2005 WCC ALL-CONFERENCE MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM ANNOUNCED
Feb. 28, 2005
SAN BRUNO, CA., - For the fifth consecutive season, the Gonzaga Bulldogs were named the WCC regular season champions and for the fifth consecutive season a Bulldog was named the conference Player of the Year. Senior forward Ronny Turiaf took home the conference's top honor, headlining a Gonzaga sweep of the yearly conference awards. The Bulldogs' Head Coach Mark Few took home his fifth consecutive Coach of the Year award, breaking USF Hall of Fame coach Phil Wolpert's WCC record of four consecutive Coach of the Year honors. Rounding out the conference awards was junior Erroll Knight, the 2005 Defensive Player of the Year, and junior J.P. Batista the 2005 Newcomer of the Year.
Despite a season filled with adversity, Turiaf led a young and inexperienced Gonzaga squad to a 12-2 conference mark and the Bulldogs' fifth consecutive WCC regular season title. The Le Robert, Martinique native was slowed by a pair of lingering ankle injuries for the first part of conference play, but came on strong in the second half, averaging 17 ppg and 10.1 rpg, leading the Zags to a perfect 7-0 second half conference record. For the conference season, Turiaf averaged 14.9 ppg, and a WCC-best 9.5 rpg.
Coach of the Year honors go to Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few for the fifth straight season. In arguably his best coaching season to date, Few guided an inexperienced Gonzaga squad, which lost five seniors, including two-time WCC Player of the Year, Blake Stepp, to graduation to its fifth consecutive WCC regular season title. Few is the only coach in WCC history to win the coaching honor five consecutive times.
Erroll Knight, who missed the first fives games of the season with a hand injury and then sat out one WCC game with a foot injury, has been the Bulldogs' top defender for the past two seasons. Batista, a junior college transfer from Barton, Kans., Junior College, is the first Bulldog to win the 2-year-old Newcomer of the Year honor. He averaged 12.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg and shot 61.2 percent from the field, while starting 12 of his 24 appearances this season.
2005 Men's Basketball All-Conference
Player of the Year - Ronny Turiaf, GON