Men's Basketball

UC Davis’ Corey Hawkins, Jim Les win Big West Conference player and coach of year honors

UC Davis Aggies guard/forward Josh Ritchart (23) and UC Davis Aggies guard Corey Hawkins (3) celebrate the 61-59 win over the UC Riverside Highlanders during a game at The Pavilion Thursday March 5, 2015 in Davis.
UC Davis Aggies guard/forward Josh Ritchart (23) and UC Davis Aggies guard Corey Hawkins (3) celebrate the 61-59 win over the UC Riverside Highlanders during a game at The Pavilion Thursday March 5, 2015 in Davis. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

UC Davis senior guard Corey Hawkins and coach Jim Les were named Big West Conference player and coach of the year Monday.

Hawkins, the conference scoring leader (20.6 points), is the first UC Davis player to win the award.

Hawkins also was selected to the six-player Big West first team for the second time. Also on the first team are former Sacramento area standouts Michael Bryson of UC Santa Barbara (Foothill High) and Will Davis II of UC Irvine (Sacramento High).

UC Davis senior forward Josh Ritchart is on the second team and junior forward Josh Fox is honorable mention. Ritchart, who played at Forest Lake Christian High, averaged 11.9 points and 4.3 rebounds. Fox, who averaged 9.4 points and 4.6 rebounds, also was honored as best sixth man.

Hawkins is the national leader in three-point field-goal percentage (49.3) and is No. 2 on the Aggies career scoring list with 1,623 points in three seasons.

Les, in his fourth season at UCD, orchestrated one of the most successful turnarounds in conference history. After going 9-22 and missing the conference tournament last year, the Aggies are 24-5 and won the regular season Big West title with a 14-2 record.

The 15-win turnaround is the second-best in conference history, just one short of the record. UC Davis also became the first school in the Big West’s 46-year history to finish last one season and win the championship the next. If the Aggies win the conference tournament they would advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

Call The Bee’s Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.

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