Mar 062007
 
Authors: Sean Star

CSU Rams men’s basketball junior Jason Smith was named to the all-Mountain West Conference first-team for the second consecutive year Monday.

The 7-footer from Kersey leads the conference and is 13th nationally in rebounds per game (10.0) and scores a team-best 17.0 points a contest.

“That’s a fine accomplishment,” said Smith upon hearing the news after Monday’s practice. “That really lets you know that hard work in practice has paid off. It’s pretty gratifying.”

As the only non-senior selected to the team Smith said he will try for a third straight selection next year.

Smith is still the only Ram to ever receive such an accolade through the conference’s eight-year existence. Milt Palacio, currently of the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics, was the last CSU player to receive first-team all conference honors back in 1999 when the Rams were members of the Western Athletic Conference.

“(Smith) has been terrific,” CSU Head Coach Dale Layer said. “He’s improved. He keeps building his resume because of his hard work and his tenaciousness.”

Smith has recorded six straight double-doubles entering Thursday’s match-up with San Diego State in the first round of the MWC Tournament in Las Vegas.

Senior point guard Cory Lewis received an MWC honorable mention.

“That really shows how hard (Lewis) has been working that last two years,” Smith said about his teammate.

BYU senior forward Keena Young, who averages 17.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game for the regular season champions, was named men’s player of the year.

Players are selected based on voting from MWC coaches and media.

Men’s basketball beat writer Sean Star can be reached at sports@ollegian.com.

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2006-07 Men’s MWC First-Team

Keena Young, Sr., F, BYU*

Brandon Heath, Sr., G, SDSU

Jason Smith, Jr., F, CSU

Dan Nwaelele, Sr., F, AFA

Wendell White, Sr., G, UNLV

*Player of the year

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