Ivy League title, earned its first national ranking in 59 years and advanced to the Sweet 16. Cornell set an Ivy League record with 326 3-pointers and set school records in points (2,545), baskets (913), assists (543) and blocks (127). Cornell's 18 wins away from home were the most of any Division I program.
METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Manhattan G Luis Flores, 2001-04. Flores began his career at Rutgers before transferring to Manhattan. He was a three-year starter and a three-time first-team all-league performer for the Jaspers. He was the league's player of the year as a junior and as a senior. He averaged 19.4 points as a sophomore, 24.6 as a junior and 24.0 as a senior. He shot at least 86.3 percent from the foul line in each of his three seasons at Manhattan and led them to a first-round NCAA tournament victory over Florida as a No. 12 seed in '04.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Manhattan's Bobby Gonzalez. Gonzalez guided the Jaspers to three regular-season titles, two NCAA appearances and two NIT berths during the decade. He led Manhattan to the second round of the 2004 NCAA tournament.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Siena, 2008-09. The Saints finished 16-2 and won the league regular-season title by two games. They earned a No. 9 seed in the NCAA tournament and beat Ohio State in double-overtime in the first round in Dayton, Ohio.
MID-AMERICAN
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Western Michigan G David Kool, 2006-10. Kool was among the MAC's best in each of his four seasons. He was freshman of the year in 2006-07, a first-team all-conference pick his last three seasons and MAC player of the year as a senior. He led the conference in scoring each of his last two seasons while averaging 17.0 points for his career. Alas, he never played in the postseason.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Kent State's Jim Christian. Christian led Kent State to the NCAA Tournament twice and the NIT three times in six seasons; Kent State won 20 games in each of those seasons. He holds the MAC record in career win percentage by going 138-58 (70.4 percent) before leaving for TCU in 2008.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Kent State, 2001-02. Led by future NFL tight end Antonio Gates, the Golden Flashes went 30-6 overall and 17-1 in the conference, the best marks for any MAC team this decade. Kent State beat No. 7 seed Oklahoma State, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Pittsburgh on the way to an NCAA regional final. Kent State lost to Indiana 81-69 to miss out on a trip to the Final Four.
MID-EASTERN ATHLETIC
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Coppin State G Tywain McKee, 2005-09. McKee earned second-team All-MEAC honors as a freshman and made the first team each of his other three seasons. He earned honorable mention All-America honors from The Associated Press as a senior and ended his college career with a school-record 2,158 points.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Morgan State's Todd Bozeman. Bozeman rebuilt a downtrodden program so quickly that he has earned two NCAA tournament bids and one NIT invitation in four seasons. Before Bozeman arrived, Morgan State hadn't enjoyed a winning season since 1988-89.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Hampton, 2000-01. Hampton tied for the conference's regular-season title, won the MEAC tournament and capped a 25-7 season by stunning No. 2 seed Iowa State 58-57 in the NCAA tournament. Hampton went 17-1 in conference play and won the league tournament again the following season, but the stunner over Iowa State gives the 2001 team the edge.
MISSOURI VALLEY
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Creighton F Kyle Korver, 1999-2003. After a solid freshman season, Korver blossomed into one of the league's best players for the next three seasons. He was a two-time league player of the year winner, as a junior and a senior. He had great range and hit 45.2 percent of his career 3-point attempts. Korver made 48 percent from beyond the arc as a senior. For his career, he averaged 14.1 points and 5.2 rebounds and shot 89.1 percent from the foul line. Creighton played in the NCAA tournament in each of his four seasons, and the Jays advanced to the second round as a No. 12 seed in 2002.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Creighton's Dana Altman. He guided the Bluejays to five NCAA tournaments during the decade. Creighton was a double-digit seed four of those times and won once as a No. 12 seed, beating Florida in double-overtime in the first round in 2002. Altman's teams averaged more than 20 wins per season during the decade and made postseason appearances every season. The Bluejays finished first or second in the league seven times during the decade, with the worst finish being fourth.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Southern Illinois, 2006-07. SIU went 15-3 in league play during the regular season, winning the title by two games. The Salukis lost in the league tournament final but still were rewarded with a No. 4 seed. They advanced to the Sweet 16 that season, beating Holy Cross and Virginia Tech before losing to top-seeded Kansas by three. SIU finished 29-7 that season.
MOUNTAIN WEST
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Utah C Andrew Bogut, 2003-05. Bogut's sophomore season was memorable enough to give him the nod over all the conference's four-year players. Bogut was the consensus national player of the year that season. He averaged 20.4 points and 12.2 rebounds while leading the nation with 26 double-doubles. He averaged 16.5 points and 11.1 rebounds and shot 60.3 percent during his two-year career.
COACH OF THE DECADE: BYU's Dave Rose. BYU has earned four NCAA tournament bids and one spot in the NIT during Rose's five seasons on the job. The Cougars have won at least a share of three conference titles and haven't finished below second in the MWC standings since the arrival of Rose, who owns a 127-40 overall record that includes a 64-16 mark in league competition.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Utah, 2004-05. Utah posted a 29-6 record that included a 13-1 regular-season conference mark and a berth in the Sweet 16 as a No. 6 seed. New Mexico's 2010 team earned a higher seed (three), but Utah's 2005 squad gets the nod because it made a longer tournament run.
NORTHEAST
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Central Connecticut State C Corsley Edwards, 1998-2002. Even if you remove the two seasons Edwards played in the 1990s, he still had a standout career. He averaged 15.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.0 assist as he won conference player-of-the-year honors as a senior in 2001-02. He also averaged 16.2 points and 7.9 boards as a junior, and was a second-round NBA draft pick.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Robert Morris' Mike Rice. Howie Dickenman at Central Connecticut State would get the award for longevity, but Rice's teams have been more consistent, albeit in a shorter time frame. Rice led Robert Morris to the postseason in each of his three seasons, including two NCAA appearances. Robert Morris is 46-8 in NEC games under Rice.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Central Connecticut State, 2001-02. Led by Edwards, Central Connecticut State went 27-5 overall and 19-1 in the NEC before losing to third-seeded Pittsburgh in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
OHIO VALLEY
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Tennessee-Martin G Lester Hudson, 2007-09. Martin was the OVC player of the year and received honorable mention on The Associated Press All-America team each of his two seasons at Tennessee-Martin after coming over from Southwest Tennessee Community College. He ranked fifth in the nation in scoring (25.7) as a junior and was second in the nation (27.5) as a senior.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Austin Peay's Dave Loos. With Loos at the helm throughout the decade, Austin Peay earned two NCAA tournament bids, one NIT invitation and one CIT berth while winning at least a share of four OVC regular-season titles. Loos was selected as the conference's coach of the year in 2003, '04 and '08. Loos has more conference wins than any coach in OVC history.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Murray State, 2009-10. Murray State went 31-5 to set school and OVC records for wins in a season. The Racers won 17 consecutive games at one point in the season and upset Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA tournament before falling 54-52 to eventual national runner-up Butler.
PATRIOT LEAGUE
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Bucknell G Charles Lee, 2002-06. Lee was the league's player of the year, the conference tournament's most outstanding player and an honorable mention Associated Press All-America selection as a senior. He also earned first-team all-league honors as a junior. Lee helped Bucknell advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament in back-to-back seasons.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Holy Cross' Ralph Willard. Willard led Holy Cross to NCAA tournament bids in 2001, '02, '03 and '07 plus an NIT appearance in 2005. Willard posted a 192-117 record in 10 seasons at Holy Cross before leaving to join Louisville coach Rick Pitino's staff for the 2009-10 season. Holy Cross had won a total of 22 games in the three years before his arrival.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Bucknell. 2005-06. This was the first team in Patriot League history to go unbeaten in league competition. Bucknell went 27-5, set a school record for victories, earned a No. 9 seed in the NCAA tournament and knocked off Arkansas in the opening round. Bucknell was ranked 25th in the final coaches' poll, which came out after the NCAA tournament.
SOUTHERN
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Davidson G Stephen Curry, 2006-09. Curry averaged 25.3 points in his three seasons with the Wildcats. Any respectable highlight reel for the decade would include several Curry moments, including a 44-point performance against Oklahoma as a junior or his electrifying play in leading Davidson to the Elite Eight in the 2008 NCAA tournament.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Davidson's Bob McKillop. McKillop has been at Davidson since 1989, but the 2000s were his best decade. Davidson reached the NCAA tournament in 2002 and '06 and the NIT in '05, all without Curry. His Wildcats also reached the NCAAs with Curry and '07 and '08. Davidson had double-digit SoCon wins nine consecutive times during the decade.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Davidson, 2007-08. The 10th-seeded Wildcats fell 59-57 to eventual national champion Kansas in an NCAA tournament regional final. Curry was dominant, averaging 32.0 points per game in the tournament. Davidson beat seventh-seeded Gonzaga in the first round, No. 2 Georgetown in the second and third-seeded Wisconsin in the third before falling to the top-seeded Jayhawks. The Wildcats weren't too shabby during the regular season, either, going 29-7 overall and 20-0 in conference.
SOUTHLAND
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Southeastern Louisiana G/F Ricky Woods, 2004-06. Woods began his career at Norfolk State before moving on to a junior college and then Southeastern. He was a first-team all-league player in both his seasons with the Lions. He was the SLC player of the year as a senior, when he averaged 17.8 points and 10.9 rebounds and had 18 double-doubles and one triple-double.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Sam Houston State's Bob Marlin. Sam Houston State averaged a bit more than 20 victories a season during the decade under Marlin, who guided them to two NCAA appearances before leaving for Louisiana-Lafayette after this past season.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Northwestern State, 2005-06. The Demons went 15-1 in league play and won the regular-season title by four games. They shocked Iowa in the first round of the NCAA tournament as a No. 14 seed, rallying from a double-digit deficit and winning it at the buzzer. They are the only Southland team to win a non-play-in NCAA tournament game since 1985.
SOUTHWESTERN ATHLETIC
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Alabama A&M G Obie Trotter, 2002-06. Trotter averaged 15.1 points in his four-year career, leading the Bulldogs to the 2005 NCAA tournament. His biggest contributions, though, may have come on the defensive end. Trotter led the nation in steals in 2004-05, when he was SWAC player of the year.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Alabama State and Southern's Rob Spivery. Spivery took two league teams to the NCAA Tournament - Alabama State in 2001 and '04 and Southern in 2006. He was SWAC coach of the year at each of those schools.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Alcorn State, 2001-02. The Braves went 21-11 overall and 16-2 in the SWAC before losing to Siena in the play-in game of the NCAA Tournament. Alcorn State started 13-0 in league play and won the conference title by four games.
SUMMIT
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Oral Roberts F Caleb Green, 2003-07. Green was a three-time conference player of the year and he averaged 19.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists. His finest moment came against Kansas in 2006, when he had 20 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in an upset of the host Jayhawks.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Oral Roberts' Scott Sutton. Sutton led the Golden Eagles to the postseason four times during the decade, including three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 2006-08.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Oral Roberts, 2007-08. Although Oral Roberts defeated Kansas in Lawrence a year earlier, the Golden Eagles' 2007-08 team was better. That season, Oral Roberts went 24-9 overall and 16-2 in the first season after the Summit League changed its name from the Mid-Continent Conference and expanded to 10 teams. ORU lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament as a No. 13 seed to Pittsburgh. Oral Roberts defeated Oklahoma State 74-59 that season when the Cowboys were coached by Scott Sutton's brother, Sean.
SUN BELT
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Western Kentucky G/F Courtney Lee, 2004-08. Lee was a four-year starter for the Hilltoppers and was the league's player of the year as a senior, when he led WKU to a Sweet 16 berth. He also was a three-time first-team all-league selection.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Western Kentucky's Darrin Horn. Horn spent five seasons (2003-08) with the Hilltoppers, guiding them to a Sweet 16 appearance and two NIT bids. Western had four 20-win seasons under Horn and finished first or second in the East Division in each of those four seasons.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Western Kentucky, 2007-08. The Hilltoppers tied for the regular-season title with South Alabama, going 16-2 and finishing five games ahead of anybody else in the league. WKU won the league tourney, then advanced to the Sweet 16 as a No. 12 seed by beating Drake and San Diego. It was the first Sweet 16 appearance by a league team since WKU in 1993.
WEST COAST
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Gonzaga F Adam Morrison, 2003-06. Morrison led the nation by averaging 28.1 points per game and was a consensus All-American his final year at Gonzaga. He earned first-team All-WCC honors in 2005, was named the WCC player of the year in 2006 and was the MVP of the conference tournament in each of his last two seasons.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Gonzaga's Mark Few. This was one of the easiest calls to make. Few coached Gonzaga to the WCC regular-season title and an NCAA berth every season this decade. Gonzaga also reached the WCC tournament championship game every season and won the tournament title every year but 2003, '08 and '10.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Gonzaga, 2005-06. Gonzaga's 29-4 season included a perfect conference record as well as a WCC tournament title. Gonzaga was ranked fifth in the final Associated Press poll, earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 before collapsing down the stretch in a 73-71 loss to eventual runner-up UCLA.
WESTERN ATHLETIC
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Nevada F Nick Fazekas, 2003-07. He was a three-time league player of the year and a consensus All-America selection in 2007. He was a third-team All-American as a sophomore and a second-teamer as a junior. He averaged a double-double as a junior and as a senior. For his career, Fazekas averaged 18.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. He also shot 53.2 percent from the field and 81.5 percent from the line. Fazekas is Nevada's leading career scorer.
COACH OF THE DECADE: Nevada's Mark Fox. In five seasons as coach (2004-09), he guided the Wolf Pack to four regular-season titles and three NCAA appearances.
TEAM OF THE DECADE: Nevada, 2006-07. The Wolf Pack won the regular-season title by three games and were ranked in the top 10. But a late-season injury to G Kyle Shiloh led to a No. 7 NCAA seed and a second-round tournament loss.




 

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