Media names Williams Mountain West Freshman of the Year
LARAMIE -- Wyoming's Marcus Williams Monday was named the Mountain West Freshman of the Year, according to a vote by the league's media.
The rookie from Dickinson, Texas earned 10 of a possible 11 first-place votes. It's not hard to see why either. Williams is the league's leading freshman scorer, averaging 14.9 points per outing. That is also tops on the Cowboys' roster. Williams was also named a Third-Team All-Conference player by the media.
Williams joins a distinguished list of former Pokes to also earn this accolade: Afam Muojeke (2009), Jason Straight (2002) and LaDrell Whitehead (1995-Western Athletic Conference).
Williams also averaged four assists per outing, ranking him fourth overall in the MW. His 45% shooting from the field ranks him sixth in the league, and his 71% clip at the free-throw line is 10th.
The guard scored in double-figures 19 times on the season. He scored 20 or more points in five games this season including a career-high 30 points against Denver. He was named the MW Player of the Week on Jan. 25 after leading the Pokes to a sweep of Nevada, as he scored 28 points against the Wolf Pack in the series finale.
Before the Cowboys hosted Border War rival Colorado State in February, its coach Niko Medved called this vote.
"Obviously, he looks to me like the leader for Freshman of the Year in our league," Medved said. "He is a terrific player and a guy who just creates so many problems for your defense. So yeah, I've been really impressed with him and he is a really, really difficult matchup."
Wyoming junior Hunter Maldonado was named an Honorable Mention selection by the media.
The Colorado Springs product is averaging 12.3 points per game and leads the team in three major categories: 6.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.2 steals per outing.
Maldonado ranked fourth in the conference in assist to turnover ratio at 1.7. He finished the regular season placing in the top-10 in 11 categories in the conference.
He has recorded two double-doubles on the season for the Brown and Gold to rank 10th in the conference. Earlier this season, Maldonado reached 1,000 career points, becoming the 34th player in UW history to reach that milestone.
The Mountain West will announce its All-Conference teams Tuesday as voted on by the league's coaches.
No. 8 Wyoming will take on the ninth-seeded San Jose State Spartans Wednesday at noon (MST) from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The winner will play top-ranked San Diego State the following night.
* The University of Wyoming contributed to this report
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