Season of many highlights comes to abrupt end for high-scoring Vikings
May 10, 2005
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - A season of many highlights came to an early and abrupt end for the Western Washington University men's basketball team.
The Vikings finished the year 22-7. They hosted the West Regional of the NCAA Division II National Tournament, but after defeating BYU-Hawaii, 80-69, in the opening round, the Vikings fell, 88-66, in the regional semifinals to Alaska Fairbanks, with whom they had shared the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship at 13-5.
Western was ranked 15th in the final National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA II Poll and was as high as No.5 during the season. They did so behind the force of a high-powered but balanced offense that rolled up 91.3 points a game, which ranked third nationally and was the second-best mark in school history.
"I was pleased with what we were able to accomplish," said Western coach Brad Jackson. "It was very hard working and enjoyable team. The end of our season wasn't to our liking, but that shouldn't overshadow what was in many ways an outstanding season."
Jackson, the winningest coach in school history, was named GNAC co-Coach of the Year.
Five players averaged in double figures, and a sixth was just short of it. Leading the way were two juniors - forward Grant Dykstra (Everson/Lynden Christian) and guard Ryan Diggs (Victorville/Silverado).
Dykstra averaged 17.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and a team-high 2.0 steals. He shot 50.3 percent from the field (174-of-346), including 46.9 percent (69-of-147) on 3-pointers, and 82.3 percent (79-of-96) on free throws. He was a first-team all-GNAC pick, a first-team all-West Region selection by both Daktronics, Inc., and the NABC, and was named the national recipient of the prestigious United States Basketball Writers Association Most Courageous Award.
Diggs averaged a team-high 18.1 points a game and also contributed 3.3 assists and 1.1 steals, earning first-team all-GNAC and second-team NABC all-region honors.
Both players passed the 1,000-point mark in career scoring, Dykstra currently at 1,226, which ranks 11th in school history, and Diggs at 1,158, which is 13th. Dykstra is also 12th in career steals with 150 and 13th in assists with 280, and Diggs is 16th in career assists with 259.
Junior forward Tyler Amaya (Mount Vernon) was named GNAC Newcomer of the Year after transferring from Dixie JC in Utah. He averaged 12.0 points and team-highs of 7.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks.
Junior center Tyler MacMullen (Mukilteo/Kamiak) averaged 10.8 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting a team-best 52.7 percent (127-of-241) from the field.
Completing the starting lineup was junior guard Kyle Jackson (Bellingham/Sehome), who averaged 9.9 points and a team-high 4.0 assists. He hit 48.4 percent (30-of-62) on 3-pointers, and a team-best 86.0 percent (98-of-114) on free throws.
The top threat off the bench was forward Craig Roosendaal (Shoreline/King's), the lone senior on the squad. Roosendaal averaged 11.7 points a game, ranking third nationally in 3-point percentage at 47.3 percent (80-of-169). He made at least one trey in 28 of 29 games, hitting five or more on five occasions, and finished his two-year career as Western's all-time leader in 3-point percentage (47.4, 157-of-331).
Junior guard Preston Vermuelen (Sumas/Nooksack Valley) played a key role off the bench, averaging 3.7 points in 7.2 minutes a game and turning the tide in other games with defensive intensity. Freshman forward Brett Weisner (Spokane/Shadle Park) was another regular reserve on the perimeter, averaging 2.9 points.
In the post, sophomore center Lukas Henne (Bremerton/Central Kitsap) played in all 29 games, averaging 3.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.6 blocked shots. Junior forward Darrell Visser (Lynden) averaged 2.4 points and was second on the team in blocks (0.8).
Freshman guard Ira Graham (Fontana, CA) averaged 4.6 points in 11 games before leaving school for personal reasons in early January. Completing the active roster was junior center Rob Primozich (Anacortes), who played in 13 contests.
Western ranked 10th nationally in 3-point percentage at 40.5 percent (258-of-637) and 16th in 3-pointers made (8.9 avg.). The Vikings were also 17th in free-throw percentage (75.6) and 24th in field-goal percentage (46.2). They scored 100 points or more a school-record 12 times, including six of the last nine games of the regular season.
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