As usual, Weber State’s Damian Lillard put team first after learning he had become the first player in school and Big Sky Conference history to be named to The Associated Press’ All-America team.
“I didn’t even know until I got a tweet,” Lillard told The Tribune on Monday. “This is just as much for the team. If we didn’t win 25 games, I don’t think it would have happened.”
Lillard was named to the third team.
The junior guard, who is expected to enter the NBA Draft, was the nation’s second-leading scorer this season with a 24.4 scoring average. Lillard received three first-team votes and was the last one to make the top three teams.
Kansas forward Thomas Robinson was a unanimous selection for the first team. The 6-foot-10 junior averaged 17.9 points and 11.8 rebounds this season and was a first-team pick by all 65 members of the national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25.
The last unanimous pick was Blake Griffin in 2009.
Joining Lillard on the third team are Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, of Kentucky, Tyshawn Taylor, of Kansas, John Jenkins from Vanderbilt and Kendall Marshall, of North Carolina.
“It’s an honor,” Lillard said. “Teams that lose, one guy usually doesn’t help the team. My success with a top team played into all of the attention that I got.”
Weber State finished the season 25-7.
Lillard, the Big Sky Converence MVP for the second time, was also named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ All-America third team, another first for Weber and the conference. Lillard was also selected the District VIII Player of the Year, as well as being a finalist for the John Wooden, Oscar Robertson and Bob Cousy awards.
As for the NBA, Lillard hasn’t made any official decision.
“I’m leaning toward entering the draft,” he said. ”I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do.”
AP All-America Teams
Statistics through March 13
Thomas Robinson, Kansas, 6-10, 237, junior, Washington, 17.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 53.1 fg pct. (65 first-place votes, 325 points)
Anthony Davis, Kentucky, 6-10, 220, freshman, Chicago, 14.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 64.2 fg pct., 4.6 blocks (63, 321)
Draymond Green, Michigan State, 6-7, 230, senior, Saginaw, Mich., 16.1 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.5 steals (53, 301)
Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, 6-9, 280, sophomore, Columbus, Ohio, 17.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 53.9 fg pct. (30, 246)
Doug McDermott, Creighton, 6-7, 220, sophomore, Ames, Iowa, 23.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 61.0 fg pct., 49.5 3-pt fg pct. (29, 237)
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State, 6-0, 195, junior, Biloxi, Miss., 19.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 47.3 3-pt fg pct., 84.0 ft pct, 1.4 steals (30, 232)
Marcus Denmon, Missouri, 6-3, 185, senior, Kansas City, Mo., 17.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 40.9 3-pt fg pct., 89.8 ft pct., 1.6 steals (22, 220)
Tyler Zeller, North Carolina, 7-0, 250, senior, Washington, Ind., 16.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 55.5 fg pct., 80.9 ft pct., 1.3 blocks (7, 185)
Jae Crowder, Marquette, 6-6, 235, senior, Villa Rica, Ga., 17.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 50.5 fg pct., 2.4 steals (6, 140)
Kevin Jones, West Virginia, 6-8, 260, senior, Mount Vernon, N.Y., 20.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 38.3 minutes, 51.3 fg pct. (2, 112)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky, 6-7, 232, freshman, Somerdale, N.J., 11.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.0 apg (0, 89)
Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas, 6-3, 185, senior, Hoboken, N.J., 17.3 ppg, 4.8 apg, 49.2 fg pct, 43.5 3-pt fg pct. (2, 83)
John Jenkins, Vanderbilt, 6-4, 220, junior, Hendersonville, Tenn., 19.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 44.8 3-pt fg pct., 84.3 ft pct. (2, 73)
Kendall Marshall, North Carolina, 6-4, 195, sophomore, Dumfries, Va., 17.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 9.7 apg, 1.2 steals (5, 49)
Damian Lillard, Weber State, 6-3, 195, junior, Oakland, Calif., 24.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.1 apg, 42.1 3-pt fg pct., 88.1 ft pct., 1.5 steals (3, 45)
Rahe a candidate at CSU
Weber State basketball coach Randy Rahe has been mentioned in a report by the Fort Collins Coloradoan as a possible candidate to replace Tim Miles at Colorado State. Miles was recently hired by Nebraska.
Rahe, a former assistant at CSU under current Utah State coach Stew Morrill, is 120-68 in six seasons at Weber State, including 74-22 in the Big Sky Conference. He was named the league’s coach of the year three times.
The Wildcats finished 25-7 this season, 14-2 in BSC play, good enough for second place.
CSU interim coach Craig Smith, Rams assistant coach Niko Medved and St. John’s assistant Mike Dunlap also are thought to be candidates. As are Indiana assistant Steve McClain, Oral Roberts coach Scott Sutton and Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Rob Jeter. According to The Coloradoan, Sutton and Jeter reportedly were on Nebraska’s list of potential candidates.
Phone calls to Rahe and WSU athletic director Jerry Bovee were not immediately returned.