Big Sky All-Conference Team
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SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State senior guard Marcus Graves and junior center Joshua Patton were both named all-Big Sky Conference this morning. Graves was named to the second team and Patton was selected to the third team.
A total of 19 players from the Big Sky's 11 teams were named all-conference, including five first team selections, five second team choices, five third team selections and four honorable mentions. Patton and Graves both received all-conference recognition for the first times in their careers.
Sacramento State, which is the 14th most improved team in the nation based on record, finished the regular season with a 14-15 overall record and 8-12 conference mark. The Hornets will begin the Big Sky Tournament on Wednesday when the team faces Northern Arizona in the first round at 8:30 a.m. PST. This year's single-elimination event is being played at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.
Graves has established himself as not only one of the best players in the Big Sky, but also one of the top players in Sacramento State history. The San Diego native has started all 29 games this year, and currently has averages of 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.9 steals and 34.4 minutes per game. He ranks first in the Big Sky in both steals and assists, third in assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.8), fourth in minutes and fifth in scoring.
Graves has scored in double figures in 15 straight games, 27 games this season, and 71 times during his illustrious career. Making his season even more impressive is he missed the entire season a year ago after undergoing back surgery. Graves has started the last 91 games in which he has appeared, posted the program's first-ever triple-double earlier this year against Simpson and nearly had another in a road win at Eastern Washington (19 pts, 10 reb, 9 ast).
Earlier this year, he became the 16th player in program history (1948-pres.), and 10th during the Div. I era (1991-pres.) to score 1,000 career points. He currently has 1,297 points, which are the ninth most in program history, and sixth most in the Div. I era.
Also in program history, Graves ranks third in assists (464) and minutes (3,222), tied for third in starts (91), fourth in free throws attempted (411), sixth in free throws made (303) and seventh in steals (135).
Patton, who has also started all 29 games this year, is enjoying the best season of his career. The fourth-year junior is averaging 13.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game while shooting 61% from the field. Of his 190 rebounds, 64 have come on the offensive glass and he has shot at least 50 percent from the field in 21 games.
The Manteca, Calif., native has scored in double figures all but seven games this year, including a career-high 34 points in a 66-64 road win at Northern Arizona. The 34 points were tied for the fourth most in the team's Div. I era (1991-pres.) and he hit the game-winning bucket with 0.5 seconds remaining.
Among Big Sky leaders, Patton currently ranks second in blocks, third in field goal percentage, fifth in offensive rebounds (2.2 per game), eighth in rebounding and 15th in scoring. He has five double-doubles this season, and has at least 10 rebounds in four of the last eight games.
Still just a junior, Patton already ranks second in school history in career blocked shots (140), third in blocks per game (1.5) and third in field goal percentage (.602).