Monson, Ennis Named Top Big West Coach, Player For 2012-13Published: March 15, 2013
CSULB men’s basketball Head Coach Dan Monson and senior guard/forward James Ennis have been honored as Coach and Player of the Year, respectively, the Big West Conference announced on March 11. It marks the the third straight year that Monson has been so honored, as well as the third consecutive year in which a 49er has earned Player of the Year accolades, which are chosen by the 10 head coaches in the league.
Monson led the 49ers to their third straight outright Big West crown, the first time a team has done that since UNLV won seven straight from 1982-89. Monson had to replace four of his five starters from the 2011-12 team and his team was not at full strength until December when transfers Tony Freeland, Keala King and Edgar Garibay became eligible after sitting out the required year after transferring from another institution.
Monson tallied his 100th career victory at CSULB on Feb. 13 at Cal State Fullerton and is just two wins shy of moving into a tie for second all-time in school coaching history (currently has 103 wins). The 49ers also ended the Big West season undefeated at home and have won the last 26 games in conference play in the Walter Pyramid.
Ennis, one of the team’s captains this season, has been an unstoppable all-around player for The Beach this year. He has tallied 35 consecutive games scoring at least 10 or more points, notched 20 or more points in nine games and has had seven double-doubles on the year.
He became the first NCAA Div. I player this season to tally at least 26 points, 15 rebounds and four steals in the 49ers’ victory over Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 13. In LBSU’s pivotal victory over UC Davis on Mar. 7, Ennis led the team with a big double-double, scoring 24 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to help the 49ers capture their third-straight Big West title.
The senior contributed in all facets of the team’s success this season, ranking in the Big West top 10 statistically in scoring (17.0 ppg-5th), rebounding (6.9 rpg-8th), field goal percentage (.491-7th), free throw percentage (.847-2nd), steals (1.8-3rd) and blocked shots (1.4 bpg-4th).
In its history, CSULB has now had 12 Players of the Year and four Coach of the Year honorees.
The Big West also announced the all-conference teams and joining Ennis on the first-team was sophomore guard Mike Caffey, who has had an impressive year running the point after the graduation of two-time Big West Player of the Year Casper Ware. LBSU was the only school with two players named to first team this season, with Freeland and King being honorable mention selections.