<strong>LOGAN–</strong> Utah State men’s basketball players Spencer Butterfield and Jarred Shaw earned all-Western Athletic Conference second-team accolades and were both named to the conference’s all-newcomer team, as the league announced its postseason awards that were voted on by the conference’s coaches and announced Sunday by the league office.
Idaho’s Kyle Barone was named the WAC’s Player of the Year, while New Mexico State’s Sim Bhullar was tabbed the Freshman of the Year, and Louisiana Tech’s Michael White was named the WAC’s Don Haskins Coach of the Year.
With Butterfield and Shaw’s honor, Utah State has now had 15 all-WAC awards, having had nine first-team all-WAC accolades and six second-team honors. This is the first time in the last 14 years that Utah State did not have a first-team all-conference selection. The Aggies have had at least one player earn all-WAC honors of some sort in each of their eight years in the league and this is the sixth time in eight years that multiple USU players have earned all-WAC accolades. Overall, it is the 19th time since 1979 that the Aggies have had more than one player on the all-conference honors list.
USU has also now had eight WAC all-newcomer team honors. This is the sixth-straight year that the Aggies have had at least one player on the all-newcomer list and the second time in that span of having two players, joining 2010 when Nate Bendall and Brian Green were both selected.
“Jarred and Spencer are both very deserving of this recognition,” USU head coach Stew Morrill said. “With the loss of three returning starters to injury, they stepped up as newcomers to our program and gave us a chance to compete. We are very happy that the league coaches voted them to both the second and all-newcomer teams.”
Butterfield, a 6-3 junior guard/forward from Loomis, Calif., (Del Oro HS/Yuba CC), leads the WAC in free throw percentage both overall (.824) and league only games (.837). Butterfield ranks 12th in the WAC in scoring overall (12.0), while ranking ninth in league games (13.3). He also is fourth in the league in overall three-point field goal percentage (.418), while ranking sixth in conference games (.408), in addition to being seventh in overall three-pointers made (1.64) and 10th in WAC only games (1.71). Butterfield also ranks sixth in field goal percentage overall (.491) and ninth in league games (.497), as well as eighth in rebounds overall (6.6) and sixth in league contests (7.6), in addition to standing 13th in the WAC overall in assists (2.71) and 10th in WAC only (3.18). Finally, he is eighth in assist-turnover ration in WAC only games (1.69), while ranking ninth in league only games for minutes played (32.53).
Butterfield has seven double-doubles this season, as well as 18 double-digit scoring outings, including three 20-point games. Butterfield also has seven double-figure rebounding outings, highlighted by a career-high 20 rebounds on March 7 against Texas State, which are the most rebounds by a USU player since 1997 and the most in the WAC this season, as well as the fifth-most in the NCAA this season. He has led USU in scoring three times, as well as leading the team in rebounding nine times and been the Aggies’ leading assist man seven times.
Shaw, a 6-10 junior center from Dallas, Texas (Carter HS/Oklahoma State), is fourth in overall field goal percentage (.536), while ranking sixth in conference only games (.528), as well as seventh in overall scoring (14.0) and seventh in league games (14.3). He also is fourth in the league in rebounding overall (8.4) and third in conference games (8.1), including ranking second in defensive rebounds both overall (6.10) and WAC only games (6.00). Additionally, Shaw is ninth in overall blocks (1.00) and 11th in conference games (0.83).
Shaw led USU in rebounding and scoring a team-high 16 and 11 times, respectively, as well as leading the team with nine double-doubles. He has three 20-point games.
Additionally, Butterfield and Shaw were both named to the College Sports Madness all-WAC second-team list, also announced Sunday by the publication.
Utah State improved to 21-9 on the season and 11-7 in league play with Saturday’s 71-51 win over UTSA, as it finishes its final season in the WAC tied for fourth-place with UT Arlington (17-12, 11-7 WAC). The Aggies will be the fifth seed in next week’s WAC Tournament and will face fourth-seeded UTA on Thursday, March 14 at 9:30 p.m. (MT) at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.