Titan Men's Basketball Honored

In the world of college voting politics the player and coach of the year awards usually go to members of the best team. This year that team was Long Beach State.

The 49ers, the regular season Big West Champions who beat the Titans both times they played, swept the top two awards on Monday.

Long Beach's Aaron Nixon and Larry Reynolds were named player and coach of the year, respectively.

Cal State Fullerton made school history, earning two All-First Team honors for the first time since the 1984-85 season.

But, debatably, the best player in the conference did not pick up the MVP award because his team did not finish in first.

"It did bother me a little bit when I first saw it," Cal State Fullerton's Bobby Brown said. "But there isn't anything I can do with it. I just have go into the conference tournament and prove people wrong. I have a chip on my shoulder now."

During the Big West Conference Tournament tele-conference on Monday morning, UC Santa Barbara coach Bob Williams was adamant of the MVP award going to the top player on the top team.

"There is no doubt that he (Nixon) is the player of the year," Williams said. "I'm a firm believer that the players of the year should come from the best team."

The news was not that surprising. Titans head coach was already expecting it when interviewed over the weekend, but held off hope for a co-MVP award.

"Coaches really feel that the MVP should come from the championship team," Burton said on Friday, three days before the announcement. "Bobby is really well deserving, and Aaron is well deserving. I'd like to see a Co-MVP, to be honest."

That didn't happen, though. Brown, who was a little better than Nixon in several categories did make the first team for a second time.

Brown was joined on the first team by teammate Scott Cutley.

No Titan made it on the All-Second team, but Frank Robinson did earned honorable mention.

The Titans (19-9, 9-5) enter the tournament having lost four of their last five, but the team was battling some injuries at the end. Burton said during the tele-conference that health is not going to be an excuse for the Titans.

"We are healthy now, there are no excuses," Burton said. "We've absolutely have hit a wall here. This is not a good time of the year to have this."

Editor's Note: Marcus Crenshaw also earned the "Sixth Man" Award.