Pili, Huffman, Bailey earn all-conference recognition at D1 level
Seniors Brandon Huffman of Anchorage and Jeremiah Bailey of Fairbanks both were named all-conference for the first time after having their best seasons in college.
Sophomore Alissa Pili of Anchorage was named all-conference for the second straight year after delivering a solid season for USC despite playing hurt most of the time. Talk about toughness.
Multiple ankle injuries limited but could not completely slow down Pili, who still managed to produce 11.1 points and 4.1 rebounds in 11 games in the prestigious Pac-12 Conference.
After a slow start coming off the injury, the 6-foot power forward recorded double figures in six of her last seven games. Twice, she pumped in a season-high 18 points.
When healthy, Pili is a formidable post player who overpowers opponents in the paint. She also has great footwork and a nice touch around the basket, making her hard to guard.
It’s a big reason why the Alaskan was named last season’s Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
Now the focal point of every defense, Pili doesn’t get much space down low to operate and has looked to generate scoring opportunities on the perimeter.
She has a pure stroke and can get hot from downtown. She sank 6-of-13 3-pointers in the last three games, adding another wrinkle to her game that will give opponents something to think about moving forward.
Huffman has one gear – low-post banger.
The 6-foot-10 center with the Jacksonville State Gamecocks was picked second team all-conference and named to the all-newcomer team in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Huffman could have been comeback player of the year as well.
After barely playing for three years at North Carolina, he transferred to Jacksonville State and stepped right into a starting role.
Huffman is averaging a career-best 10.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in 24 games. His season highs are 20 points and 16 rebounds.
The big man is shooting the exact same percentage (.606) from the floor (106-175) as from the free-throw line (46-76).
Bailey has risen to the occasion in his third and final season with the Pacific Tigers.
The 6-foot-6 swingman was named All-West Coast Conference after finishing the regular season ranked among the league leaders in points (11.3), rebounds (6.1), steals (1.6) and 3-pointers (24).
Bailey collected 20-plus points three times, including a career-high 28 thanks to 6-of-11 shooting from 3-point land.
He shot a career-best 83.3 percent from the free-throw line, aided by a 9-for-9 performance last week.
For Bailey, earning All-WCC honors is a family affair. His big bro Kyle was a two-time all-conference pick in 2002 and 2005 with Santa Clara.