Tasmania forward and Australian Emus representative, Matthew Knight, has been selected first-team All-WCC in his junior year at Loyola Marymount University.
The men's basketball team continues to add to its impressive turn around under first-year Head Coach Rodney Tention as the West Coast Conference announced that three Lions have made the team. Senior Wes Wardrop and fellow junior Brandon Worthy joined Knight on the team and helped lead the Lions to the second seed of the upcoming WCC Basketball Championship.
Knight, Worthy and Wardrop are the only trio of players in the WCC to rank in the top-15 in scoring and are the only three teammates to earn All-WCC honours this season. Gonzaga was the only other squad with more than one selection.
Knight enters the WCC tournament ranked seventh with 16.4 points per game, while Worthy averages 14.8 and Wardrop 14.0. In WCC games the Lions are the only team to have three players rank in the top-10 in scoring with Knight (17.6) at fifth, Worthy (17.1) at eighth and Wardrop at 10th (15.7).
The three led the Lions to an 8-6 mark in WCC play this season, the most wins since 1995-96 and 1991-92. The second place finish in Tention's first season is just the third second place finish since 1990-91 and sends the Lions into the tournament with an impressive turnaround going from eighth at 3-11 a year ago to the No. 2 seed.
The Lions big three are the first trio of Lions to earn All-WCC since Hank Gathers, Bo Kimble and Jeff Fryer all earned first-team honours in 1989-90. It is just third time LMU has had three or more first-team selections as the 1987-88 team had four (Mike Yoest, Corey Gains, Gathers and Kimble). In addition, the three first-team nods is equal to the number of first-team selections the Lions have had in the last six seasons combined.
Knight, a WCC Player of the Year candidate and an All-WCC honourable mention selection a year ago, enters the tournament with a WCC-best 15 double-doubles on the season and 17 in his career. He has had consecutive double-double streaks of six and four as he continues to put his name in the LMU record books. His 15 this season is the most since Hank Gathers had 16 in the 1989-90 season and is eighth all-time for single season double-doubles.
He enters the tournament with 978 career points and 502 rebounds. Only 11 players in LMU history are members of the 1,000-point and 500-rebound club. In addition to his scoring, Knight is the league's rebounding leader with 9.8 per game overall and 10.6 in WCC play. He is also fourth overall in field goal percentage (51.9), first in offensive rebounds (3.71), second in defensive rebounds (6.04), and 9th in blocked shots (.82).
Knight will lead the Lions into the WCC tournament at Gonzaga's McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash., with two byes into the semifinals. The Lions will play in the second semi final on Sunday, March 5 at 7 p.m. in a game televised on ESPN2.