– (Hawaii Athletics) The Big West Conference announced its men's basketball all-conference
selections Monday as selected by the league coaches with three University of
Hawai`i players earning recognition. Junior forward Christian Standhardinger earned
first-team honors, senior center Vander Joaquim garnered
honorable mention and forward Isaac Fotu was named
Co-Freshman of the Year.
Standhardinger made an immediate impact in his first year at UH. The native of Munich, Germany, currently leads the team in scoring (15.9 ppg), field goal percentage (.507) and steals (44), and is second in rebounding (7.9). He was named the Big West Men's Basketball Player of the Week during back-to-back weeks (Feb. 4 & 11), while leading UH to a season-best five-game win streak.
Among his highlights was a 31-point, 16-rebound performance in a road win at UC Santa Barbara. Standhardinger was also instrumental in comeback wins at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton and has recorded 20 or more points in a team-high 11 games. Eight of those games came in Big West play, when he averaged 15.8 ppg and shot 54 percent from the floor.
Joaquim earned conference recognition for the second straight season. The native of Luanda, Angola was a first-team all-Western Athletic Conference pick last year and a preseason all-Big West selection this year. Joaquim suffered a preseason knee injury but still proved to be a force for the Rainbow Warriors leading the team with 12 double-doubles on the season. All but three of those double-doubles came in Big West play.
The 6-10 center also leads the team and ranks second in the Big West in rebounding (8.4) and is also among the league's top 10 in field goal percentage (.482), free throw percentage (.765) and blocks (0.9 bpg).
Fotu, meanwhile, has proved that he belongs right from the get-go for UH and shared Freshman of the Year honors with UC Irvine's Alex Young. The New Zealand native grabbed 15 rebounds in his collegiate debut and tallied 29 points—one point shy of the UH single-game freshman record—in just his second Big West contest versus Cal State Fullerton.
The 6-8 forward was the league's most accurate shooter in Big West play (.635) and averaged 10.2 ppg and 5.7 rpg in conference. Fotu is just the second Rainbow Warrior ever to earn Freshman of the Year honors, joining Dominic Waters (2005-06) who claimed the award in the Western Athletic Conference.
Up next for the Rainbow Warriors is the 2013 Big West Tournament, March 14-16, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. UH, the fifth seed, will take on No. 4 seed UC Irvine in a quarterfinal match-up Thursday, March 14 at approximately 8:30 p.m. PT (5:30 p.m. HT).