(Hawaii Athletics) - The Big West Conference announced its men's basketball all-conference and specialty team selections Monday as picked by the league coaches with a trio of Rainbow Warriors getting recognition. Senior forward Mike Thomas gained all-conference honorable mention, junior forward Jack Purchase was named the Best Sixth Player, while Sheriff Drammeh earned the title of Best Hustle Player.
Thomas gained all-conference recognition for the first time. The fifth-year senior and native of Woodland Hills, Calif., has made the most of his final season at UH averaging a team-best 13.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg with five double-doubles, three of them coming in league play. The 6-7 Thomas also leads the team in field goal percentage (.563), including a league-best 58.8 percent in Big West games.
Purchase gained conference honors for the second straight season, this time as the Best Sixth Player. He is the first Rainbow Warrior to take home the honor. An all-Big West honorable mention last year while starting all 30 games, the junior forward took on an entirely new role this season. Purchase has come off the bench in 22 contests of 29 contests, and has remained vital to the team with his all-around-play. The 6-9 forward from Melbourne, Australia is again one of the top marksman in the Big West, leading the team with 50 three-pointers, while adding 5.0 rpg and nearly two assists per game.
In his third season with the Rainbow Warriors, Drammeh has long been known for his boundless energy. He was recognized as the league's Best Hustle Player –UH's first such honor—after menacing opponents on both ends of the court. The team's second-leading scorer (10.8 ppg), the 6-3 guard from Stockholm, Sweden is also second on the team in steals. But drawing offensive fouls continues to be his calling card, sparking numerous UH wins, including a crucial drawn charge that help secure UH's overtime win at UC Riverside.
UC Davis junior guard TJ Shorts garnered top honors as the Big West Player of the Year, while the Aggies Jim Les was named the Coach of the Year.
UH next plays in the Big West Tournament, March 8-10, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The No. 6 seed Rainbow Warriors will face No. 3 seed UC Irvine in a quarterfinal matchup on Thursday, March 8 at 6:00 p.m. PT/4:00 p.m. HT. The game will be broadcast on a delayed-basis on Fox Sports Prime Ticket and streamed live on FoxSportsGo.