McClary and Smith are Chosen Second Team All-NWC

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University men's basketball players Kyler McClary (Jr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) and Mike Smith (Sr., Wing, Talent, OR/Phoenix HS) have been named Second Team All-Northwest Conference for the 2007-08 season, as chosen by the NWC head coaches. McClary and Smith were WU's top two scorers, with McClary reaching double digits in 24 of 25 games and Smith hitting double figures 20 times.

A total of 17 players received All-NWC recognition. Six players were selected for the First Team, with five athletes on the Second Team and six players receiving Honorable Mention. Senior guard Ryan Symes of Whitworth University was chosen Player of the Year and Whitworth Head Coach Jim Hayford was named Coach of the Year.

McClary led the Bearcats with 17.3 points per game. He scored a career-high 30 points against Pacific University on Feb. 22 and tallied more than 20 points a total of eight times. He also provided WU with 5.7 rebounds per contest. McClary shot 50.3% from the field (165 of 328) and was 73 of 96 (76.0%) at the free throw line. He finished the regular season ranked fifth in the NWC in scoring.

During his Willamette career, McClary has scored 719 points, while averaging 11.8 points per game. He has provided the 'Cats with 286 rebounds and has converted 76.0% of his shots at the free throw line (128 of 167). He has played in 61 games, including 50 starts -- every game the past two seasons.

Smith has averaged 16.2 points per game in 2007-08. He recorded his career-high for scoring with 29 points at the University of Puget Sound in the final regular season game on Feb. 23. He connected on 50.8% of his field goal attempts (130 of 256) and led the Northwest Conference by shooting 47.2% from 3-point range (59 of 125). He was fifth in the NWC in free throw percentage after making 87 of 105 attempts (82.9%).

In the Willamette record book, Smith ranks fourth in career 3-point percentage (43.4%, 95 of 219). He would be third all-time in career free throw shooting (81.7%, 139 of 170), but he is just short of the minimum number of attempts required (180). He has scored 704 points in 64 career games played, for an average of 11.0 points per game. He has started 45 games, including all 25 games so far this season.

Willamette was one of three teams to qualify for the NWC Tournament this season. The Bearcats finished 9-7 in the conference to share a four-way tie for third place. Willamette won the tie-breaker for the final tournament berth by virtue of a 4-2 record against the other teams tied for third place. The 'Cats finished the regular season at 11-14, after staring the year 2-7.

The NWC Tournament begins on Thursday, Feb. 28, when the Bearcats will take on Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. Game time is set for 7 p.m. (PST). UPS edged the Bearcats, 127-121 in two overtimes last Saturday (Feb. 23) to clinch second place in the NWC standings.

Whitworth University, which won the regular season NWC title, will host the winner of the semifinal game on Saturday, March 1 at 8 p.m. (PST) in Spokane, Wash. The winner of the NWC Championship game will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III National Tournament.

Mike Smith leads the Northwest Conference in 3-point shooting at 47.2%.