The Big West Conference had some sharpshooters and good passers over the past ten years. The league also had UC Irvine on the verge of the Sweet 16 last season, losing steam late against Oregon. There have been some impactful transfers as well as some successful international players. This has been one of the better mid-major leagues of late.
Big West 2010s All-Decade Team
Guard – Casper Ware, Long Beach State
Casper Ware started the decade capturing back-to-back player of the year awards. He became the first player in league history to win both player of the year and defensive player of the year. Ware left Long Beach State as the school’s all-time leader in steals and assists.
For his career, Ware averaged 14.1 points, 4.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. On top of his school records, he finished sixth in conference history in career assists and steals. He helped lead The Beach to two regular-season titles and one NCAA appearance during his two seasons of play in the decade.
Guard – Corey Hawkins, UC Davis
Corey Hawkins played for the Aggies from 2012-2015 after transferring from Arizona State. He was the league’s player of the year and an AP All-American honorable mention in 2015. Both honors were firsts for the program. Hawkins was known for his three-point shooting, shooting 48.8 percent from behind the arc to lead the NCAA his senior year.
He averaged 19.7 points, five rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game during his three seasons at UC Davis. Hawkins’ 41.3 career three-point shooting percentage is fourth-best in Big West history. He also ranks fifth in true shooting percentage and third in player efficiency rating in conference history. Hawkins helped the Aggies win one league title and make one NIT appearance.
Guard – TJ Shorts II, UC Davis
TJ Shorts II was another guard transfer for UC Davis, coming from the community college ranks. He spent two seasons with the Aggies, being named the newcomer and player of the year in 2018. Shorts was the first player in league history to win both awards in the same season. One of the highlights of his first season with the team was having a triple-double.
Shorts averaged 15 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.8 steals per game for his career. His 49.7 shooting percentage led the league in 2019. He is also second all-time in Big West history in assist percentage. Shorts won one regular-season title with UC Davis while making one NIT appearance.
Forward – Lamine Diane, Cal State Northridge
Lamine Diane is the first current player to make the team. He bookended the decade with back-to-back player of the year awards, finishing it the way Casper Ware started it. He also won newcomer and freshman of the year in 2019, making him the first player ever to win all three of those conference recognitions in one year. This past season he led the Big West in double-doubles with 11 while only playing in 19 games.
Diane averaged 25.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.1 blocks per game for his career. He broke five single-season school records as a freshman. He led the NCAA in made two-point field goals in 2019 and is second in league history in player efficiency rating. Diane declared for the NBA Draft after this past season.
Center – Alan Williams, UC Santa Barbara
Alan Williams played for the Gauchos from 2011-15. He was the league’s player of the year in 2014 and made the first-team three times. He became the first player in school history with 1,000 career rebounds and fifth in conference history to have 1,000 career points and rebounds. Williams’ 11.5 rebounds per game in 2014 led the NCAA.
For his career, Williams averaged 15.5 points, 10 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. He sits atop the Big West’s all-time defensive rebounds leaderboard and is second in total rebounds and made two-point field goals. Williams’ 31.4 career player efficiency rating is sixth-best in NCAA history. Unfortunately, he only got to play in one CIT and one CBI postseason tournament.
Guard – Luke Nelson, UC Irvine
Luke Nelson played for the Anteaters from 2013-17. He was the freshman of the year in 2014 and player of the year as a senior. He also made the conference’s first-team twice.
Nelson averaged 12.9 points and 3.5 assists per game for his career. He finished ninth in Big West history in made threes and tenth in points produced per game. Nelson played a huge role in UC Irvine’s success in the middle of the decade. He was on three title teams, making one NCAA Tournament as well as one appearance each in the NIT and CIT.
Guard – Mike Caffey, Long Beach State
Mike Caffey played for Long Beach State from 2011-15. He became the fourth player in school history to be named to the league’s first-team three times. He also joined Casper Ware as the third player in school history to have 1,000 career points and 400 career assists.
Caffey averaged 12.5 points and 3.5 assists per game for his career. He finished third in conference history in points produced. He also finished 11th in steals and assists. Caffey helped the program win two regular-season titles and play in one NCAA Tournament.
Guard – Terrell Gomez, Cal State Northridge
Terrell Gomez joins Lamine Diane as both the other current player and Matador on this team. He was the freshman of the year in 2018 and made two appearances on the conference’s first-team. He finished this past season as the Big West’s leader in ten statistical categories. Gomez also led the NCAA in free throw percentage this past year, shooting 94.8 percent (109-115).
For his career, Gomez averaged 17.1 points and 2.9 assists per game. He is another sharpshooter who shot 43.6 percent from three for his career. He holds the school’s career record for made threes. Gomez also sits second in league history in offensive rating. After this past season, he decided to transfer and spend his remaining eligibility at San Diego State.
Guard – Orlando Johnson, UC Santa Barbara
Orlando Johnson played for UCSB from 2009-12. He transferred from Loyola Marymount and made the conference’s first-team in both seasons he played in the decade. Johnson left the Gauchos as the program’s leading scorer and the only one in school history to score more than 500 points in every season.
He averaged 19.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game for his career. Johnson finished fourth in Big West history in player efficiency rating, fifth in points per game, and ninth in points. He helped UCSB make one NCAA appearance.
Forward – Christian Standhardinger, Hawaii
Christian Standhardinger played two seasons at Hawaii after transferring from Nebraska. The German made the first-team in both years, becoming the second player in program history to make the team more than once. He led the Big West in made free throws in 2014.
Standhardinger averaged 16.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in his two seasons as a Warrior. He is the only two-year player in school history to amass 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career. He made one CIT appearance while playing for Hawaii.