Boise State coach Leon Rice was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year and Tyson Degenhart earned Freshman of the Year honors Monday from the media that cover the league.
Rice earned eight of 11 first-place votes, while Wyoming’s Jeff Linder got the other three votes. Degenhart was a unanimous selection after winning Freshman of the Week honors nine times this season.
Abu Kigab and Marcus Shaver Jr. landed on the All-Mountain West second team, while Degenhart and Emmanuel Akot were honorable mention selections.
One ballot from each of the 11 Mountain West markets was submitted. In towns like Boise in which multiple beat writers cover the team, a combined ballot was submitted. The official All-Mountain West postseason awards voted by the coaches will be announced on Tuesday.
It’s the second Mountain West Coach of the Year award for Rice, who also won in 2015 when the Broncos tied for the league championship.
The Broncos (24-7, 15-3 MW) won the league outright by a game over Colorado State, San Diego State and Wyoming. Boise State went 21-3 to finish the regular season after starting 3-4 with a disappointing 46-39 loss to CSU-Bakersfield in maybe the worst offensive performance in Boise State history.
Degenhart was inserted into the starting lineup following the Bakersfield loss, and the Broncos are 21-4 with him there. He’s averaging 10.2 points per game while shooting 41.2 percent from 3-point range.
Boise State is the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Mountain West Tournament and will play Thursday at 1 p.m. MT against the winner of Wednesday’s New Mexico-Nevada game.