WCC Men’s Basketball News: Gonzaga stars make AP All-America Teams; Kispert on First Team, Suggs and Timme make Second Team, Ayiyi named Honorable mention

Corey Kispert dunking ball (courtesy Gonzaga Athletic Communications)

3/16/2021

INDIANAPOLIS. – Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert was named First Team Associated Press All-American the outlet announced Tuesday. Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme were selected second team, and Joel Ayayi was tabbed honorable mention.

Kispert is joined on the first team by Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham, Luka Garza of Iowa, Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu and Jared Butler of Baylor. Gonzaga’s four selectins are the most of any program in the country.

Kispert, the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, is a finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award for the second straight season. He currently leads the West Coast Conference in scoring at 19.3 points per game. He is shooting a phenomenal 55 percent from the field, which is second in the conference. The senior is second in the league making 2.72 three-pointers per game at a WCC-best 44.7 percentage, which is fifth in the nation. He is fourth in the conference shooting 65.2 percent inside-the-arc. Kispert is first in the WCC with an 89.4 free-throw percentage. He has scored in double-digits in all but one game this season, reaching 20 points 11 times. The Edmonds, Wash., native, boasts a 120-10 career record in games he’s appeared in. He has the highest winning percentage in Div. 1 over the last 25 years for at least 100 appearances. He’s scored 1,473 points in career, and is sixth in GU history with 247 three-pointers. Kispert received First Team All-WCC honors for the second straight season.

Suggs is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award. He leads the West Coast Conference in steals per game (2.00). The freshman is also fourth in the WCC in assists per game (4.48), fourth in field goal percentage (50.5 percent), and 11th in scoring (14.0). He was named the WCC Freshman of the Week 10 times this season. Suggs was named the league’s Player of the Week after scoring a season-high 27 points in a win over then-ranked No. 3 Iowa. The West Saint Paul, Minn., native, has scored in double digits 16 times, dished out at least five assists in 12 games and made three or more steals in seven games.

Timme, a First Team All-Conference selection, is a finalist for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award. He is second in the conference in scoring at 18.9 points per game, at a league-leading 65.4 percent from the field, which is fourth in the country. He is third in the WCC making 67.6 percent from inside-the-arc. His 7.12 rebounds per game is also third in the conference. He has started all 25 games for GU, scoring in double digits 24 times. Timme also has a team-high 11 20-point games this season, including a career-high 29 versus Virginia.

Ayayi, a finalist for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award, is fourth in the WCC in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.05). His 6.96-rebound average ranks fIfth in the conference, and is the most by a guard in program history. The junior averages 11.77 points per game at 58.3 percent shooting from the field. He is second in the league shooting 68.7 percent inside-the-arc. Ayayi recorded the first triple-double in program history in the win at Portland. He scored all 12 of his points in the first half, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out a career-high 14 assists. Ayayi’s 14 assists were the second-most in program history, and the most since Blake Stepp’s record of 16 in 2002. His 18 rebounds against Iowa were the most by a Bulldog guard since the program moved to NCAA Div. 1 in 1958-59. His 18 boards were also the fourth most for a Gonzaga player since Mark Few took over as head coach. The French native was named First Team All-West Coast Conference.

COURTESY WEST COAST CONFERENCE

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