FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Colorado State again were among the top honorees, this time by the coaches of the Mountain West Conference, as senior guard Gian Clavell was selected as the league’s Player of the Year, while Larry Eustachy was recognized as the Coach of the Year. Senior forward Emmanuel Omogbo was named First Team All-MW along with Clavell, while the pair also was named to the league’s All-Defensive team. The duo was also named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-District team for District VIII earlier today. It also marks the first time that CSU has had two first-team picks in a single season, as the seniors are the 19th and 20th players in program history to earn the award.
The 2017 Mountain West Player of the Year according to the league media, Clavell led the Mountain West in league scoring at 21.2 points per game, including two games of 30 points or more, as well as ranking seventh in rebounding at 6.9 per MW game. The Puerto Rico native tallied a career-high 37 points, with 30 in the second half and the game-winning layup with 3.8 seconds to play, at San Diego State. Often guarding the opponent’s top backcourt player, Clavell also was second in steals (1.8 spg) and 3-pointers made (3.1 3pg) and seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (.409). He has scored in double figures in all 16 Mountain West games and 21 of 22 games played overall, averaging better than 19 points a game this season. He is just the second Ram ever to be recognized as the conference player of the year, joining Mike Mitchell’s recognition in 1990 when CSU was part of the Western Athletic Conference.
Eustachy led the Rams to a 21-10 overall record, 13-5 in the Mountain West and the No. 2 seed in the upcoming MW tournament. The 13 wins tied the program record for conference wins, while CSU also set a new school mark with five consecutive league road wins in a single season. Under his leadership, Colorado State also won seven straight conference games, also a new program record for consecutive Mountain West victories. This is the first time in his five years in the Mountain West and the sixth time overall that Eustachy has been selected as his conference’s coach of the year.
Selected by the league media to First Team All-Mountain West, Omogbo became the new standard for double-doubles in the Mountain West this season, recording a new league record with 13 during conference action. He led the conference in rebounding at 10.9 boards per conference game and ranked 11th in scoring at 15.7 points a contest. He was also third in league field goal percentage, hitting .495 of his shot attempts, and tied for eighth at 1.3 steals per game. The senior scored a career-high 24 points, with 17 coming in the final half, in the win at San Diego State, Jan. 28. Recently, he hit a 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left for the game-winner over San Diego State, Feb. 25. For his CSU career, Omogbo now has 26 double-doubles, which is eighth all-time on the MW career list.
The pair’s recognition on the Mountain West All-Defensive Team marks the fifth and sixth times that a CSU player has been named to the squad and fourth under Eustachy, as current Director of Player Development Pierce Hornung was selected in both 2012 and 2013.
Colorado State will play its first game of the 2017 Mountain West Men’s Basketball Championship on Thursday, March 9 in Las Vegas. The Rams will play at 6 p.m. PT on Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center against the winner of Wednesday’s No. 7 Wyoming/No. 10 Air Force game. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network, with Andrew Catalon and Steve Lappas on the call. It will also air across the Colorado State Sports Network, including flagship KARS 102.9 FM, with Brian Roth on the play-by-play and Adam Nigon handling the analysis.
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