Is David West the best basketball player to attend the University? We posed that question a year ago in Xavier magazine. The debate about “best” will continue, but as he wraps up his career at Xavier, we found a few other words to describe the University’s first national player of the year.
Well Armed | “West is a big-time player. He’s got those long arms, good timing and anticipates well,” says Dick Vitale of CBS Sports.
Unstoppable | “You can’t stop him. He’s just too good,” says CBS announcer Digger Phelps.
Tough | “The first adjective I’d give him is ‘tough,’ ” says Marquette coach Tom Crean.
Patient | “The kid has a great sense of how to play this game. And he’s patient. That’s an aspect of his game that people don’t realize,” says Temple University coach John Chaney.
Handy | He can squeeze a ruler between his thumb and pinky finger – lengthwise.
The Last 30 | The University retired West’s number 30 jersey on Senior Day.
A Billboard | “[David West is] a walking, talking billboard for what’s good about quasi-amateur athletics,” says Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty. “David West is whom coaches are talking about—or should be—when they tell you one of their players is a ‘good kid.’ ”
Marketable | This year, the University put his name or likeness on key chains, bobblehead dolls, notebooks and posters.
Smart | West graduated early, completing his bachelor’s degree in communications in December. He was given his diploma at a presentation before a game in March.
Rich | West currently drives a 1998 Intrigue with 70,000 miles on it. That will soon change. The average National Basketball Association player salary is more than $4 million per year.
Accomplished | West: • Holds the University record for blocked shots. • Ranks second in scoring. • Ranks third in rebounding. • Ranks first in free throws and attempts. • Is the only Xavier player besides Tyrone Hill to score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds. • Started all 126 games in his career. • Won the Atlantic 10 player of the year for the third time, the first player ever to do so. • Averaged a double-double this season with 20.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. • Tallied 68 career double-doubles. • Ranks in the top five in the A-10 in career scoring, rebounding, blocks, field goal percentage and free-throw percentage. • Won the Oscar Robertson Trophy as player of the year by the United States Basketball Writers Association. • Won the Rupp Trophy as the Associated Press player of the year. • Won the Senior CLASS Award as the top senior player in the nation. • Won the Pete Newell Big Man Award from the national association of basketball coaches. • Won the Basketball Times player of the year.