Spokane alum Preston Wynne named the NAIA National Basketball Player of the Week and GSAC Player of the Year
COSTA MESA, Calif. – Ninth-ranked Vanguard men's basketball earned both major Golden State Athletic Conference awards on Tuesday as Preston Wynne (Wellpinit, Wash.) was named the GSAC's Player of the Year and head coach Rhett Soliday earned the prestigious Coach of the Year nod for the Lions. Junior Chris Gorman (Oceanside, Calif.) was also voted to the 10-person 2013-14 All-GSAC Team Presented by Under Armour.
Wynne, a senior from the Spokane Tribe Indian Reservation, leads the GSAC in scoring for the second consecutive season at 20.1 points per game. He tops the conference in free throw percentage at 89% (second in the NAIA). Wynne ranks second in the league and third in the NAIA with his average of 3.4 three-point field goals per game, and sits second among GSAC players in steals per game (1.86). A repeat All-GSAC player and a 2012-13 NAIA Honorable Mention selection, Wynne was also selected as the GSAC and NAIA Player of the Week on Feb. 4th.
"I was able to get this award because of my teammates," Wynne said. "It has been an exciting season and I am happy to play a part in our success. I really appreciate the support that we have been getting. Our fans are the best. We need them in the upcoming tournament, and if they want to travel to Kansas City, they are more than welcome to."
Soliday is in his fourth year at the Vanguard helm. He led the Lions to a 24-6 overall record and the program's first GSAC Championship since the 1989-90 season. The title is just the fourth in school history, and the second-ever outright crown for VU men's hoops. This is his first GSAC Coach of the Year honor.
Gorman, the Blue and Gold's point guard, averaged 15.9 points per contest during the regular season and started all 30 of the Lions' games. He led The Pride in assists per showing (3.8 apg) and posted a season-high 31 points at Arizona Christian earlier in the year.
"I am honored to be a part of the All-GSAC team," Gorman said. "I thank the coaches and my teammates for putting me in a position to be successful. It feels good to be recognized but this is just another stepping stone in what we are trying to accomplish as a team, and that is to win the GSAC Tournament and make a push for the national title."
"Our whole team is really happy for our two guys who we're named all-conference," Soliday said. "It is a reflection of tremendous individual work, but also we recognize that to have two guys make all conference is difficult and that can only happen with a tremendous season as a team. Preston being named GSAC Player of the Year is very deserving and although there were other great individual efforts within the conference this year, there is no doubt that he has had one of the most special seasons I've ever seen in the GSAC. I couldn't be happier for Preston and although he is not concerned about individual awards, it is an awesome thing for him and for Vanguard Athletics. Chris Gorman just keeps getting better and better and I believe that had Preston not won the player of the year award that Chris certainly would be as deserving as anyone else in the conference. Fortunately Chris is just a junior and if we are somehow able to approach anywhere near this year's level of success as a team next season, Chris would be my favorite for player of the year."
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Preston Wynne of Vanguard (Calif.) has been named the NAIA National Division I Men's Basketball Player of the Week, the national office announced Tuesday. Wynne was selected based on his performances from Jan. 27 – Feb. 2 and was chosen out of a pool of conference and independent award winners. Prior to winning the national award, was selected as the Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Week.
"I feel humbled to be selected as the GSAC and NAIA player of the week," Wynne said. "In reality, I am on the NAIA team of the week! If our team wasn't successful in our last two games, I would not have even been mentioned in this category. All in all, I am very grateful for this recognition and the award, but I am even more grateful for my team and our awesome fans. It's great to be a Lion."
Wynne, a 6-foot-1 senior guard from Wellpinit, Wash., led the Lions to victories over two Top 25 opponents last week. On Jan. 28, he scored 30 points on 10-of-19 shooting in Vanguard's 94-79 upset of then-No. 8 Concordia (Calif.). Then, on Feb. 1, he dropped 25 points as the Lions escaped with a 72-69 overtime win over then-No. 23 Hope International (Calif.). On the week, Wynne tallied nine rebounds, five assists and two steals, while averaging 27.5 points per game. He shot .944 from the charity stripe (17-of-18) and .353 from beyond the arc (6-of-17).
On the year, Wynne leads the team in points per game (18.16). He's also the leading 3-point threat (.404) and most consistent free throw shooter (.853) on the team. Nationally, he ranks among the top 20 in 3-point field goals made per game (14th, 2.895), total 3-point field goals made (17th, 55) and free throw percentage (17th, .853).
For a complete list of all the national statistical leaders, click here.