Sharp-Shooting Chavez Tops Men's Hoop Preseason Team
The sixth-leading scorer in the GNAC at 16 points per game, Chavez led the Saints to the GNAC Championships final and the school's first NCAA Division II Championships appearance.
The sixth-leading scorer in the GNAC at 16 points per game, Chavez led the Saints to the GNAC Championships final and the school's first NCAA Division II Championships appearance.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – After establishing himself as one of the top guards in the conference in his first year as Saint Martin’s, senior Luke Chavez has been selected as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year to lead selections to the 2018-19 GNAC Preseason All-Conference Team.

Chavez, who was named First Team All-GNAC and Newcomer of the Year last season as well as D2CCA All-West Region, received all but one possible first-place vote from conference coaches. He led the Saints to both an appearance in the finals of the GNAC Championships and the school’s first appearance in the NCAA Division II West Regional Championship.

The transfer from South Puget Sound CC finished sixth in the league in scoring at 16 points per game and was seventh with an .843 free-throw percentage. He also finished third in steals with 1.8 per game, fourth in assists with four per contest and eighth with 1.9 three-pointers made per game.

Chavez is the only returner among last year’s First Team All-GNAC selections and he joins six other All-GNAC selections to earn Preseason All-Conference nods. That list includes Chavez’s teammate, senior guard EJ Boyce, Seattle Pacific senior guard Coleman Wooten and junior guard Gavin Long; Northwest Nazarene senior guard Obi Megwa, Alaska senior guard Alex Baham and Montana State Billings’ guard/forward Zack Rollins.

Other selections to the Preseason All-Conference Team include Western Washington junior forward Trevor Jasinsky and senior guard/forward Siaan Rojas; Concordia senior guard Jarrett Gray, Western Oregon junior forward Riley Hawken, Central Washington senior guard Naim Ladd, Northwest Nazarene junior guard Jayden Bezzant and Simon Fraser junior guard Michael Provenzano.

Rounding out the team is Alaska Anchorage junior guard/forward Tyler Brimhall, the only newcomer selected.

Boyce was a solid complement to Chavez for the Saints. The transfer from Division I San Jose State finished the year averaging 11.6 points per game while shooting 40.3 percent from three-point range and 90.5 percent from the free throw line to earn Honorable Mention All-GNAC honors. A prolific outside shooter, Boyce led the league with three three-pointers made per game.

Wooten earned Second Team All-GNAC honors after finishing with 11 points and seven rebounds per game as the Falcons made a return to the GNAC Championships. His 54.4 percent shooting from the field ranked ninth in the GNAC. The top-returning rebounder from last year, Wooten was seventh in the GNAC with seven boards per game. Long, who was an Honorable Mention All-GNAC choice, led the Falcons in scoring at 11.9 points per game while making 54.4 percent from the field and 80.5 percent from the free throw line.

Megwa was one part of as three-guard tandem that led Northwest Nazarene last year. The Second Team All-GNAC selection finished fourth in the GNAC in scoring, averaging 17 points per game, while making 46.1 percent of his shots from the field. He is the league’s top returning scorer from the 2017-18 season. Bezzant made up another leg of that tandem, ranking 11th in the GNAC at 14.3 points per game and shooting 45.8 percent from the field.

Rollins, an Honorable Mention All-GNAC selection last year, finished the season ranked eighth in the GNAC in scoring at 15.4 points per game. He connected on 42.5 percent of his shots from the field and 82.1 percent from the free throw line. Rollins also finished second the GNAC with 2.5 three-pointers made per game.

Baham, who also earned Honorable Mention All-GNAC honors, was also one of the top three-point shooting threats last year. His 11.5 points per game was second for the Nanooks while his .458 three-point percentage and 2.5 three-pointers made per game ranked third in the GNAC.

Jasinsky will look to step up for a Western Washington team that lost both of its key big men from last season. The senior averaged 10.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game and was ninth in the conference with an .827 three-point percentage. Rojas will also play an enhanced role as well after averaging 8.9 points per game and shooting 50.3 percent from the field during his junior campaign.

Hawken is the lone returning starter off of Western Oregon’s GNAC championship team. The senior forward averaged 8.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while shooting 79.5 percent from the free throw line and averaging 1.6 assists per contest.

Gray, a four-year performer for Concordia, is one of the top returning scorers in the conference. The senior led the Cavaliers and ranked fifth in the GNAC with 16.3 points per game to go along with 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Gray connected on 36 percent of his shots from three-point range and 85 percent from the free throw line.

Ladd will be looked to in an enhanced role for Central Washington under first-year head coach Brandon Rinta. The senior averaged five points and two rebounds per game while making 91 percent of his shots from the free-throw line.

Provenzano is among three returning starters from Simon Fraser. He averaged 8.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore and was third in the GNAC with 4.1 assists per game. Provenzano also was second in the league in free-throw shooting at 87.3 percentage.

Alaska Anchorage’s Brimhall, the only newcomer selected to the Preseason All-Conference Team, joins the Seawolves after leading North Idaho JC to the NWAC title last season. He averaged 12.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game for the Cardinals as a sophomore.

Preseason Player of the Year: Luke Chavez, Saint Martin's

Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
* Luke Chavez Saint Martin’s G 6-3 Sr. Woodacre, Calif.
(South Puget Sound CC)
* Zack Rollins Montana State Billings G/F 6-6 Sr. Pelham, N.Y.
(San Bernardino Valley Coll.)
* Coleman Wooten Seattle Pacific F 6-5 Sr. Maple Valley, Wash. (Tahoma)
Obi Megwa Northwest Nazarene G 6-0 Sr. Phoenix, Ariz. (Mesa CC)
* Trevor Jasinsky Western Washington F 6-7 Jr. Camas, Wash. (Camas)
* Jarrett Gray Concordia G 6-3 Sr. Beaverton, Ore. (Valley Catholic)
* Riley Hawken Western Oregon F 6-6 Jr. Vancouver, Wash. (Concordia Univ.)
* Gavin Long Seattle Pacific G 6-5 Jr. Wenatchee, Wash. (Wenatchee)
EJ Boyce Saint Martin’s G 6-2 Sr. Boise, Idaho (San Jose State Univ.)
* Siaan Rojas Western Washington G/F 6-6 Sr. Concord, Calif. (Santa Rosa JC)
+ Tyler Brimhall Alaska Anchorage G/F 6-5 Jr. Logan, Utah (North Idaho JC)
Naim Ladd Central Washington G 5-7 Sr. Seattle, Wash. (Rainier Beach)
Jayden Bezzant Northwest Nazarene G 6-2 Jr. Tauranga, New Zealand
(Univ of Texas Rio Grande Valley)
Michael Provenzano Simon Fraser G 6-0 Jr. London, Ont.
(Lake Superior State Univ.)
Alex Baham Alaska G 6-4 Sr. Wasilla, Alaska (Peninsula CC)

* - Unanimous Selection
+ - Conference Newcomer


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