Big Honors for XU's Mack, Holloway

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Atlantic 10 Conference revealed the 2010-11 Men's Basketball All-Conference accolades as announced by Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade and the league office on Monday, March 7.

In voting conducted by the Conference's 14 head coaches, Xavier junior guard Tu Holloway was named Player of the Year.  The A-10 coaches also selected Duquesne's T.J. McConnell as the Rookie of the Year, Damian Saunders of Duquesne as Defensive Player of the Year, Temple's Scootie Randall as the recipient of the Chris Daniels Award as the league's most improved player, Khalif Wyatt of Temple as the Sixth Man of the Year and Xavier's Chris Mack as Coach of the Year. In addition, La Salle's Steve Weingarten was tabbed Student-Athlete of the Year in voting among the league's sports information directors.

Holloway finished the regular season second in the A-10 in scoring averaging 20.1 points per game, while tying a league-best with 20.3 points per game against conference opponents this year.  The junior guard also ranks in the top 10 in the A-10 in four other statistical categories including assists (2nd – 5.5 apg), free throw percentage (2nd – .867), minutes played (2nd – 38.3 mpg) and steals (7th – 1.5 spg).  Holloway set the A-10 single-season record for free throws this season as he enters the A-10 Tournament with 228.  This year Holloway is the only player in NCAA Division I to record two triple-doubles, while he is just one of three student-athletes in the nation to average at least 20.0 points and 5.0 assists per game.   The Hempstead, N.Y., native becomes just the second Xavier student-athlete to be named A-10 Player of the Year as Holloway joins David West, who won the award three years in a row between 2001-2003.

A six-time Player of the Week selection this season, Holloway is joined on the All-Conference First-Team by Lavoy Allen of Temple, Richmond senior's Kevin Anderson and Justin Harper and St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson.  Both Allen and Anderson garnered first-team distinction last season.  Allen becomes the first Owls player to repeat as a first-team honoree since Dionte Christmas (2007-08, 2008-09), while Anderson becomes the first, two-time first-team A-10 selection in school history.  Nicholson's spot on the first-team marks the 11th time a Bonnie player as earned such a distinction and the first since the 2002-03 season when Marques Green was named to the first-team.  Harper's spot on the first-team marks the first time in school history that Richmond has landed two, A-10 First-Team honorees in the same year.

The All-Conference Second-Team includes Duquesne teammates Bill Clark and Damian Saunders, Rhode Island's Delroy James, Temple's Ramone Moore and Tony Taylor of George Washington.  Teammates Mark Lyons and Jamel McLean of Xavier, Temple's Juan Fernandez, Anthony Gurley of Massachusetts and Dayton's Chris Wright were named to the A-10 Third-Team.  Xavier's Kenny Frease, Fordham's Chris Gaston, Dayton's Chris Johnson and Temple's Scootie Randall earned Honorable Mention acclaim.

A five-time A-10 Rookie of the Week selection this year, McConnell becomes the third A-10 Rookie of the Year selection from Duquesne (Robert Mitchell, 2006-07; Bruce Atkins, 1978-79).  The Oakdale, Pa., native leads all freshmen nationally in steals per game averaging 2.8 and ranks among the freshmen leaders in assist-to-turnover ratio with mark of 2.61.   McConnell's 82 steals leads the A-10 this year and is four shy of the A-10 freshman record currently held by Temple's Pepe Sanchez (86).  Against league foes, McConnell posted an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.00 as he dished out 68 assists, while committing just 17 turnovers.

McConnell is joined on the All-Rookie team by La Salle's Tyreek Duren, Dwayne Evans of Saint Louis, Langston Galloway of Saint Joseph's and Dayton's Juwan Staten.  The five members of the A-10 All-Rookie team were honored as the league's Rookie of the Week a combined 18 times this year.

For the second year in a row, Saunders was the named the A-10's Defensive Player of the Year.  He becomes the fourth, two-time winner of the award in league history joining UMass' Stephane Lasme (2005-06, 2006-07), Richmond's Tony Dobbins (2002-03, 2003-04) and Temple's Pepe Sanchez (1997-98, 1999-00).  Saunders finished the regular season ranked in the top 10 in the A-10 in steals (2nd – 2.3 spg), blocked shots (2nd – 2.6 bpg), rebounds (5th – 7.8 rpg) and defensive rebounds (7th – 5.0 def. rpg).  In league play, Saunders (Waterbury, Conn.) turned up the defensive intensity as he tied for the lead in steals (2.6), ranked second in blocks (2.6) and fourth in rebounds (8.3).

The A-10 All-Defensive team is comprised of Saunders, Lavoy Allen, Tu Holloway, Rhode Island's Marquis Jones and Kevin Smith of Richmond.  Saunders is a repeat selection from last year, while Allen is named to the All-Defensive team for the third year in a row.

Randall was tabbed the recipient of the Atlantic 10's Chris Daniels Award, presented to the Conference's most improved player. A year ago, the 6-6 forward averaged 1.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and shot 36.2 percent from the floor in 25 games.  This season, the Philadelphia, Pa., native enters the A-10 Championship ranked third on the team in scoring (11.6 ppg) and fourth in rebounding (5.1 rpg).  Randall is shooting 49.8 percent from the floor, including 37.2 percent from three-point territory in 25 games.  His season-high in points (18) came in a win against Georgia at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.

Wyatt has provided a spark off the Temple bench during his sophomore campaign, averaging 9.5 points, and 2.1 rebounds, while recording 48 assists and 37 steals.  The Norristown, Pa., native is just one three Owls to play in all 30 games this year and has averaged 19.0 minutes on the hardwood.  For the season, Wyatt is shooting 46.4 percent from the floor including 41.9 percent from long range.  He has also been solid from the free throw line converting on 77.0 percent of his chances.  Wyatt is the fifth player from Temple to garner Sixth Man of the Year honors.

A two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District First-Team honoree, Weingarten was named the A-10's Student-Athlete of the Year.  The senior forward boasts a 3.86 GPA while majoring in History & American Studies.  Weingarten has appeared in 31 games with three starts for La Salle this year.  The Baltimore, Md., native is averaging 4.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in his final season with the Explorers, while shooting 52.2 percent from the floor.

This year's All-Academic Team includes Weingarten, Saint Louis teammates Brian Conklin (Business Administration) and Paul Eckerle (Biology), Juan Fernandez (Broadcast Journalist) and Rhode Island's Will Martell (Finance).  Martell was also recognized on the All-Academic team a season ago.

Mack claims his first Coach of the Year Award in just his second season at Xavier.  Mack led the Musketeers to a 24-6 overall record during the regular season and a 15-1 mark in the A-10 to claim the regular season title and the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming A-10 Men's Basketball Championship for the fourth time in the last five years and eighth time overall.  Xavier closed out the season winning a season-best nine in a row and has been ranked in the Associated Press top 25 poll for four consecutive weeks.  In just two seasons at Xavier, Mack has posted an overall record of 50-15 and 28-3 in the A-10.  Mack becomes the third Xavier coach to earn the league's top coaching honor joining Thad Matta (2001-02) and Sean Miller (2007-08).

The 2011 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship gets underway Tuesday, March 8 with first round action hosted at four campus sites.  The scene then shifts to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., beginning Friday, March 11 as Xavier opens the quarterfinal round at 12 noon against the winner of Massachusetts and Dayton.