March 1, 2011
COLLEGE PAGESAINT MARY'S PAGE
CSNBayArea.com staffSaint Marys basketball coach Randy Bennett has been named the West Conference Coach of the Year Tuesday and guard Mickey McConnell has been honored as WCC Player of the Year.The awards were announced during a midday teleconference.The honor is the second for Bennett but first time he has won it alone. He shared the award in 2008 with Gonzagas Mark Few. It is the first time McConnell has won the league MVP award; he is the first Saint Marys player to win it under Bennett.Saturday, Bennetts Gaels (23-7, 11-3) clinched a share of the regular-season conference title, their first in 14 years, with a win over Portland. This is just the latest highlight for Bennett, who took over a program that won two games in 2000-01 and now has it in the hunt for a fourth NCAA tournament bid in seven seasons.McConnell has been at the top of many WCC statistical categories this season. Hes third in the conference in scoring at 16.8 points per game, first in the conference in assists at 6.1, second among WCC players in shooting percentage (.517) and has the nations 13th-best three point percentage (.475).Santa Claras Troy Payne was named WCC Defensive Player of the Year.