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Recent play earns 'Bows' McKoy second-team honor

Mar. 13—Not all seniors are alike, and Justin McKoy was mindful of the existing leadership when he joined the Hawaii basketball team last July.

Not all seniors are alike, and Justin McKoy was mindful of the existing leadership when he joined the Hawaii basketball team last July.

"I think when you join a program or a place, you earn your shots with your actions, " said McKoy, who transferred from North Carolina after beginning his career at Virginia. "And then when you do that, you earn your shots with your actions."

He also learned from UH senior captains Bernardo da Silva, Noel Coleman and JoVon McClanahan.

"I think subtly I did little things here and there just being an echo of the captains, " McKoy added. "And then there was a point I earned the respect of my teammates because I was doing the right things and saying the right things. Over time, you naturally become a leader when you do those things."

McKoy's resurgence as a three-level shooter, interchangeable four and five, and clutch free-throw maker earned him a berth on the All-Big West Conference's second team announced on Tuesday.

Da Silva, who leads the league in field-goal accuracy at 60.2 % while averaging 7.1 rebounds, and Coleman, who averages a team-high 13.9 points, received honorable mention.

UH coach Eran Ganot said McKoy's recent play was deserving of first-team or top-newcomer recognition.

In UH's first 10 Big West games, McKoy averaged 11.3 points. In the next 10, he averaged 16.1 points. McKoy has made 21 consecutive free throws, and ranks third in the league from the line at 87.8 %.

McKoy credits his improvement to "the fact my teammates have been able to shoot well and spread the floor. This is my first real season of playing real meaningful and lots of minutes. This is a case of finally getting the experience and the playing time. I'm confident and comfortable, and that leads me to playing freer and better."

Twenty-four hours after defeating Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday, the third-seeded Rainbow Warriors arrived in Las Vegas ahead of the Big West Tournament. The'Bows went through conditioning drills and a weightlifting session on Monday. They had an intensive two-hour practice on Tuesday. With an opening-round bye, the'Bows will play tonight's UC Santa Barbara-Cal State Northridge winner on Thursday at 3 p.m.

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