SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara's Orlando Johnson was named First Team All-Big West Conference for the third straight season and teammate James Nunnally was selected second team all-conference it was announced Monday.
Johnson became the first UCSB player ever to earn three straight first team honors. For Nunnally, it was his third straight year earning recognition and the second time he has been named to the second team.
"Both players are very deserving," said head coach Bob Williams. "Orlando being the first player we've ever had to make first team three times really speaks volumes about him, how good he is, how hard he works and how consistent he is. James is playing the best basketball of his time here and that says a lot too."
Johnson enters the Gauchos game against Pacific in the first round of the Big West Tournament as the Gauchos' leader in scoring (20.0 points per game) and assists (2.9 per game). He is also third in rebounding (6.0 per game), first in three-point baskets (59) and first in steals (30). A finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, Johnson also became the school's all-time leading scorer in a Feb. 25 win over Cal Poly and now has 1,754 points in his three seasons.
Nunnally is averaging 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He has 48 three-point baskets and leads the Gauchos in free throw percentage at 78.9%. In the regular season finale against UC Davis, he became just the fifth player in school history to eclipse 1,600 points and he now ranks fourth all-time in scoring with 1,619 career points.
Long Beach State's Casper Ware was named Big West Player of the Year and his coach, Dan Monson, was selected Coach of the Year. Cal State Northridge's Stephen Hicks was selected Freshman of the Year and Cal State Fullerton's D.J. Seeley was chosen Newcomer of the Year.
Johnson and Ware were joined on the all-league first team by Long Beach State's Larry Anderson and T.J. Robinson, Seeley and UC Riverside's Phil Martin.
UCSB's game against Pacific will tip-off at noon at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Tickets for the tournament are available from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus or by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272).