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PROVO — For the second straight year, Jake Toolson was one of the top honorees in his conference.
A year after winning Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Toolson was named West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year, as announced Tuesday by the conference.
Toolson is the first winner of the award at BYU since the university joined the conference in 2011. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound graduate transfer from Utah Valley University averaged 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game and led the WCC in 3-point shooting with 2.9 per game and a 50% mark.
He joins teammates Yoeli Childs and TJ Haws on the All-WCC first team. Childs led the league in scoring with 22.7 points per game and finished second with 8.5 rebounds, and Haws averaged 16.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game — including the two best single-game assist totals in conference play.
It’s the third time in Childs’ prolific career that he’s won all-league honors, becoming the 10th player in BYU basketball history to do so and joining a list that includes former stars Danny Ainge, Jimmer Fredette, Kyle Collinsworth and Kresimir Cosic, among others.
Are the individual awards nice? Sure, but BYU head coach Mark Pope said last week that the team honors — including an NCAA Tournament berth, a No. 15 national ranking, and 23-plus wins in his first season in Provo — are more important.
"There will be some recognition personally," Pope said. "But at the end of the day, nobody cares about the personal recognition and nobody remembers the personal recognition. They remember what your team did, and that’s just the truth. This team has a chance to have themselves be remembered forever.
"You will be remembered as a team. Your individual efforts may be remembered; but at the end of the day, who really cares? You can’t share it. This team is really focused on trying to do that and I think we have a chance."
Gonzaga’s Filip Petrusev won WCC Player of the Year, while Damon Stoudamire took Coach of the Year honors. The former NBA star nicknamed “Mighty Mouse” in his fourth season turned the Tigers from a 14-18 squad that finished ninth in the WCC a year ago to a 23-9 record, including an 11-5 mark in conference play to finish tied for third.
Pacific’s Jahlil Tripp won WCC Defensive Player of the Year honors.