Stinger: MSUB's Wiggins Leads Men's Basketball All-GNAC
Carrington Wiggins enters the GNAC Championships averaging 18.1 points per game and leads the conference with 1.89 steals per game.
Carrington Wiggins enters the GNAC Championships averaging 18.1 points per game and leads the conference with 1.89 steals per game.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

PORTLAND, Ore. – He has been one of the conference’s most prolific scorers over the last two seasons and now coaches have deemed Montana State Billings’ senior guard Carrington Wiggins the best.

After helping lead the Yellowjackets to their best season in 17 years, Wiggins was named by coaches as the Player of the Year and leads the the 2022-23 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball All-Conference Team.

Wiggins has distinguished himself as a scoring threat from just about anywhere on the floor. He finished the regular season ranked second in the GNAC with 18.1 points per game and was fifth with 2.07 three-pointers made per game. Wiggins leads the conference and ranks sixth in Division II with a .918 free-throw percentage, making 112 of 122 free throws this season. In addition to his offensive prowess, Wiggins leads the conference with 1.89 steals per game.

Montana State Billings claimed three of the five end-of-season awards as voted upon by coaches. Senior forward Bilal Shabazz was named the Defensive Player of the Year while Mick Durham was selected by his peers as the Coach of the Year.

Wiggins and Shabazz were both First Team All-GNAC selections with Wiggins being the only repeat first-team selection.

Shabazz was one of two players to finish the regular season ranked in the top 10 in the GNAC in both scoring and rebounding, ranking ninth in scoring with 13 points per game and second with 8.6 rebounds per game. He leads the GNAC and is 25th in Division II with 10 double-doubles. Defensively, Shabazz leads the GNAC and ranks 14th in Division II with 7.21 defensive rebounds per game while also ranking fourth in the conference with 1.21 blocked shots per contest.

Now in his fifth season at Montana State Billings, Durham led the Yellowjackets to 20-8 overall record and second place in the GNAC regular-season standings at 14-4, the best GNAC finish in program history. The 20 wins are the most for the program since 2012-13 and is the first 20-win season since the 2005-06 campaign. The season included a string where the Yellowjackets won 11 out of 12 games between Dec. 29 and Feb. 9.

Senior guard Branden Bunn represents regular-season champion Saint Martin’s as the Newcomer of the Year. A starter in 22 of the Saints’ 28 regular-season games, Bunn is averaging 11 points per game and ranks eighth in the GNAC with a .426 three-point percentage. He is one of three SMU players to rank in the GNAC top 10 in three-point shooting.

Western Washington forward BJ Kolly was selected as the Freshman of the Year. A starter in all 28 of the Vikings’ games, Kolly averaged 10.6 points per contest. He led the conference with a .630 field goal percentage and ranked sixth with 6.2 rebounds per game. Kolly also lead the GNAC and is ranked 11th in Division II with 2.21 blocks per game and is sixth in Division II with 62 total blocks.

Saint Martin’s matched Montana State Billings with two first-team selections in sophomore guard Jaden Nielsen-Skinner and junior guard Kyle Greeley. Rounding out the first team is Seattle Pacific junior forward Shaw Anderson and Western Oregon senior guard Cameron Cranston. Greeley and Cranston move up after second-team selections in 2022 while Nielsen-Skinner and Anderson were honorable mentions.

Nielsen-Skinner was the prime mover behind the SMU offense, averaging 10.1 points per game. Nielsen-Skinner ranks second in the GNAC and seventh in Division II with 6.4 assists per game and ranks fifth in Division II with 180 total assists. He also ranks seventh in Division II with a 3.80 assist/turnover ratio.

Greeley ranks fifth in the GNAC with 14.4 points per game and a .560 field goal percentage. One of the most accurate shooters in the conference, Greeley is seventh in the conference in both free-throw percentage (.747) and three-point percentage (.426). Greeley has also handled the ball well, ranking fifth in the GNAC with a 2.21 assist/turnover ratio.

Anderson finished the regular season as the conference’s leading scorer, averaging 19.8 points per game, and is ranked sixth in the conference with a .851 free-throw percentage. Anderson has started all 27 of Seattle Pacific’s games and his 34.81 minutes per game leads the GNAC.

Cranston is ranked third in the GNAC in scoring, averaging 16.7 points per game and finished the regular season ranked third with 33.5 minutes per game. Cranston has made the most of his trips to the free-throw line, ranking fifth in the conference with a .851 free-throw percentage.

Saint Martin’s and Central Washington led GNAC programs with four all-conference selections each.


Player of the Year: Carrington Wiggins, Montana State Billings
Coach of the Year: Mick Durham, Montana State Billings
Defensive Player of the Year: Bilal Shabazz, Montana State Billings
Freshman of the Year: BJ Kolly, Western Washington
Newcomer of the Year:
Branden Bunn, Saint Martin’s

FIRST TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
*+ Carrington Wiggins Montana State Billings G 6-2 Sr. Flint, Mich. (Mott CC)
*@ Jaden Nielsen-Skinner Saint Martin’s G 5-10 So. Salem, Ore. (Portland State Univ.)
*@ Shaw Anderson Seattle Pacific F 6-6 Jr. Kelso, Wash. (Kelso)
*# Kyle Greeley Saint Martin’s G 6-5 Jr. Salem, Ore. (Portland State Univ.)
*#^ Cameron Cranston Western Oregon G 6-6 Sr. Vancouver, Wash. (Union)
Bilal Shabazz Montana State Billings F 6-8 Sr. Milwaukee, Wis. (Montana State Univ.)
SECOND TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Matt Poquette Central Washington F 6-6 Sr. Morton, Wash. (Morton-White Pass)
@ Gabriel Murphy Northwest Nazarene C 6-9 Jr. Tracy, Calif. (Modesto Christian)
Abdullahi Mohamed Alaska F 6-10 Jr. Seattle, Wash.
(Eastern Washington Univ.)
@^ D’Angelo Minnis Western Washington G 5-10 Jr. Kent, Wash. (Kentwood)
Kai Johnson Western Washington G 6-4 So. Olympia, Wash. (Olympia)
Tyke Thompson Saint Martin’s F 6-8 Jr. Salem, Ore. (South Puget Sound CC)
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Tyson Gilbert Alaska Anchorage G 6-2 Jr. Highlands Ranch, Colo.
(Colo. State Univ. Pueblo)
Sawyer Storms Alaska Anchorage F 6-7 Jr. Idaho Falls, Idaho (Chaminade Univ.)
Brock Gilbert Central Washington G 5-11 Sr. Syracuse, Utah (Utah Tech Univ.)
Samaad Hector Central Washington F 6-6 Jr. Vancouver, Wash.
(Sacramento State Univ.)
Camron McNeil Central Washington G 6-5 Jr. Raleigh, N.C. (Radford Univ.)
@ Tru Allen Northwest Nazarene G 6-0 So. Lapwai, Idaho (Clarkston)
Branden Bunn Saint Martin’s G 6-2 Sr. The Bronx, N.Y. (Newman Univ.)
Zack Paulsen Seattle Pacific G 6-4 So. University Place, Wash. (Curtis)
David Penney Simon Fraser G 6-1 Jr. Guelph, Ont. (Middleburg Academy)
Jahmal Wright Simon Fraser G/F 6-5 Sr. Toronto, Ont.
(Univ. of Maryland Eastern Shore)
Cameron Benzel Western Oregon F 6-7 Jr. Yoncalla, Ore. (Umpqua CC)
BJ Kolly Western Washington F 6-8 R-Fr. Everett, Wash. (Mariner)

* - Unanimous Selection
+ - First Team Selection in 2021-22
# - Second Team Selection in 2021-22
@ - Honorable Mention in 2021-22
^ - Honorable Mention in 2021-22