Ramos And Byrd Earn Mountain West Honors

Dezz Ramos is the Mountain West's 2016 Newcomer of the Year and an All-Mountain West honoree.
March 7, 2016

Las Vegas, Nev. - Point guard Dezz Ramos is the Mountain West Newcomer of the Year and an All-Mountain West honoree and center Riana Byrd is the Sixth Player of the Year it was announced Monday, on the eve of the 2016 Mountain West Basketball Championship.  The awards were voted on by the conference's 11 head coaches and based on play in the 18-game league schedule.

"This is really exciting," head coach Jamie Craighead said.  "It's the first time since we've been in the Mountain West that we have two players earn conference honors.  To be substantial individual awards is a credit to what we have been able to accomplish as a team and that others have seen that we have players who are deserving of recognition is great."

Ramos, a 5-7 junior from West Valley, Utah, was named the Preseason Co-Mountain Newcomer of the Year and proved the coaches and media were correct in their selection.

Her 17.2 points per game led the team and was second highest in Mountain West play.  In addition, Ramos led the Spartans and finished second in the league in free throw percentage (.852).  Her 1.7:1 assist to turnover ratio was fourth in the MW and she ranked 10th in made three-pointers (29), both team highs.  She ranked 13th in steals at 1.3 per game, second best among her teammates.



"Sometimes the Newcomer of the Year award doesn't necessarily mean you have the respect of everyone in the conference," Craighead said.  "When you add in All-Mountain West honors, it really speaks to what Dezz has accomplished this year.  The combination of the two is tough to do, so it's real honor to her.  We knew she had a good shot at getting the (Newcomer of the Year), but what she has been able to help us do as a team, that is what I am most pleased with."

Byrd, a senior from Richmond, averaged 19 minutes a game off the bench and made one start in 18 Mountain West contests.  She led San José State in rebounding, blocks, offensive and defensive rebounds in league play. 

Byrd increased her rebounding from 7.6 to 9.1 and her scoring from 5.7 to 8.2 points per game once the team got into conference play.  She had eight double-digit rebounding efforts.  Byrd scored her 1,000th point in the team's victory at Fresno State and grabbed her 1,000th rebound in the Spartans win over New Mexico.  She became the second member of the SJSU 1,000/1,000 club, joining San José State Hall of Fame member Elinor Banks (1978-81).

Her 8.7 rebounds per game ranked second in the league and tops among sixth players. She blocked 1.3 shots per game, which is second among sixth players and tied for second in the Mountain West.  Byrd ranked first in the conference in offensive rebounds (3.3/g) and was third in defensive boards (5.9/g), both were tops among sixth players.

"I think Riana bought in to this role halfway into the season," Craighead said, "before we started conference play.  She understood that she was going to be the first player off the bench for us and she has flourished in that role. 

"She is a pretty cerebral player and having the benefit of seeing what is happening, realizing where and how she can make an impact in the game has really helped out team.  She has given us a real punch off the bench, which we've needed.  Some games it comes down to what your bench can do and knowing that we have a starter who can come in has been important in what we've been able to accomplish this year.  I'm really proud of her and happy that she has been recognized for what she had meant to our team.

The Spartans earned the fourth seed in this week's 2016 Mountain West Basketball Championship and open play on Tuesday, March 8 against fifth seed New Mexico.  Tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The Mountain West Network broadcast of the game will be streamed live on the Spartan Digital Network with Rich Cellini and Krista Blunk calling the action.  Jess Knaster and Justin Allegri have the call on Stretch Internet Radio, which will also be available at the women's basketball schedule page at www.sjsuspartans.com.

2015-16 All Mountain West Honors

All-Mountain West Team
Brooke Pahukoa, Jr., G, Boise State
Shalen Shaw, So., G, Boise State
Ellen Nystrom, Jr., G, Colorado State
Jamie Partick, Sr., G, Colorado State
Keyora Wharry, Sr., G, Colorado State
Bego Faz Davalos, So., C, Fresno State
Cherise Beynon, So., G, New Mexico
Dezz Ramos, Jr., G, San José State
Funda Nakkasoglu, So, G, Utah State
McKynzie Fort, So., G, San Diego State

Honorable Mention
Miquelle Askew, Sr., C, Boise State
Toni Smith, Sr., F/C, Fresno State
Nyasha LeSure, Sr., F, Nevada
Khadijah Shumpert, Sr. F, New Mexico
McKynzie Fort, So., G, San Diego State
Dakota Gonzalez, So., G, UNLV

All-Defensive Team
Ellen Nystrom, Jr., G, Colorado State
Bego Faz Davalos, So., C, Fresno State
Khadijah Shumpert, Sr. F, New Mexico
McKynzie Fort, So., G, San Diego State
McKynzie Fort, So., G, San Diego State

All-Freshman Team
Marta Hermida, Fr., G, Boise State
Breanne Knishka, Fr., G/F, Fresno State
Riana Everidge, Fr., G, Nevada
Jaisa Nunn, Fr., C, New Mexico
Rachel Brewster, Fr., G, Utah State
Marta Gomez, Fr., F, Wyoming

Player of the Year: Ellen Nystrom, Jr., G, Colorado State
Defensive Player of the Year: Bego Faz Davalos, So., C, Fresno State
Newcomer of the Year: Dezz Ramos, Jr., G, San José State
Freshman of the Year: Marta Hermida, Fr., G, Boise State
Sixth Player of the Year: Riana Byrd, Sr., C, San José State
Coach of the Year: Ryun Williams, Colorado State