WCC All-Conference Team: Bryant is POY

    
March 4th, 2009

SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- Santa Clara senior center John Bryant turned in one of the most dominating seasons in the last 30 years in WCC history and was rewarded on Monday by being named the Conference Player of the Year in a vote by the league's head coaches. Saint Mary's senior forward Diamon Simpson joined Bryant among the yearly conference award recipients, taking home his second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year honor. Santa Clara's Kevin Foster and Portland's T.J. Campbell shared the Newcomer of the Year award, while Portland Head Coach Eric Reveno was named the Coach of the Year.

Bryant, who is the eighth different Santa Clara player to earn WCC's top honor, was an immovable force during conference play, ranking second in the league in scoring with 18.0 points per game to go along with a staggering 15.1 rebounds per game. Bryant's 15.1 rpg average is the highest clip in the WCC since former San Francisco standout Bill Cartwright averaged 16.1 rpg during the 1978-79 season. In addition, the San Pablo, CA native also paced the conference in field goal percentage (.621) and blocked shots (34). Bryant currently leads the nation in overall rebounds (430), double-doubles (24), and 20-point/20-rebound games (5).

Saint Mary's senior forward Diamon Simpson becomes the first player in WCC history to win multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards. Simpson, last season's WCC Defensive Player of the Year, ranked in the top 10 in rebounding (2nd-9.6rpg), steals (7th-1.43 spg), blocks (5th-1.36 bpg), and defensive rebounds (2nd-6.36). Simpson enters the WCC Tournament needing just three more steals to become the first player in conference history to lead his respective school's career blocks, rebounds and steals charts.

Campbell and Foster made significant impacts on their respective teams this season. Campbell paced the WCC in assists (4.86 apg) during conference play, while scoring 12.6 ppg and shooting an amazing 60 percent (39-for-65) from the three-point line. Foster enjoyed a standout first season, ranking third in the WCC in scoring (16.5 ppg) during conference play. In addition, Foster ranked sixth in assists (3.14 apg) and third in three-point field goals (38). Foster enters the WCC Tournament with 448 points, shattering Kurt Rambis' school freshman scoring record (414).

Reveno, in his third season at the helm of the Portland program, led the Pilots to the program's highest season win total since posting a 19-11 record and going to the 1996 NCAA Tournament. The Pilots, picked sixth in the WCC preseason poll, finished third in the final regular season standings with a 9-5 conference mark. The nine league victories are tied for the second most in program history, trailing only the 1995 season (10-4).

2009 WCC CONFERENCE HONORS

Player of the Year
John Bryant, SCU

Defensive Player of the Year
Diamon Simpson, SMC

Co-Newcomer of the Year
T.J. Campbell, POR
Kevin Foster, SCU

Coach of the Year
Eric Reveno, POR

All-WCC First Team
Matt Bouldin, GON - JR - G
John Bryant, SCU - SR - C
T.J. Campbell, POR - JR - G
Josh Heytvelt, GON - SR - C
Dior Lowhorn, USF - JR - F
Patrick Mills, SMC - SO - G
Gyno Pomare, USD - SR - F/C
Nik Raivio, POR - JR - G
Omar Samhan, SMC - JR - C
Diamon Simpson, SMC - SR - F

All-WCC Freshman Team
Keion Bell, PEP - G
Jarred DuBois, LMU - G
Kevin Foster, SCU - G
James Rahon, SCU - G
Marc Trasolini, SCU - F

All-WCC Honorable Mention
Austin Daye, GON - SO - F
Kevin Foster, SCU - FR - G
Steven Gray, GON - SO - G
Jeremy Pargo, GON - SR - G
Robin Smeulders, POR - JR - F
Jared Stohl, POR - SO - G