Payne Named WCC Defensive Player of the Year; Foster, Roquemore All-WCC
Santa Clara, Calif. - Leading the West Coast Conference in steals and fourth in rebounding, Santa Clara senior Troy Payne has been named the WCC Defensive Player of the Year. He is the first Santa Clara player to ever receive this award. Redshirt-sophomore Kevin Foster was named to the All-WCC First Team and freshman Evan Roquemore was named to the All-WCC Freshman team. Foster is the 58th Bronco since 1952-53 to be named to the First Team. In other league honors, Saint Mary's Mickey McConnell was named the Player of the Year, Marquise Carter of Gonzaga was named the Newcomer of the Year and Saint Mary's Randy Bennett was named the Coach of the Year.
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"Congratulations to all the players honored, including Mickey McConnell as the Player of the Year and Randy Bennett with the Coach of the Year award. All were very deserving and obviously make up a large part of the difficulty of competing in the WCC," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating.
"We are proud to have Kevin, Troy and Evan represent Santa Clara among this group. All three had very good seasons."
"Troy takes a lot of pride in his defense, set a goal to earn the recognition and by achieving that did a great job on the defensive end," continued Keating. "Evan was able to step into a huge role for us as a freshman and continue along the lines of his teammates in having solid freshmen campaigns and in his case going, above and beyond to help our team succeed. Kevin's ability speaks for itself and it was good to see him live up to the pre-season expectations and lead our team to a top-half finish in the conference. There are a lot of deserving players for these awards and our guys are humbled by the honors. Congrats again to all award winners."
Payne leads the WCC in steals and is No. 4 in rebounding, including No. 2 with 3.4 offensive rebounds per game. Payne was the first Bronco to lead WCC in steals since Brody Angley in 2006. On the road in the WCC, he grabbed six steals three times this season (at USD, at Pepperdine, at LMU). He has collected 5+ rebounds in 17 straight games, with 7+ in eight of the last nine games. He has double-figure rebounds in four WCC games this season. He is averaging 9.6 rpg in the last 10 games. He is averaging almost four deflections and three forced turnovers a game in WCC play.
Foster was named to the All-WCC First Team as one of three sophomores on the 10-man First Team. Foster leads the WCC in scoring in overall (19.5 ppg) and WCC games (20.7 ppg). He is the first Bronco to lead the WCC in scoring in league games since Marlon Garnett led the league in scoring in 1997. Foster's 603 points scored this year are No. 3 on the single season list and 16 from the school record (619, Dennis Awtrey, 1968-69). Foster leads the nation in threes made (110) and threes attempted (298) and is No. 2 nationally in threes made per game (3.6). His 110 threes this season are No. 4 on the WCC single season bests list and he is the first Bronco to ever lead the league in threes made per game. His 51 threes in WCC play are No. 7 all-time in a season. He is No. 2 on the team this year with 3.7 apg and 1.7 spg. In league and overall stats in the WCC, he is No. 4 in steals and No. 6 in assists. His 1,208 career points are No. 21 all-time for Santa Clara and he is the first sophomore in WCC history to score 1,000 career points.
After leading all WCC newcomers in assists, points per game, threes made per game, free throw percentage and minutes per game, Roquemore was named to the All-WCC Freshman team. Named No. 20 Freshman nationally this season by BasketballProspectus.com in January (only WCC player), Roquemore started the last 23 games and leads the team with 4.0 apg. He is third with 11.3 ppg and is fourth with 1.1 spg. He averaged a team-leading 5.1 apg and 37.2 mpg in WCC games and was third on the team with 11.8 ppg. Roquemore has already broken the Bronco freshman record for assists, free throws made and free throws attempted. He is No. 2 on the list in free throw percentage (shooting 82.1 % - record is 82.5 percent by Steve Nash in 1993) and No. 3 on the list in minutes played in a season (973, record is 1,049).