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Jake Toolson Named WAC Player of the Year; Lowell Earns Freshman of the Year Honors

Clark Clifford - UVU Athletics

When your team is picked to finish fourth in the WAC and you finish second, that means good things happened. And junior guard Jake Toolson is a huge reason why UVU enters the WAC tournament as the 2-seed. On Tuesday, as voted on by the coaches, Toolson was named WAC Player of the Year in leading UVU to a 23-8 overall record and 12-4 WAC record. The sophomore from Gilbert, Arizona averaged 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and shot at a 55 percent mark from the field. Toolson also shot 48.5 percent from 3-point land and is an 87 percent free throw shooter. 

Toolson posted five games with 20 or more points in WAC play. And in WAC play, Toolson ranked third in 3-point average (47.4), free throw percentage (87.3), and 3-pointers per game (2.3). His 16.7 points per game and field goal percentage (54.0) during WAC play was good for fourth. Toolson also played the sixth most minutes in the WAC at 33.8. 

If that isn’t impressive, this might be. Toolson is the only player in the nation who has played 20 or more games while shooting better than 55 percent from the field, 45 percent from 3-point range, and 85 percent from the free throw line.

Toolson is the first player from UVU to earn the WAC’s top honor. His uncle, Danny Ainge, won the award in 1981. 

Wyatt Lowell Named Freshman of the Year

Lowell led all freshman in scoring (5.4), rebounding (3.0), and steals (.5) in WAC play.

The freshman from Arizona scored in double-digits three times during WAC play. Lowell becomes the first player in UVU history to earn the WAC Freshman of the Year honor. 

Other awards

California Baptist’s Milan Acquaah won Newcomer of the Year. UTRGV’s Javon Levi won Defensive Player of the Year and New Mexico State’s Chris Jans won the Don Haskins Coach of the Year honors. 

No other Utah Valley player was named to any of the All-WAC teams. The WAC tournament starts Thursday when Chicago State takes on New Mexico State in the first of four games on the day ending with Seattle U against Grand Canyon in the nightcap. 

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