Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Team title sweetens West's award

XU center named A-10 Player of Year

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        When Xavier's David West won Atlantic 10 Player of the Year honors last season, then-coach Skip Prosser was asked what West could do better this season.

        Win the league, Prosser said. “That's an individual thing as well as a team thing,” he said.

        West did just that. Monday, it netted him a repeat top-player distinction.

        “I'm just happy with the accomplishments we've had as a team,” West said. “We won this (league), and ... it feels good.”

        West is the first player in 19 years to win top-player honors twice, and he also was named the league's defensive player of the year. He led the league in rebounding (10.0 rpg.) for a third consecutive season and also led the A-10 in field goal percentage (54.8 percent) and blocks (2.7 bpg.). He ranked fifth in scoring (18.6 ppg).

        “The things he's done, both offensively and defensively, have been huge for this team,” XU coach Thad Matta said.

        The three previous players to win the top-player award twice are West Virginia's Greg Jones (1982-83), St. Bonaventure's Earl Belcher ('80-81) and Rutgers' James Bailey ('78-79).

        The other first-team honorees are St. Bonaventure's J.R. Bremer, LaSalle's Rasual Butler, Temple's Lynn Greer and Saint Joseph's Jameer Nelson.

        MORE AWARDS: XU's Romain Sato was a second-team selection, which surprised some coaches. Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli, when told the five first-teamers, asked, “Isn't there a sixth name (Sato)?” Martelli voted for Sato as player of the year.

        XU junior Lionel Chalmers was named to the third team.

        TV/RADIO INFO: XU's A-10 quarterfinal at noon Thursday will air on Fox Sports Net and WLW-AM (700). Its potential 7p.m. Friday semifinal would air on FSN and WKRC-AM (500) — unless Cincinnati loses Thursday, in which case XU would be WLW. Its potential 6p.m. Saturday title game would appear on ESPN and WLW.



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