The postseason honors just kept rolling in for Long Beach State men’s basketball player Casper Ware, culminating with his selection to the Associated Press (AP) honorable mention All-America Team.
The junior guard is just the second 49er to earn a spot on the team in the last 31 years.
Ware joins Aaron Nixon (2007) as the two 49ers to earn honorable mention honors in the last three decades. Before Nixon, a CSULB player hadn’t claimed All-American status since Michael Wiley and Francios Wise were named All-Americans in 1980.
Ware received a number of postseason honors since leading the 49ers to the Big West Conference (BWC) regular season title and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). He was selected as both the BWC Player of the Year and the BWC Defensive Player of the Year, the first player in league history to win both awards in the same season.
Just before the AP selection was announced, Ware was one of 25 players named to the 2011 Lou Henson All-America Team, which recognizes the top Division I players from the mid-major schools. And, less than a week before that, he was selected to the 2011 Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America team along with 20 other Division I players.
Additionally, Ware earned a spot on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 9 Team, as well as a place on the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District IX Team. The 49er guard was one of just 10 players on the USBWA team, joining seven players from the Pac-10, one from the West Coast Conference and one from the Mountain West on the team. District IX includes the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Arizona and Alaska.
Ware led Long Beach State in scoring (17.2 ppg), assists (150) and steals (56), while also finishing second in 3-pointers made (75). Ware finished the season second in the BWC in scoring while also ranking second in assists (4.4 apg), fourth in steals (1.6 spg), sixth in free throw percentage (.810), fifth in 3-point field goals made (2.2 per game) and seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (.381). He ranked among the school’s all-time single-season leaders in free throws made (3rd), free throws attempted (6th), 3-point field goals made (7th), 3-pointers attempted (7th), assists (9th), and steals (11th).
Ware was one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy award honoring the nation’s best point guard, and he claimed Big West Conference Player of the week honors once after leading the 49ers to wins at UC Davis and Cal State Northridge. Defensively, he spearheaded an attack that, in Big West games, helped limit opponents to 60 points or less on seven occasions, all resulting in 49er victories. Long Beach State was 12-0 in conference play when it held the opponent under 70 points.