Sensley earns All-WAC honor
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Dayton Morinaga
The all-around excellence of Julian Sensley was awarded with a spot on the All-Western Athletic Conference first team yesterday.
Sensley was one of four players from the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team honored on the WAC postseason awards.
"It's the coaches who vote for it, so they know how valuable Julian is," Hawai'i coach Riley Wallace said. "And he's had the season we were hoping for from him, so he deserves it."
Sensley, a 6-foot-9 senior forward, leads the Rainbow Warriors in scoring with 17.7 points per game. He is also averaging 5.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.
He is the 13th player in Hawai'i men's basketball history to earn first-team All-WAC honors.
He was joined on the first team by Nick Fazekas of Nevada, Nate Harris of Utah State, Paul Millsap of Louisiana Tech and Tyrone Nelson of New Mexico State. All five players on the first team are forwards.
Fazekas, a 6-11 junior, was named the WAC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. He leads the conference in scoring with 21.9 points per game, and is second in rebounding with 10.3 per game.
"I'd give it to him because his team is in first place," Wallace said. "But I'd have no problem with Millsap getting it either. If there was a year where you could have co-MVPs, this is it."
Millsap, a 6-8 junior, is averaging 19.7 points per game and leads NCAA Division I with 13.5 rebounds per game. Fazekas and Millsap were also first-team selections last season.
Nevada head coach Mark Fox was named the Don Haskins Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. The Wolf Pack is 24-5 overall and won the WAC regular-season championship with a 13-3 conference record.
"He got my vote," Wallace said. "You can say Nevada was expected to win the league, but sometimes it's harder to stay on top."
Dominic Waters, a 6-1 reserve guard, became the first player in Hawai'i history to be named WAC Freshman of the Year. He is averaging 3.1 points per game and is shooting 47.6 percent from 3-point range.
"There weren't that many freshmen in the league this year, but he had better numbers than the other guys who were nominated," Wallace said. "And when ever we called on (Waters), he came in and did the job for us."
Hawai'i center Ahmet Gueye was named to the All-Newcomer and All-Defensive teams. The 6-7 junior averaged 12.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game and was leading the WAC with 65 blocked shots.
He was diagnosed with torn ligaments in his right knee last week, and will miss this week's WAC Tournament.
"It's nice for him to get recognized because it's been a tough couple days for him," Wallace said.
Hawai'i shooting guard Matt Lojeski was also named to the All-Newcomer Team. The 6-6 junior is averaging 13.7 points per game and leads Hawai'i with 55 3-pointers.
DEPLETED 'BOWS DEPART FOR WAC TOURNAMENT
The 'Bows are scheduled to leave Honolulu today for the WAC Tournament at Reno, Nev.
Hawai'i is the No. 4 seed in the eight-team tournament and will play No. 5 New Mexico State in a quarterfinal game at 6:30 p.m. (Hawai'i time) on Thursday.
"It's a tough match-up for us," Wallace said. "That's why this loss (to Louisiana Tech on Saturday) was so big. We win and we're playing (No. 6) Boise State instead."
Because of the season-ending knee injury to Gueye, Hawai'i will bring only nine players to Reno.
"That makes it even tougher for us," Wallace said. "You have to win three games in three days, and we're not going to have that deep bench like the other teams."
Hawai'i lost its regular-season finale to Louisiana Tech, 51-48, on Saturday. It was the first game this season that the 'Bows played without Gueye.
"We had to adjust because our whole game plan changes without Ahmet in there," senior co-captain Deonte Tatum said. "We'll just have to adjust some more now and we'll be OK."
Gueye is the fourth scholarship player to be lost for the season. Guards Bobby Nash (shoulder) and Matt Gibson (staph infection) were both declared out for the season in December. Reserve center Milos Zivanovic quit the team in December.
"That's the breaks," Wallace said. "Some years you get injuries and other problems, and this is one of those years for us. We haven't been bothered by it too much in the past, so maybe it's all catching up to us now."
Wallace said he thinks Hawai'i needs to win at least one game in the WAC Tournament to remain in contention for an NIT bid.
"I don't think we're in right now, but if we beat New Mexico State, I think we have a good shot," he said.
The 'Bows finished the regular season with a 17-10 overall record, including 10-6 in the WAC.
"We're still confident," Lojeski said. "It's a tournament, so anything can happen."
Reach Dayton Morinaga at email@example.com.