Montana senior Kareem Jamar was a unanimous selection to the All-Big Sky men’s basketball squad, which was announced Monday.
It’s the third straight year Jamar has been named to the first team, becoming the 22nd player in league history to earn that distinction three times.
Jamar, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward from Venice, Calif., averaged 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game – all team highs – while helping Montana to a 12-8 conference record.
“He’s really become a great leader for us this year,” Montana coach Wayne Tinkle said of Jamar. “He’s stepped it up more than just statistical categories with his leadership, and we’re going to need that down the stretch.
“I really thought he had an outstanding all-around season this year, and he was the MVP a year ago because he peaked at the right time, and we’re going to need him to do the same thing starting this Thursday.”
The Griz face Portland State on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Big Sky tournament at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, Utah.
Jamar was named the league MVP last season and the league tournament MVP for the past two seasons.
“It’s bittersweet,” Jamar said. “It’s definitely an honor to be picked three times. To be a unanimous pick, obviously other coaches recognized me, but being a competitor, I definitely wanted that Most Valuable Player.”
Griz junior guards Jordan Gregory and Keron DeShields earned honorable mention.
Big Sky regular-season champion Weber State brought home three of the five major men’s honors.
Weber State senior guard/forward Davion Berry was selected by the conference head coaches as the Most Valuable Player. Wildcat guard Jeremy Senglin was tabbed the Freshman of the Year, and sophomore forward Joel Bolomboy was named the Defensive Player of the Year.
Northern Arizona junior Quinton Upshur was selected as the Newcomer of the Year. The league also named a Top Reserve for the first time since the 1987-88 season. North Dakota’s Jamal Webb and Portland State’s DaShaun Wiggins shared the honor.
Berry, a 6-4, senior from Oakland, Calif., was a unanimous first team selection. Berry led Weber State to a 14-6 conference record, the school’s first regular-season championship since 2009-10. Weber State takes the No. 1 seed to the league tournament.
Berry ranks third in the league in scoring with an average of 19.2 points per game. Berry also averaged 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and one steal per game.
Berry is the eighth Weber State player to win Big Sky MVP, and the first since current NBA All-Star and reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard in 2011-12.
Also named to the first team were North Dakota senior Troy Huff, Sacramento State junior Mikh McKinney, Eastern Washington sophomore Tyler Harvey, and Upshur. Huff and Berry were repeat selections.
Huff, a 6-5, guard/forward from Milwaukee, Wis., finished the regular season second in the league in scoring at 19.6 points per game. Huff scored more than 1,000 points in two seasons playing in the Big Sky.
Harvey, a guard from Torrance, Calif., enjoyed a tremendous breakout campaign for the Eagles. Harvey averaged a league-best 21.8 points per game, and was second in Big Sky single-season history with 109 3-pointers. He also led the league in free-throw shooting at 89.7 percent, and made 43.3 percent of his 3-pointers.
McKinney, a 6-1 junior guard from Union City, Calif., is the first Hornet to garner first team All-Conference honors since Alex Bausley and DaShawn Freeman were honored in 2005-06. McKinney netted 16.3 points and 4.5 assists per game, helping the Hornets secure a postseason bid for the first time since 2006.
Upshur, a 6-5 junior guard from Norfolk, Va., garnered the Newcomer of the Year and first team honors after averaging 15.8 points per game. He averaged 2.4 3-pointers and 1.6 steals per game. He is the first Lumberjack to win Newcomer of the Year since Tyrone Bazy in 2005-06. Upshur played last season at Kilgore Junior College after starting his career at VMI.
Senglin, a 6-2 true freshman guard from Arlington, Texas, started all 28 games for the Wildcats. He averaged 11.3 points per game and shot 40.7 percent from 3-point range. Senglin is the fourth Wildcat to capture the honor, which has been presented since 1985-86.
Two players from New York shared the Top Reserve honor. Webb is a senior from Buffalo, while Wiggins is a junior from the Bronx. To be eligible players must have started fewer than 50 percent of conference games. Webb averaged 7.7 points, 3.4 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Wiggins netted 12.7 points and 1.1 steals per game.
Bolomboy, a 6-foot-9, sophomore from Fort Worth, Texas, is the first Wildcat since Daviin Davis (2008-09) to claim Defensive Player of the Year. Bolomboy leads the Big Sky and ranks fifth in the nation in rebounds at 10.9 per game. He pulled down at least 10 rebounds in 17 of the 20 conference games. He also helped Weber State lead the league in scoring defense at 66.5 points per game.
Northern Colorado senior forward Derrick Barden and senior guard Tate Unruh led the second team. They were joined by Weber State senior center Kyle Tresnak, Idaho State junior guard/forward Chris Hansen, and Portland State junior guard Gary Winston.
Tyler Harvey, 6-4, So., G, Eastern Washington Torrance, Calif.; *#Kareem Jamar, 6-5, Sr., G/F, Montana, Venice, Calif.; *Troy Huff, 6-5, Sr., G/F, North Dakota, Milwaukee, Wis.; Quinton Upshur, 6-5, Jr., G, Northern Arizona, Norfolk, Va.; *Davion Berry, 6-4, Sr., G/F, Weber State, Oakland, Calif.; *Mikh McKinney, 6-1, Jr., G, Sacramento State, Union City, Calif.
#Three-time first team All-Conference.
Chris Hansen, 6-4, Jr., G/F, Idaho State, Fort Collins, Colo.; Tate Unruh, 6-4, Sr., G, Northern Colorado, Branson, Mo.; Derrick Barden, 6-5, Sr., F, Northern Colorado, Detroit, Mich.; Gary Winston, 6-0, Jr., G, Portland State, Walla Walla, Wash.; Kyle Tresnak, 6-10, Sr., C, Weber State, Phoenix, Ariz.
Venky Jois, 6-7, So., F, Eastern Washington, Boronia, Australia; Keron DeShields, 6-2, Jr., G, Montana, Baltimore, Md.; Jordan Gregory, 6-2, Jr., G, Montana, Pueblo, Colo.; Flavien Davis, 6-5, Sr., F, Montana State, Milwaukee, Wis.; Aaron Anderson, 5-10, Sr., G, North Dakota, Brooklyn Park, Minn.; Jamal Webb, 6-1, Sr., G, North Dakota, Buffalo, N.Y.; Max Jacobsen, 6-8, Sr., F, Northern Arizona, Lake Oswego, Ore.; DaShaun Wiggins, 6-2, Jr., G, Portland State, Bronx, N.Y.; Dylan Garrity, 6-2, Jr., G, Sacramento State, Huntington Beach, Calif.; Joel Bolomboy, 6-9, So., F, Weber State, Fort Worth, Texas.