END OF THE LINE: Seattle University saw its 2013-14 season end with a loss to New Mexico State in the quarterfinals of the Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Redhawks made a five-game improvement from the previous season and plan to bring back the vast majority of the players from the 2013-14 roster, with only two seniors lost to graduation.
END OF SEASON AWARDS: Before leaving for the WAC Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas, the Seattle University men’s basketball team held its annual awards banquet Monday, March 10, at the Space Needle. The radio announcers for Seattle U men’s basketball, Dave Grosby and Gary Hill Jr., put together a highlight package with some of the memorable calls of the 2013-14 season. Mike Jones, the director of men’s basketball operations, gave the team’s Service Award to the team managers who worked hard behind the scenes to make sure practice was set up, uniforms were washed and ready, and game film was cut for scouting purposes. JoAnn Hulbert-Eagan, the team’s academic performance coordinator, presented the Academic Excellence Award to seniors D’Vonne Pickett Jr. and Clarence Trent for remaining on schedule to earn their degrees in June. Assistant coach Darren Talley awarded the Offensive Player of the Year and Carl Ervin Assists awards to junior guard Isiah Umipig, who led the team with 19.6 points and 3.6 assists per game and set the school’s single-season record for most made three-pointers with 106. The John Tresvant Rebounder of the Year honor was awarded by assistant coach Amadou Koundoul to Jack Crook, who led the Redhawks with 179 total rebounds, averaging 6.0 rebounds per game and earning at least 10 rebounds five times during the year. Koundoul also presented the Most Improved Player award to Emmanuel Chibuogwu, who appeared in 18 games and saw his production increase during the second half of the season. Head coach Cameron Dollar presented the Coach’s Award to Luiz Bidart for his work ethic in practice, during games, and in the classroom. Dollar wrapped up the evening by honoring Pickett and Trent for their contributions to Redhawk basketball.
LOOKING BACK AT THE SEASON: Those within the Western Athletic Conference could not agree on where the Redhawks would potentially finish in the 2013-14 season, as the conference coaches picked the Redhawks to finish second, while the league’s media voted Seattle U fifth in the nine-team league. Seattle U started the season with its annual matchup against crosstown rival Washington and played the Huskies close before falling, 88-78. The Redhawks opened the home schedule with the Elgin Baylor Classic against Cal State Fullerton and rallied from a late second-half deficit to defeat the Titans, 75-71. A convincing 77-53 victory over UC Davis Dec. 2 started a five-game winning streak that included road wins at Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton as well as another come-from-behind victory over Norfolk State at the ShoWare Center in Kent. That win improved Seattle U’s record to 8-3, but the Redhawks would lose their final two non-conference games of the regular season at Nebraska Omaha and against UC Santa Barbara. The WAC schedule would begin with a loss to Kansas City, but the Redhawks would split a road trip the next weekend. Seattle U lost back-to-back close games to Bakersfield and Utah Valley, but seemingly righted the ship with victories at Idaho and against Texas-Pan American. On Feb. 13, the Redhawks blitzed WAC leader Utah Valley, 71-57, to remain in the middle of the pack in the league. Unfortunately, Seattle U could not keep the positive momentum going, losing six of its last seven games of the year, including a one-point loss to Grand Canyon and a triple-overtime defeat at the hands of Chicago State. Entering the WAC Tournament as the seventh seed, Seattle U battled second seed New Mexico State throughout the night, but the Aggies prevailed, 70-68, the first of three straight victories that sent New Mexico State to its third straight NCAA Tournament.
THANK YOU SENIORS: D’Vonne Pickett Jr. and Clarence Trent completed their final season of eligibility in 2013-14. Pickett started the final six games of the season, averaging 7.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. On Senior Night March 1 against Idaho, Pickett collected 15 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and two steals to help the Redhawks defeat the Vandals, 76-68. In three seasons playing for Seattle U, Trent started all but three games for the Redhawks, averaging 8.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He started off the season by earning 18 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocked shots at Washington Nov. 10. On Feb. 27 against Chicago State, he pulled down 16 rebounds, the most by a Redhawk since Dec. 3, 2009.