March 3, 2014
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SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- The final stretch of the record-setting four-year career of Anthony Ireland continues to put him in rare company within the history of LMU men's basketball. He continues to add to his legacy as one of the program's all-time best players as he joins Hank Gathers and Forrest McKenzie as the only Lions to earn first-team All-Conference honors by the West Coast Conference three times.
Ireland was selected first-team All-WCC for the third straight year, as announced with the release of the WCC postseason honors on Monday. He and Gathers are the only players to earn it three consecutive seasons while McKenzie did it in 1982-83, 1983-84 and then after a redshirt season, did it again in 1985-86.
While Ireland continues to add to his career numbers, LMU's season was also about the beginning of the careers of freshmen Gabe Levin and Evan Payne. The two newcomers were named to the five-team WCC All-Freshman team, adding postseason honors to their record-setting freshman seasons.
The Lions open the 2014 WCC Championships in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena on Thursday, Mar. 6 when they face Portland at 6 pm.
Payne enters the WCC tournament on Thursday ranked eighth in the leave in scoring at 15.4 points per game, a new freshman record at LMU. He has also set the freshman record for total points, becoming just the second Lion to surpass 400, scoring 463. He also had a pair of 27-point games on the season, ranking fourth for a freshman. He is hitting 84.5 percent from the free throw line, ranking eighth in the WCC and 18th all-time at LMU for a single season.
He has also done more than score. His 40 steals is ranked fourth at LMU for a freshman, while his 1.3 steals per game is rank tied for ninth in the WCC.
From the post, Levin established himself as a force with 189 rebounds entering the week, good for second all-time at LMU for a freshman. His 7.0 rebounds per game is also second at LMU, and ranks ninth within the WCC. He is also sixth in the WCC with 1.1 blocks per game, swatting away 30 on the season. He also has scored, averaging 11.1 ppg, good for 26th in the WCC.
He has also set a freshman record with his fifth double-double against Pacific on Jan. 23 with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He is one of just five freshman to have multiple double-doubles in their debut season at LMU. He has grabbed 14 rebounds in a single game three times this season, ranking second for a freshman in a single season.
As for Ireland, his numbers put him as one of the top players in LMU history. He became the seventh player in WCC history to score 2,000 points, five of them being LMU Lions. Of the 23 career statistical categories, he is in the top-10 in 14 of them and in the top-30 in five others.
Ireland is the only Lion in LMU history with at least 2,000 career points, 500 career rebounds, 500 career assists and 150 career steals. He is the only active player in the NCAA to have hit those milestones and there are only three active players in Division I basketball (Kendall Williams - New Mexico; Chaz Williams - UMass; Shabazz Napier - UConn) to have 1,500 points, 500 assists and 150 steals. As of Mar. 2 he is second in the league at 18.7 ppg (61st nationally), second in assists at 5.37 (37th nationally) and second in steals at 1.63. With 560 points (ranked 39th in the NCAA as of Mar. 2), 161 assists (ranked 31st) and 49 steals (ranked 86th) in 2013-14, Ireland now ranks third in points with 2,136, third in assists with 545 and second in steals at 196.
Here is a look at Ireland's march toward 2,000:
||Nov. 12, 2010
||Became the first Lion to hit his first three-point attempt in his first game
||Mar. 5, 2011
||Orleans Arena - Las Vegas
Scored 24 points against Santa Clara in WCC tournament, wrapping up his season with 340 points, 7th all-time for a freshman
||Nov. 11, 2011
||LA Sports Arena
Scored 21 points with 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals as Lions defeated No. 17 UCLA to start a 21-win sophomore campaign.
Averaged 23 points in the CIT Postseason Invitational, including 20 points and 10 assists against Damian Lillard and Weber State, to wrap-up a record sophomore year. He would be named LMU's first NABC All-District.
||Nov, 23, 2012
||vs. Texas St.
Scored 23 points with seven assists in win over Texas State at the Great Alaska Shootout to reach 1,000.
||Feb. 9, 2013
Scored 30 points against ninth-ranked Gonzaga and when he left the game was given an ovation by the Kennel fans.
||Feb. 26, 2013
||at Santa Clara
||Scored 23 points to crack into the career top-10 for scoring at LMU, moving ahead of Rick Adelman (1,425 points - 1965-68), Ed Bento (1,435 points - 1958-62) and Matthew Knight (1,466 points - 2003-07) in the process.
||Mar. 2, 2013
Reached 1,500 with a 24-point, 5-assist performance at Gersten Pavilion againt BYU in the regular season finale.
||Scored 70 points in four games, leading the Lions to an unprecedented three straight win in the WCC tournament, scoring 23 and the game winner with 5.8 left against Santa Clara in the quarterfinals, and 19 against No. 1 Gonzaga in the semifinals. Finished second in the WCC and 14th nationally with 20.2 ppg. He finished with 688 points, seventh all-time at LMU and is just the 15th time someone has scored at least 600 points in a single season in LMU history.
||Nov. 8-9, 2014
||Jenny Craig Pavilion
Scored 34 points in first two games of senior season, going for 20 points and 12 assists against South Dakota St. to move past Luther Philyaw (1,581 points - 1972-76) and Mike Yoest (1,601 points - 1984-88) for 8th all-time.
||Nov. 22-25, 2014
||U.S. Virgin Islands
Averaged 23 points in three games at the Paradise Jam to earn All-Tournament honors, moving him past Jim Haderlein (1,706 points - 1968-71) for 7th all-time in LMU history.
||Jan. 4, 2014
||at Santa Clara
||Set his career-high with a 34-point performance against the Broncos, adding seven assists to his third career 30-point game.
||Jan. 16, 2014
Moved past Jeff Fryer (1,922 points - 1986-90) for 6th all-time with 14 points against the Pilots.
||Jan. 25, 2014
||at Saint Mary's
||Scored 11 straight points in four minutes to finish with 17 against the Gaels, moving past Keith Smith (1,980 points - 1982-86) for 5th all-time.
||Feb. 1, 2014
||His 15 first half points gave him 2,000 in his career, finishing with 24 against the rival Waves, putting him at 2,009 points, one behind Bo Kimble's 2,010 for 4th all-time in LMU history.
||Feb. 6, 2014
||After a free throw gave him 2,010, his floater late in the first half moved him past Bo Kimble for fourth all-time at LMU history. He finished with 13 points.
||Feb. 15, 2014
||McCarthey Athletic Center
||Scored 23 points with three rebounds and five assists while playing all 40 minutes against league-leader Gonzaga, moving him into third all-time, past Forrest McKenzie.
||Mar. 1, 2014
||On senior night, scored 13 points with three rebounds and six assist to give him 2,136 points heading into his final WCC tournament.
Ireland has not missed a game and not one day of practice in his three-year career, playing in nearly 88 percent of the available minutes the last four seasons. LMU has played 5,095 minutes since Ireland joined the program. He has played in 4,530 of them. As of Mar. 1, here is where he ranks all-time in LMU history:
||Points Per Game:
||15th (16.4 ppg)
|Field Goals Made:
||Field Goals Attempted:
|3PT FGs Made:
||3PT FGs Attempted:
|3PT FG PCT:
|Assists Per Game:
||9th (4.2 apg)
|Steals Per Game:
||13th (1.5 spg)