Big Sky Conference

Three from Big Sky men’s hoops named first-team All-District; SUU’s Simon named Coach of the Year


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (March 16, 2021) – The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced the 2020-21 NCAA Division I All-District Teams and Coaches Tuesday with five Big Sky Conference players being selected to the District 6 Team and Southern Utah’s Todd Simon being selected as the District 6 Co-Coach of the Year, as voted on by NABC Division I member coaches.
Eastern Washington junior forward Tanner Groves, Southern Utah junior guard Tevian Jones, Weber State senior guard Isiah Brown, Northern Arizona junior guard Cameron Shelton, and Sacramento State senior forward Ethan Esposito earned recognition from the Big Sky. Groves, Jones, and Brown were three of five players tabbed to the first team while Shelton and Esposito earned second team honors.
Groves, the Big Sky Conference and Tournament MVP, ranked among the top five in scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage against conference opponents this season. He was fourth in scoring with 17.9 points per game, fifth in rebounding with 7.4 rebounds per game, and led the league in field goal percentage shooting 58.6 percent from the field. Groves has been instrumental to Eastern Washington’s success this season in leading the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015.

Brown was a unanimous All-Big Sky First Team selection alongside Groves and was named the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year. He finished third in the Big Sky in scoring with 18.0 points per game and third in field goal percentage shooting 52.6 percent overall. He also averaged 1.4 steals per game and 3.0 assists per game in league play for the Wildcats.

Southern Utah Tevian Jones (5) drives baseline vs. Montana State/by Brooks Nuanez

Jones became the first Thunderbird to ever be named to the Big Sky All-Conference First Team after an incredible season for SUU. In conference action, Jones ranked fifth in scoring with 16.7 points per game and third in free throw percentage shooting 90.7 percent from the charity stripe. He scored 377 points this season to lead Southern Utah to its first ever Big Sky regular-season title.
Shelton added a second team all-district nod to his resume after earning All-Big Sky First Team honors for the first time for NAU since 2015. He led the Big Sky in scoring averaging 20 or more points against conference opponents for most of the season. Shelton concluded the season ranked first in league play in scoring with 20.6 points per game, third in steals with 1.6 per game, and second in assists with 4.7 per game. He also averaged 6.4 rebounds per game and shot over 40 percent from the field.
Esposito ranked second in the Big Sky in scoring with 18.9 points per game, fourth in rebounds with 7.6 boards per game, and fifth in field goal percentage shooting 47.3 percent overall to earn All-Big Sky Second Team accolades. He becomes the third player in Sacramento State’s Division I era to receive all-district honors.
Utah Valley’s Fardaws Aimaq and Seattle’s Darrion Trammell were also named to the NABC All-District 6 First Team. Grand Canyon’s Asbjorn Midtgaard and California Baptist’s Ty Rowell and Gorjok Gak joined Shelton and Esposito on the second team.

Southern Utah head coach Southern Utah/ By Brooks Nuanez

After leading Southern Utah to its most successful season yet, Todd Simon was named the 2020-21 Big Sky Coach of the Year and earned Co-Coach of the Year honors for District 6 alongside UTRGV’s Lew Hill.
Under fifth-year head coach Simon, SUU earned its first ever Big Sky Conference regular-season championship and No. 1 seed in the conference tournament this season. The Thunderbirds entered the postseason with a 19-3 overall record and 12-2 mark in league play.
Simon’s Thunderbirds finished the regular season with a .864 winning percentage and .857 winning percentage in conference play. SUU was perfect at home with a 14-0 record this season, which marked the most victories at home in a single season in the program’s Division I history.

2020-21 NABC All-District 6 Team

First Team

Fardaws Aimaq, Utah Valley
Tanner Groves, Eastern Washington
Tevian Jones, Southern Utah
Darrion Trammell, Seattle
Isiah Brown, Weber State

Second Team

Asbjorn Midtgaard, Grand Canyon
Cameron Shelton, Northern Arizona
Ty Rowell, California Baptist
Ethan Esposito, Sacramento State
Gorjok Gak, California Baptist
Co-Coaches of the Year:
Lew Hill, UTRGV and Todd Simon, Southern Utah

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