Weber State senior guard Davion Berry was named Big Sky MVP to lead the Wildcats in nabbing several awards, as the conference announced its individual award winners for the 2013-14 season on Monday afternoon.
Here are your award winners:
MVP: DAVION BERRY - Weber State
Per game averages: 19.2 points ... 4.5 rebounds ... 4.0 assists ... 1.0 steals
47.6% FG ... 38.1% 3PT ... 81.1% FT
There have been times when Weber State's offense simply hasn't been working well, but Davion Berry has willed the Wildcats to victory with several strong second-half performances. Over a six-game stretch in the heart of conference play which saw Weber go 5-1 (the loss on the Dylan Garrity 3/4-court prayer), Berry posted consecutive scoring performances of 25, 23, 25, 25, 28, and 29 points.
The first game of that stretch indicated just how valuable Berry was to the conference's best team. On a night where nothing was going right, and the Wildcats were struggling at home against the woeful Thunderbirds of Southern Utah, Berry attacked the basket relentlessly en route to 23 free-throw attempts. He would make 18 of them, and Weber avoided the upset, 65-59.
Berry posted 18 games with 20 points or more, and had season highs of 11 assists and nine rebounds. He finished the season with possibly his most complete game on Saturday night to help seal the Big Sky regular-season title for Weber State, scoring 24 points, dishing 7 assists, and grabbing 6 rebounds.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JOEL BOLOMBOY - Weber State
Per-game averages: 8.8 points ... 10.9 rebounds ... 0.9 blocks ... 0.5 steals
Joel Bolomboy man-handled the rest of the conference defensively, particularly on the glass. The sophomore nabbed 11.7 rebounds per game during conference play, a whopping three rebounds better than the conference's second-best rebounder. Bolomboy's rebounding prowess allowed senior Kyle Tresnak to aggressively go after blocked shots, and the center averaged 1.9 blocks per game in conference contests.
Bolomboy totaled 20 games with 10 rebounds or more. In a home contest against Montana, Bolomboy grabbed 19 rebounds and shot 8-of-9 from the free-throw line to help Weber to the victory.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: QUINTON UPSHUR - Northern Arizona
Per-game averages: 15.8 points ... 3.3 rebounds ... 0.9 assists ... 1.6 steals
44.9% FG ... 39.0% 3PT ... 71.8% FT
Quinton Upshur was key in propelling NAU to a three-seed in the conference tournament, much higher than most prognosticators expected. Upshur transferred to Flagstaff after playing at VMI as a freshman and at Kilgore Junior College as a sophomore. His unexpected contribution made NAU a threat to take down any team on any night.
In the Lumberjacks' final road trip of the season, Upshur scored 28 points at Idaho State (a one-point win) and 26 at Weber State (a two-point overtime win), helping NAU to a 4-0 final stretch and its highest conference finish in six seasons.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: JEREMY SENGLIN - Weber State
Per-game averages: 11.3 points ... 2.2 assists ... 2.1 rebounds ... 0.8 steals
45.5% FG ... 40.7% 3PT ... 75.3% FT
No freshman in the conference looked more game-ready than Jeremy Senglin. After a surprise transfer from key contributor Gelaun Wheelwright, Weber appeared to be in trouble with guard depth. Senglin started at point guard from game one for the Wildcats, scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds in his first college contest in front of 16,000 fans at BYU.
In the second half of the season, Senglin has stretched the floor for Weber State with hot three-point shooting nights, including performances of 5-of-7 and 4-of-8, and shooting at least 50% from behind the arc in five of the last six games.
TOP RESERVE: JAMAL WEBB - North Dakota
Per-game averages: 7.7 points ... 3.6 rebounds ... 3.4 assists ... 1.7 steals
45.1% FG ... 36.7% 3PT ... 60.9% FT
TOP RESERVE: DASHAUN WIGGINS - Portland State
Per-game averages: 12.7 points ... 2.9 rebounds ... 1.5 assists ... 1.1 steals
42.6% FG ... 32.6% 3PT ... 75.5% FT
"Top Reserve" is an award the Big Sky is reintroducing after not awarding since 1988. Players are eligible when they start less than 50% of their teams' games.
Senior guard Jamal Webb did a little bit of everything off the bench for second-place North Dakota, dishing assists, grabbing a few rebounds, and getting steals. Webb combined with Troy Huff to average four steals per game from the UND guard line. Webb followed up a 23-point, eight-rebound performance in a tough road loss to Sacramento State with another good one: 14 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in a win at Northern Arizona.
Junior DaShaun Wiggins scored 15 or more points 12 times to help bolster Portland State's depth. Wiggins scored 20 points and shot 10-of-10 from the free-throw line on Thursday in PSU's upset win over Weber State.
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The conference also named first and second all-conference teams: