March 7, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara sophomore forward Chris Devine has been named the Big West Conference's 2006 Hustle Award winner by the league's coaches it was announced Tuesday.
Devine, who was selected Second Team All-Big West on Monday, ended the regular season as UCSB's second-leading scorer at 12.5 points per game and its leading rebounder at 6.0 per game. He also tops the team with 28 steals and 802 minutes played. In addition, Devine leads the Big West Conference in field goal percentage at 55.8% and he recorded a team-leading four double-doubles on the season.
A native of Eagle River, Alaska, Devine missed all of the 2003-04 and 2004-05 season with a variety of injuries. In his first season he suffered from knee and wrist ailments and then last year, he had knee surgery before the start of practice in October. This year, Devine not only led the Gauchos in minutes played, he is the only player to have started all 27 regular season games.
"Chris has had an outstanding first year," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "I can't think of anyone in this conference who deserves the `Hustle Award' more than him. He really goes hard every minute he is on the court, both in games and in practices, and his comeback from two years of injuries has just been huge for us."
Devine is the second UCSB player to earn the Big West Hustle Award. Guard Nick Jones won the honor in 2002-03, his junior season.
The other Big West Specialty Awards went to Cal State Fullerton's Frank Robinson (Sixth Man of the Year) and UC Riverside's Dedrick Bates (Defensive Player of the Year).
UCSB will open the 2006 Big West Tournament on Wednesday night. The Gauchos, seeded fifth, will take on UC Riverside, the eighth seed, in a 6:00 p.m. game at the Anaheim Convention Center.