O'Quinn Finishes Turnaround

Mike O'Quinn, who overcame a troubled past to lead Cal State Northridge in scoring and rebounds, was one of several players with area ties honored by the Big Sky Conference on Tuesday in a vote of coaches.

In addition to O'Quinn, a versatile 6-foot-6 senior, Portland State forward Jason Hartman of Thousand Oaks High and Montana State forward Damon Ollie of North Hollywood High were among 11 players selected to the All-Big Sky team.

Northridge guard Carl Holmes was honored as freshman of the year and Matador senior guard Trenton Cross was chosen honorable mention.

O'Quinn transferred from Loyola Marymount in 1996 after several off-the-court problems and redshirted last season. In November, he was suspended for a game against Oregon State because he mouthed off to Coach Bobby Braswell, and the incident was a turning point.

"After the Oregon State game, his life completely changed," Braswell said. "I'm very proud of Mike. He definitely is an all-league player and he is on track to graduate in May."

O'Quinn, who has played shooting guard and both forwards, is averaging 15.6 points, shooting 48.4% and has 153 rebounds.

Hartman, a former two-time Ventura County Player of the Year, was chosen the Big Sky's Top Newcomer. The 6-7 forward sat out last season after transferring from Washington and finished second in the conference with a scoring average of 19.1.

Ollie, a 6-6 senior, leads the Big Sky in rebounds with 251--48 more than any other player. He is averaging 14.5 points and shooting 51.3%.

Holmes, Braswell's nephew, is averaging 10.3 points. He seized an opportunity created when guard Derrick Higgins was injured after five games.

"As a coach I'm proud of Carl because he grabbed an opportunity and became a positive force and as his uncle, I'm proud of him too," Braswell said.

Cross, most valuable player in last season's Big Sky tournament, overcame a slow start to average 8.0 points a game. His scoring average was 10.3 in Big Sky games.


All-Big Sky Conference Team

Most Valuable Player: Andrew Mavis, senior forward, Northern Arizona

Top Newcomer: Jason Hartman, junior forward, Portland State

Freshman of the Year: Carl Holmes, guard, Cal State Northridge

First Team

Damien Baskerville, Jr, Guard, Weber State

J.R. Camel, Jr, Guard, Montana

Casey Frank, Jr, Center, Northern Arizona

Jason Hartman, Jr, Forward, Portland State

Nate Holmstadt, Jr, Center, Montana State

Andrew Mavis, Jr, Forward, Northern Arizona

Damon Ollie, Sr, Forward, Montana State

Mike O'Quinn, Sr, Forward, Cal State Northridge

Karim Scott, Sr, Forward, Eastern Washington

Brian Towne, Jr, Forward, Portland State

Deon Williams, So, Guard, Eastern Washington

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