BOSTON, Mass. - The preseason honors kept rolling in for UC Santa Barbara junior center Alan Williams as he was named to the 2013 Lou Henson Preseason All-America Team on Wednesday.
The Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the top Mid-Major player in Division I college basketball. The award is named in honor of Lou Henson who retired after a spectacular coaching career that lasted 41 years.
When he left the game in 2005 he was sixth all-time in career Division I wins with 779. He is the winningest coach at both Illinois and New Mexico State. He is one of only 12 coaches in the history of the game to take two schools to the Final Four.
Williams, a returning First Team All-Big West choice and Second Team All-District Selection, was also chosen as the website's Preseason Big West Player of the Year.
"Al is a key ingredient in what we hope to accomplish this season," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "He had an outstanding sophomore season and I expect good things out of him again this season."
In 2012-13, despite battling injuries, Williams had one of the finest all-around sophomore seasons in school history. He became the first Gaucho in 23 years to average a double-double as he finished at 17.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. In fact, he had 15 double-doubles, also the most in 23 years. Additionally, he paced the team with 64 blocked shots and 29 steals. In Big West play, Williams averaged 19.2 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.
A two-time Big West Player of the Week, the Phoenix native scored a career-high 32 points in a pivotal win at Cal State Northridge, collecting 16 rebounds in the same game. Williams had a 29 point, 17 rebound performance in an overtime win at Santa Clara. He also had a career-high 17 rebounds against Cal Poly.
The Gauchos opened practice on Monday, Sept. 30 in preparation for a season that will tip-off with an exhibition game against Cal State East Bay on Sunday, Nov. 3. The regular season will open with a Thunderdome game against Hawaii-Pacific on Friday, Nov. 8 and then the team will travel to UNLV for a game against the Runnin' Rebels on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Season tickets for UCSB men's basketball games are on sale now and can be purchased online by clicking here. There are numerous great plans available for a home schedule that includes Cal and Utah State, in addtion to the regular Big West rivals. For more information, fans can call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or drop by the ticket office in the ICA Building on campus.
Not only do the Gauchos return Williams, they also welcome back senior Kyle Boswell, the Big West Sixth Man of the Year, and sophomores Michael Bryson, Taran Brown, Mitch Brewe and Sam Beeler. Forward John Green, who has missed the last two years with injuries, will also be added to the already potent lineup, as will point guards Zalmico "Z" Harmon (Ventura College) and Eric Childress (Leuzinger HS).