Hunsaker and Aird 1st-Team All-WAC as league announces honors

WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM Ben Aird was named all-conference for the fourth time in his career
WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM
Ben Aird was named all-conference for the fourth time in his career
WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM

March 9, 2014

WAC RELEASE   |   WAC TOURNAMENT BRACKET   |   TOURNAMENT CENTRAL

DENVER – The Western Athletic Conference men’s basketball postseason award winners as selected by the league’s nine head coaches were announced Sunday and regular season champion Utah Valley University is well represented.

Seniors Ben Aird and Holton Hunsaker were both named to the all-WAC first team, Dick Hunsaker was named the Don Haskins Coach of the Year, junior Mitch Bruneel was named to the all-defensive team and freshman Zach Nelson received all-newcomer team honors.

Hunsaker, who played the 1972-73 season at UTEP under Haskins, led Utah Valley to a WAC regular season title in his team’s first year in the conference. It's his third conference coach of the year award in the last four years. The Wolverines are 19-10 overall and finished the regular season with a 13-3 WAC record. Utah Valley's championship marks the 28th time a team hailing from the state of Utah has won the WAC regular season trophy.

For both Aird and Hunsaker, the honor is the second straight season the two have been named first-team all-conference after receiving all-Great West Conference recognition last season. Both also cap their careers as four-time all-conference selections.

New Mexico State junior Daniel Mullings was also voted the WAC’s Player of the Year and joins Aird and Hunsaker on the first team along with Grand Canyon’s Killian Larson and Idaho’s Stephen Madison.

This year’s all-WAC second team consists of Bakersfield’s Issiah Grayson, Chicago State’s Quinton Pippen, Grand Canyon’s Jerome Garrison, New Mexico State’s Tshilidzi Nephawe and Seattle U’s Isiah Umipig.

Kansas City’s Martez Harrison earns the WAC’s Freshman of the Year award. In 16 conference games, Harrison averaged 18.6 points per contest, 4.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.

Joining Bruneel on the WAC’s all-defensive team were Bakersfield’s Aly Ahmed, Grand Canyon’s Garrison, New Mexico State’s Sim Bhullar and Mullings.

Selected to the WAC’s all-newcomer team were Grand Canyon’s Daniel Alexander, Kansas City’s Harrison, New Mexico State’s DK Eldridge, Seattle U’s Umipig and Nelson.

The 2014 WAC Tournament will be held March 13-15, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The Wolverines open play on Thursday at noon PT/1 p.m. MT against Texas-Pan American.


2013-14 WAC Men’s Basketball Postseason Award Winners

First Team All-Conference
Ben Aird, Sr., C, Utah Valley
Holton Hunsaker, Sr., G, Utah Valley
Killian Larson, Sr., C, Grand Canyon
Stephen Madison, Sr., F, Idaho
Daniel Mullings, Jr., G, New Mexico State
 
Second Team All-Conference

Issiah Grayson, Sr., G, Bakersfield
Quinton Pippen, Sr., G/F, Chicago State
Jerome Garrison, Jr., G, Grand Canyon
Tshilidzi Nephawe, Jr., C, New Mexico State
Isiah Umipig, Jr., G, Seattle U

Player of the Year: Daniel Mullings, Jr., G, New Mexico State

Freshman of the Year: Martez Harrison, Fr., G, Kansas City

Don Haskins Coach of the Year: Dick Hunsaker, Utah Valley

All-Defensive Team
Aly Ahmed, Jr., C, Bakersfield
Jerome Garrison, Jr., G, Grand Canyon
Sim Bhullar, So., C, New Mexico State
Daniel Mullings, Jr., G, New Mexico State
Mitch Bruneel, Jr., F, Utah Valley

All-Newcomer Team
Daniel Alexander, Jr., F, Grand Canyon
Martez Harrison, Fr., G, Kansas City
DK Eldridge, Jr., G, New Mexico State
Isiah Umipig, Jr., G, Seattle U
Zach Nelson, Fr., F, Utah Valley