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SPU's Downs Selected GNAC Preseason Player of the Year
SPU guard David Downs (2) has been selected the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year.
SPU guard David Downs (2) has been selected the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

2013-14 GNAC Preseason All-Conference Team

Player School Ht. Pos. Yr. Hometown
*David Downs SPU 6-2 G Sr. Kirkland, WA
*Mark McLaughlin CWU 6-6 G Sr. Bothell, WA
*Richard Woodworth WWU 6-3 G Sr. Bellevue, WA
*Kyle Fossman UAA 6-0 G Sr. Haines, AK
*Patrick Simon SPU 6-8 F Sr. Ephrata, WA
*Teancum Stafford UAA 6-5 F Jr. Auburn, WA
*Sergej Pucar UAF 6-11 C Sr. Belgrade, Serbia
*Kevin Rima NNU 6-7 F Jr. Fairbanks, AK
*Austin Bragg WWU 6-9 F Sr. Longview, WA
Travis Thompson UAA 6-1 G Jr. Anchorage, AK
Andy Avgi WOU 6-6 F So. Woodburn, OR
Riley Stockton SPU 6-4 G Jr. Spokane, WA
JB Pillard CWU 6-9 C Sr. Kirkland, WA
Kevin Davis CWU 6-9 C Sr. Federal Way, WA
Kalob Hatcher MSUB 5-11 G Sr. San Diego, CA
David Gebru SFU  6-9  F/C Sr.  Seattle, WA 
*Unanimous          


PORTLAND, Ore. –  Seattle Pacific senior guard David Downs, who already ranks as one of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference all-time leaders in scoring, three-pointers made and assists, has been voted the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year.

Downs was one of 16 players selected to the GNAC preseason all-conference team by the GNAC’s 10 head coaches.

Downs, a two-time GNAC first-team postseason all-conference selection, goes into the season ranked 46th all-time in points with 1,132.  He also ranks ninth in GNAC history in assists (411) and 18th in three-pointers made (163).

He was a Division II Bulletin honorable mention All-American selection last year and was also the MVP in the GNAC conference tournament.

“David has already had a great career to this point,” SPU coach Ryan Looney said.  “He came into our program as a guy who could really score.  He can still do that, but he has really developed the ability to play point guard.

“He led our conference in assists (5.5 per game) a season ago and we are expecting some of those same things again this year.”

Downs was one of three Falcons, who were a near unanimous pick to win the GNAC title in the coaches’ poll released Tuesday, named to the preseason team.

Joining him on the all-conference squad were teammates Patrick Simon and Riley Stockton.

Simon was a second team all-conference selection last season when he averaged 13.4 points and 4.6 rebounds. 

Stockton, meanwhile earned honorable mention honors in his sophomore season when he led the GNAC in rebounding (7.5) and was selected the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Joining the three Seattle Pacific players on the preseason unit are three players each from Alaska Anchorage and Central Washington, two from Western Washington and one each from Alaska Fairbanks, Montana State Billings, Northwest Nazarene, Simon Fraser and Western Oregon.

UAA players voted to the team were guards Kyle Fossman and Travis Thompson and forward Teancum Stafford.

Fossman earned first team GNAC honors a year ago when he ranked seventh in the conference in scoring (14.8), second in total three-pointers made (2.6) and fifth in three-point percentage (44.5).

He goes into the season ranked eighth all-time in GNAC history in three-point percentage (45.7).

Thompson, who led the GNAC in three-point percentage (47.6) and averaged 11.8 points two years ago before redshirting last season, ranks sixth all-time with a 46.3 career three-point percentage. 

Stafford averaged 14.2 points last season, ranking 10th in scoring, 11th in three-pointers made (1.8) and 13th in percentage (41.0).

Both Thompson (in 2011-12) and Stafford (in 2012-13) were second team GNAC all-conference selections.

Earning preseason honors from Central Washington were guard Mark McLaughlin, forward JB Pillard and center Kevin Davis.

McLaughlin, who was the No. 2 vote-getter behind Downs in the preseason balloting, led the conference in scoring last season averaging 22.8 points in earning first team all-conference honors.

Pillard redshirted last season after transferring from Northwest Nazarene where two years ago he averaged 15.2 points and 6.4 rebounds and was one of the top shooters in the conference ranking fourth with a 58.1 percentage.

Davis averaged 11.9 points and 7.3 rebounds and tied for the GNAC lead in blocks (62) two years ago.  Last year he didn’t join the Wildcats until midseason and finished with 8.2 and 5.1 scoring and rebounding averages.

Earning preseason honors for Western Washington, the two-time regular season defending champions, were guard Richard Woodworth and center Austin Bragg.

Woodworth, who finished third overall in the balloting, earned second team honors a year ago, averaging 11.1 points and ranking second on the team in assists (117).  Two years ago, he earned Elite Eight all-tournament honors in leading the Vikings to the NCAA Division II national title.

Bragg was a 2012-13 GNAC honorable mention pick, averaging 9.1 points and leading WWU in rebounds (7.3) and blocks (43).

Completing the preseason all-conference team are center Sergej Pucar of Alaska Fairbanks, point guard Kalob Hatcher of Montana State Billings, forward Kevin Rima of Northwest Nazarene,  forward/center David Gebru of Simon Fraser and forward Andy Avgi of Western Oregon.

Pucar was a second team all-conference selection averaging 10.8 points and 6.6 rebounds.

Hatcher  averaged 6.3 points and ranked third in the conference in assists averaging 4.7 in earning honorable mention honors.

Rima was also an honorable mention election averaging 11.2 points and 7.5 rebounds. His rebound total ranked second in the GNAC.

Gebru played in only seven games, but was impressive averaging 17.3 points and 7.0 rebounds. He had 34 points in a game against Western Washington.

Avgi ranked fourth in the conference in scoring (16.2) and field goal percentage (57.7) and also grabbed 5.1 rebounds per contest in earning GNAC Freshman of the Year and honorable mention all-conference honors.

A total of nine of the preseason all-conference honorees were unanimous selections, led by Downs, McLaughlin and Woodworth.

Also earning unanimous honors were Fossman, Simon, Stafford, Pucar, Rima and Bragg.

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