DENVER (University of Hawaii) – The Western Athletic Conference announced its men's basketball all-conference selections Sunday as selected by the league coaches with a pair of University of Hawai`i players earning recognition. Junior center Vander Joaquim earned first-team and all-defensive honors, while junior guard Zane Johnson was named honorable mention.
Joaquim is the first Rainbow Warrior to earn first-team honors since Julian Sensley in 2006. The 6-10 center out of Luanda, Angola, was among the conference leaders in scoring, rebounding, and block shots in league games, while pacing the WAC in field goal percentage (.633).
The junior posted seven of his team-high 11 double-doubles in WAC play. He was twice named WAC Player of the Week, including after a 23-point, 16-rebound performance that lifted UH to a road overtime win at Fresno State. Joaquim scored 14 of the team's final 20 points in the win.
Joaquim, who is sixth-all-time in blocks at UH, was also the WAC's second-leading shot blocker , averaging 2.29 in WAC games. His seven blocks at Nevada earlier this year was just one short of tying the school record. Meanwhile, his rebounding average is the highest by a Rainbow Warrior since Tony Maroney (9.6) in 1994-95. In overall games, Joaquim leads the team in scoring (14.0 ppg), rebounding (9.5 rpg), field goal percentage (.559) and blocks (54).
Johnson, meanwhile, was named honorable mention for the second straight year. The native of Phoenix, Ariz., continued to be one of the top three-point marksmen in both the WAC and the NCAA, averaging 2.83 per game. This past week, Johnson became the school's all-time leader in the category, surpassing former All-American Predrag Savovic. For the season, Johnson is averaging 14.0 ppg, while leading the team in three-pointers made (82), free throw percentage (.841) and minutes per game (34.1). Johnson, a transfer from the University of Arizona was named to the all-WAC newcomer team last year.
Up next for the Rainbow Warriors is the 2012 Verizon Wireless WAC Tournament, March 8-10, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. UH will take on Idaho in a quarterfinal match-up Thursday, March 8 at 12:00 p.m. PT (10:00 a.m. HT).