Mar 042002

The Mountain West Conference announced Monday the league’s men’s basketball all-conference award winners, and it didn’t forget about CSU.

Junior forward Brian Greene, the Rams’ leading scorer and rebounder, was put on the second team. Junior guard Andy Birley, CSU’s leader in assists and 3-point shooting, earned an honorable mention.

Greene, who is the first CSU player since Matt Barnett in 1998 to grab 200 rebounds in one season, scored a career-best 32 points on Jan. 21 at UNLV.

His most complete game was the following Air Force game, in which he scored 18 points, pulled down 16 boards, dished out seven assists, had three steals and one blocked shot. All were team-highs for the night.

Birley scored his career-high of 25 points on Dec. 18 against Southern Illinois.

He drained six 3-pointers that night, a feat he duplicated Saturday night in his 22-point performance against Brigham Young University.

Birley leads the MWC in 3-point field goals per game. In addition, Birley is the first Ram since Milt Palacio in 1999 to record more than 100 assists in a season.

Prior to Greene and Birley, Ceedric Goodwyn was named to the MWC second-team in 1999-2000, the league’s first year of existence.

Britton Johnsen of Utah, CSU’s opponent Thursday in the MWC Tournament in Las Vegas, was named the league’s player of the year.

In conference play, Johnsen averaged 15.3 points and 8.1 rebounds, and shot 55.7 percent from the field. In all games, Johnsen averaged 13.2 points and 6.5 rebounds.

Wyoming head coach Steve McClain was named the league’s coach of the year. He led the Cowboys to a 20-7 overall record and 11-3 MWC mark as they captured their second consecutive regular season conference title and first outright crown since 1981-82.

This year’s team is the first MWC team to notch five conference wins on the road and 11 total league victories.

Wyoming has won 18 or more games in each of McClain’s four years in Laramie, including back-to-back 20-win seasons. n

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