USF’s Walters named West Coast Conference Coach of the Year

After leading USF to its best conference record since the 1976-77 season, USF men’s basketball coach Rex Walters was rewarded Monday by being named the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year.

The Dons finished the regular 20-10 overall and 13-5 in WCC action, good for a share of second place in the conference standings.

Walters becomes the sixth USF coach to win the award and first since Pete Barry in 1980-81. The six coaches have combined to win the award 12 times.

This year saw USF post 20 regular-season victories for the first time since the 1981-82 season while the team’s 13 conference wins were the most since the 1976-77 team went 14-0 in league play while spending most of the season ranked No. 1 in the nation.

USF has compiled a 97-92 record in six seasons under Walters, including a 48-45 record in WCC play.

Walters was the only member of the Dons honored Monday, however, as senior forward Cole Dickerson, who leads USF in both scoring and rebounding, earned first-team all-conference honors.

Sophomore Avry Holmes and junior forward Kruize Pinkins received honorable mention accolades.

St. Mary’s had two players — Stephen Holt and Brad Waldow — named to the first team.

Women’s All-WCC honors: St. Mary’s forward Danielle Mauldin and guard Jackie Nared were named first-team All-WCC after helping the Gaels finish the year 21-8 and 11-7 overall. No other players were on the first team, though USF’s Zhané Dikes and Taylor Proctor and St. Mary’s Kate Gaze were named honorable mention.

Stanford ranked fourth: The Stanford women’s basketball team moved up a spot to No. 4 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 rankings. Cal dropped two spots from No. 18 to No. 20.

Florida still No. 1: Florida, Wichita State and Arizona are the top three teams in the AP college basketball poll for the second straight week. The Gators (27-2), who are on a school-record 21-game winning streak, were a solid No. 1 Monday, receiving 46 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel.

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