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Husky Men's Basketball

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February 28, 2006 at 5:26 PM

Time to hand out trophies

Seems like just about all my colleagues are handing out their Pac-10 awards this week, so I’ll weigh in here with mine, as well.
PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Remember, the official awards are voted on by conference coaches, who can’t vote for their own players. UCLA coach Ben Howland said Tuesday he will vote for Leon Powe and Brandon Roy as Co-Players of the Year in the Pac-10. I’m guessing that could be how some of the other coaches vote as well in a year when there are two players so obviously ahead of the pack.
But if only one player gets it, it’s going to be Roy.
Sharing the award has only happened one time since they started handing it out in 1976. In 1995, Ed O’Bannon and Damon Stoudamire split it.
Howland has been a big fan of Roy’s, but also pointed out that Powe could become the first Pac-10 player since Stanford’s Adam Keefe in 1992 to average better than 20 points and 10 rebounds for the season. Ike Diogu just missed those averages a year ago.
Still, I’ve got to go with Roy — maybe because I see him more. But I also think his versatility — especially on the defensive end — puts him over the top.
FYI — I know Lorenzo Romar will vote for Leon Powe.
ALL-PAC-10 TEAM — Like the coaches, I’ll pick a 10-man team regardless of position.
Roy, Powe, UCLA’s Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo, Stanford’s Matt Haryasz and Chris Hernandez, Arizona’s Hassan Adams and USC’s Nick Young all seem like slam dunks to me.
The other spots are a little tougher, especially with the injury that held out USC’s Gabe Pruitt of late. He’d be a slam dunk if he hadn’t missed the last three weeks, but he’s still sixth in the conference in scoring at 17.0 and if he gets back this weekend and has a couple more good games, he could make it.
I’ll put him on my team for now.
My last spot is a battle between Cal guard Ayinde Ubaka – other than Powe, the biggest reason for Cal’s resurgence this season — and Arizona forward Ivan Radenovic. Radenovic is quietly having a solid season, averaging 13.7 points in conference games, shooting 51.3 percent, and averaging 6.5 rebounds.
In the end, I’ll go with Ubaka.
COACH OF THE YEAR — I think this will be an L.A. battle of Tim Floyd and Ben Howland. If UCLA sweeps this weekend, expect Howland to get it. He gets my vote as well. Sure, UCLA ought to be good, so getting the Bruins back on top is different than doing it at Washington State or Oregon State. Still, Howland’s turned it completely around in three years and has UCLA heading in the right direction for a long time to come.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR — It’d be nice to pick Jon Brockman or Justin Dentmon. But we have to go with Arizona’s Marcus Williams, the former Roosevelt High star. He’s leading all freshmen in scoring in conference games at 13.1 and is also averaging 5.8 rebounds. He’s also among the top 10 in the Pac-10 in conference games in shooting percentage (10th at 46.5) and three-point shooting (42.1).
ALL-FRESHMEN TEAM — Brockman, Dentmon and Williams are gimmes, along with UCLA’s Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Arizona State’s Jeff Pendergraph. Mbah a Moute is the leading freshmen rebounder at 8.5 per game and Pendergraph has been a rising star of late.
Brockman continues to lead the Pac-10 in shooting at 52.7 percent and is fourth in rebounding at 7.0, while Dentmon is eighth in assists and has cut down the turnovers lately after some struggles at midseason.
Not much real news coming from Lorenzo Romar’s weekly meeting with the media.
He said there is still no official decision on Harvey Perry, though he all but said Perry will sit out this season. Romar said he wanted to meet first with the team’s trainers before saying anything publicly, which will likely come Wednesday. But Romar might still decide to wait. Perry — who is practicing regularly with the team now — will likely make the trip and Romar could decide to keep his options open.
• Artem Wallace sat out the Cal game with back spasms, but Romar said he didn’t think it was anything serious and the freshman should be back this week. He also said Joe Wolfinger has had some back spasms lately, but nothing too serious, either.
• You might have read the column by ESPN’s Andy Katz.
where he mentions how Howland called him to tell him to put Brandon Roy on his list of the top 15 players in the country. I asked Howland about that Tuesday on the Pac-10 Conference call and he said Katz is a friend so he knew he would take the information the right way.
“It’s a no-brainer,” Howland said. “I’m here looking at the stats and it just amazes me how good this kid is.”

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