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Tulsa Sophomores Johnson and Swanson Earn WAC Basketball Honors

Sophomore Kevin Johnson leads Tulsa in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots
Sophomore Kevin Johnson leads Tulsa in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots
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March 4, 2001

Denver, Colorado - The Western Athletic Conference men's basketball postseason award winners as selected by the league's nine head coaches were announced today.

Tulsa, which placed second in the WAC this season, placed just two players on all-conference teams. Hurricane sophomore forward Kevin Johnson was named to the league's second team, while fellow sophomore Dante Swanson was an all-defensive team selection.

Johnson is Tulsa's team-leader in scoring (13.1), rebounds (6.8) and blocked shots (2.4). He is among the WAC and nation's leaders in field goal percentage (.567) and blocks. Swanson is Tulsa's co-leader in steals with 39 thefts on the season. He also averaged 10.3 points and 3.6 rebounds, while shooting .488 from the field and .467 from three-point range.

The first team is led by Fresno State junior Melvin Ely, who was also voted the WAC's Player of the Year. In conference games only, Ely averaged 18.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and led the WAC in field goal percentage (.627). UTEP senior forward Brandon Wolfram is a first-team selection for the second straight year. Rice's Mike Wilks, Fresno State's Chris Jefferies and Hawaii's Predrag Savovic were also first-team selections.

Fresno State guard Tito Maddox was named the WAC's Freshman of the Year, while Bulldogs' head coach Jerry Tarkanian was named the Don Haskins Coach of the Year after leading the 25th-ranked Bulldogs to a 24-5 record and Fresno State's first ever WAC regular-season title (13-3).

The 2001 Williams WAC Basketball Tournament is this week at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla. The men's teams will compete March 6, 8-10, with the women's competition March 6-7 and 9-10. Fox Sports Net will carry the men's semifinal games on Friday and the championship game on Saturday, March 10 at 9:00 p.m. (CT).

2001 WAC Men's Basketball Postseason Award Winners
All-Conference
First Team
Melvin Ely, Fresno State, C, 6-10, 256, Jr., Harvey, Ill. (Thornton Township)
Brandon Wolfram, UTEP, F, 6-9, 230, Sr., Amarillo, Texas (Amarillo)
Mike Wilks, Rice, G, 5-11, 180, Sr., Milwaukee, Wis. (Rufus King)
Chris Jefferies, Fresno State, G/F, 6-8, 216, So., Fresno, Calif. (Arkansas)
Predrag Savovic, Hawaii, G/F, 6-6, 225, Jr., Herceg Novi, Yugoslavia (UAB)

Second Team
Jeryl Sasser, SMU, G, 6-6, 200, Sr., Dallas, Texas (Kimball)
Kevin Johnson, Tulsa, F, 6-7, 215, So., Missouri City, Texas (HCYA)
Tito Maddox, Fresno State, G, 6-4, 190, Fr., Compton, Calif. (Compton)
Damon Hancock, SMU, G, 6-3, 195, Jr., Lancaster, Texas (Lancaster)
Eugene Costello, UTEP, G, 5-10, 165, Jr., New Orleans, La. (Midland College)

Player of the Year: Melvin Ely, Fresno State
Freshman of the Year: Tito Maddox, Fresno State
Don Haskins Coach of the Year: Jerry Tarkanian, Fresno State

All-Newcomer Team
Chris Jefferies, Fresno State, G/F, 6-8, 216, So., Fresno, Calif. (Arkansas)
Tito Maddox, Fresno State, G, 6-4, 190, Fr., Compton, Calif. (Compton)
Eugene Costello, UTEP, G, 5-10, 165, Jr., New Orleans, La. (Midland College)
Andre Hazel, Nevada, G, 5-11, 175, Fr., Garden Grove, Calif. (Artesia HS)
Phil Martin, Hawaii, F, 6-7, 198, Fr., Ontario, Canada (Cathedral HS)

All-Defensive Team
Melvin Ely, Fresno State, C, 6-10, 256, Jr., Harvey, Ill. (Thornton Township)
Chris Jefferies, Fresno State, G/F, 6-8, 216, So., Fresno, Calif. (Arkansas)
Derrick Davenport, TCU, C, 6-10, 184, Sr., Indianapolis, Ind. (Florida CC)
Mike Wilks, Rice, G, 5-11, 180, Sr., Milwaukee, Wis. (Rufus King)
Dante Swanson, Tulsa, G, 5-10, 170, So., Wagoner, Okla. (Wagoner)