Senior forward Britton Johnsen earned all-Mountain West recogntion for the second straight year.
March 10, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah landed four players on the 2002-03 all-Mountain West Conference team, the most of any school in the league. Junior center Tim Frost, sophomore guard Marc Jackson and senior forward Britton Johnsen were named to the second team, while junior guard Nick Jacobson made the third team. Senior forward Trace Caton earned honorable mention.
Utah went 11-3 in league play and finished tied with BYU for the Mountain West Conference regular-season title. The Runnin' Utes are the No. 1 seed in this week's MWC Tournament by virtue of sweeping BYU during the regular season. Utah, capturing 10 regular-season conference championships in the last 13 years under Rick Majerus, has won the most league titles in the nation over that period.
The league's eight men's head coaches along with a selected media panel picked the all-conference teams, coach, player, freshman and defensive awards. Following Utah's four all-conference selections, BYU had the second-most honorees with three, followed by UNLV and Wyoming with two and New Mexico, San Diego State, Colorado State and Air Force with one.
Frost, in his first season with the Utes after transferring from Portland, ranked tied for 11th in scoring (14.3 ppg), third in field goal percentage (55.3), first in three-point percentage (56.2) and ninth in free throw percentage (78.3) in the MWC during the 14 league games. The Klamath Falls, Ore., native was also tied for 11th in rebounds (4.9 rpg) and seventh in blocked shots (0.93 bpg).
Jackson scored in double figures in the first eight conference games, keying Utah's 9-1 start. The sophomore from Olympus High School in Salt Lake City ranked 15th in scoring (13.4 ppg), 12th in field goal percentage (51.1), third in three-point percentage (47.7), seventh in free throw percentage (84.3), second in assists (3.43 apg), and fourth in assists/turnover ratio (1.60) during the conference season.
Johnsen earned all-league recognition for the second year. He was named the Mountain West Player of the Year and first team all-league in 2001-02. The native of Murray, Utah, ranked 18th in scoring (11.2 ppg), 14th in field goal percentage (46.2), fifth in rebounding (7.0 rpg) and tied for 14th in steals (1.07 spg) in league games despite recovering from a torn ligament in his right thumb the first part of the conference schedule.
Jacobson was named third team all-MWC for the second consecutive season. He was also the league's Freshman of the Year in 2000-01. In the conference season, the junior from Fargo, N.D., ranked 14th in scoring (13.1 ppg), third in free throw percentage (86.0), 15th in three-point percentage (37.8) and tied for seventh in three-pointers per game (2.00).
Caton, regarded as one of the best defenders in the Mountain West, earned honorable mention. The senior from Alamosa, Colo., averaged 5.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game during the conference schedule.
2002-03 All-Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Team
(Selected by head coaches & media panel)
First Team All-Mountain West Marcus Banks, UNLV, 6-2, 200, Sr., Las Vegas, Nev. (Dixie College) Ruben Douglas, New Mexico, 6-5, 200, Sr., G, Altadena, Calif. (Univ. of Arizona) Travis Hansen, BYU, 6-6, 210, Sr., Orem, Utah (Utah Valley State College) Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, Wyoming, 6-10, 260, Sr., F/C, Enugu, Nigeria (Indian Hills CC) Donta Richardson, Wyoming, 6-2, 170, Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sheridan CC)
Second Team All-Mountain West Tony Bland, San Diego State, 6-5, 192, Sr., Los Angeles, Calif. (Syracuse) Tim Frost, Utah, 6-10, 234, Jr., Klamath Falls, Ore. (Portland) Marc Jackson, Utah, 6-1, 185, So., Salt Lake City, Utah (Olympus) Britton Johnsen, Utah, 6-9, 213, Sr., F, Murray, Utah (Murray HS) Dalron Johnson, UNLV, 6-10, 215, Sr., Los Angeles, Calif. (Verbum Dei HS)
Third Team All-Mountain West Rafael Araujo, BYU, 6-11, 260, Jr., Sao Pualo, Brazil (Ariz. Western College) Mark Bigelow, BYU, 6-7, 190, Jr., Olympia, Wash. (Olympia HS) Nick Jacobson, Utah, 6-4, 198, Jr., Fargo, N.D. (Roseville HS, Minn.) Tim Keller, Air Force, G, 6-3, 180, So., Austin, Texas (USAFA Prep) Matt Nelson, Colorado State, 7-0, 240, So., Morton Grove, Ill. (Niles North)
Honorable Mention Air Force - Joel Gerlach (Jr., F); BYU - Jared Jensen (So., F); Colorado State - Andy Birley (Sr., G), Brian Greene (Sr., F), Michael Morris (Fr., G); New Mexico - Mark Walters (Fr., G); San Diego State - Evan Burns (Fr., F), Mike Mackell (Sr., F), Deandre Moore (Sr., G); Utah - Trace Caton (Sr., F); Wyoming - Jay Straight (So., G).
Player of the Year - Ruben Douglas, New Mexico Freshmen of the Year - Evan Burns, San Diego State Defensive Player of the Year - Travis Hansen, BYU and Marcus Banks, UNLV Coach of the Year - Steve Cleveland, BYU