Monday, February 10, 2003

Career showing by West says all

XU star mentioned in same breath with Atlantic 10 legends

By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer

David West had something to tell his mother Saturday night.

"He called to tell me he had the game of his life," said Harriett West, who was unable to see Saturday's Xavier-Dayton game in Garner, N.C., but surely will be on the phone today requesting a video tape.

West earned a record fourth consecutive Atlantic 10 Player of the Week Award on Sunday, thanks to his 47-point, 18-rebound effort in 20th-ranked Xavier's 85-77 victory over Dayton. He has won the award 12 times overall, also a record.

West is continually recognized because he delivers three components: points, rebounds and wins. He holds the A-10 record for single-game double-doubles with 62.He also is the league's all-time leading rebounder with 1,191 and tops the charts this season with a 12.4 average.

By defeating the Flyers, the Musketeers won their eighth consecutive game and tied Dayton for first place at 8-1 in the league. Xavier has an 85-30 record, one regular-season A-10 West title and a conference tournament championship during West's career.

West has been named A-10 player of the year for two straight seasons, and would make conference history if he three-peats.

"No question, David West is one of the best ever in the league," said Dayton coach Oliver Purnell. "Night in and night out, he'll have 18 (points) and 13 (rebounds). Twenty-one and 15. That kind of consistency over time makes him a guy you can build a team around."

Purnell made those comments before West turned in one of the best performances in A-10 history Saturday afternoon at Cintas Center.

West's domination clearly places him into a select group of individuals who have ruled the A-10 since the league's formation in 1976. He can be considered with the likes of Massachusetts' Marcus Camby and Lou Roe; Temple's Mark Macon and Eddie Jones; and George Washington's Mike Brown.

West's Xavier teams haven't enjoyed the NCAA Tournament success of UMass in the mid-90s or Temple in the early '90s. The Musketeers have made the tournament the past two seasons but failed to get past the second round.

Temple coach John Chaney believes West still measures up with the all-time greats.

"Camby was great, and West is right in there with those guys as one of the best ever," said Chaney, who, in his 21st season, has the longest tenure of any A-10 coach.

Chaney said West, like all great players, is particularly effective because he demands so much attention defensively from opponents. Dayton chose not to double team West - a major reason he was able to score as much as he did.

But even if you double-team West, Chaney said, he can still hurt you.

"When he's double-teamed, he can always find the guy that's open," Chaney said. "In most instances, he can make the passes that make other players better. A great player has to be smart."

West has 62 assists this season, the second most on the team behind guard Dedrick Finn, who has 83.

SATO HEALTHY: Xavier junior Romain Sato rested at home in Dayton after suffering a concussion during Saturday's game.

"He's doing fine," said Sato's guardian, Tiffany Thompson. "He just needs to rest today."

Sato is expected to practice today. The Musketeers' next game isn't until Saturday against Rhode Island at Cintas Center.

Sato fell while trying to grab a rebound in the second half and hit the back of his head on the court. He finished the game but appeared dizzy afterward. He was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, underwent a CAT-Scan and was released.


How West stacks up
A comparison between David West and other A-10 greats:

David West, Xavier, 1999-2003*
Points: 1,910
Rebounds: 1,191 (A-10 all-time leader)
Player of the Year Awards: 2
*Xavier has seven A-10 games left as well as the A-10 and NCAA tourneys.

Marcus Camby, Massachusetts, 1994-96
Points: 1,387
Rebounds: 642
Player of the Year Awards: 1

Lou Roe, Massachusetts, 1992-95
Points: 1,905
Rebounds: 1,070
Player of the Year Awards: 1

Mark Macon, Temple, 1988-91
Points: 2,609 (A-10 all-time leader)
Player of the Year Awards: 1

Eddie Jones, Temple, 1992-94
Points: 1,470
Player of the Year Awards: 1

Mike Brown, George Washington, 1982-85
Points: 1,916
Rebounds: 1,166
Player of the Year Awards: 0

Next for XU
Saturday: vs. Rhode Island, Noon.
TV: Fox Sports Net

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