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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 1, 2007 at 1:19 PM

Awards time coming

The Pac-10 will announce most of its major post-season awards Monday.
I wrote this overview of what I think might happen yesterday. In it, I made the case — which I know will be unpopular on this board — that Aaron Brooks ought to be the Pac-10 Player of the Year.
As I state in the article, I simply think he’s done more for his team this year than any other player in the Pac-10. Good arguments can be made for Arron Afflalo and Darren Collison, as well, and it won’t surprise me if either of them wins it, especially if UCLA sweeps this weekend to win the Pac-10 title going away.
But most of Brooks’ numbers are even better in conference play than in non-conference, and the big shots he has made to win crucial games for Oregon puts him over the top in my book.
Remember, the coaches vote on the official awards, and it’s always hard to know their exact criteria — is it simply the player who had the best year statistically, or the player who means the most to his team? Often, to be sure, that is one in the same.
The coaches also pick the 10-man All-Conference team, which is selected regardless of position.
I think these players are locks — Brooks, Afflalo, Collison, Nick Young, Kyle Weaver and probably Jon Brockman and Marcus Williams. Brockman’s leading in rebounds, is top 10 in scoring, and among the top five in shooting, and the coaches love the manner in which he plays.
Williams statistically is a no-brainer. But too often, he’s played as if he has no brains — ala, the foul on the three-pointer last week against ASU — and a few coaches might wonder about that. But I’d think he’ll make it.
Mustafa Shakur seems likely to make it, as well, but like the rest of his Arizona teammates, has slumped of late. Still, he is averaging almost one-and-a-half more assists per game than any other conference player, so he probably gets on.
That’s eight, with the final two probably coming from a pool of Ryan Anderson, Jeff Pendergraph, Derrick Low and Lawrence Hill.
Hill may be the most underrated player in the conference (sixth in scoring, 11th in rebounding); Pendergraph is a very good player whose numbers are held down by playing for Arizona State and is second in rebounding; Low was a no-brainer until his numbers started to drop off a few weeks ago due to illness and injury (he no longer ranks among the top 20 scorers when considering only Pac-10 games, for instance); Anderson’s been the most consistent freshman.
I address the freshmen team in the story, as well, positing that Anderson will likely be named the Freshman of the Year. Hard to argue considering his numbers (top five in both scoring and rebounding). But the five-man All-Frosh team is a more difficult proposition with seven good candiates — Anderson, Spencer Hawes, Brook and Robin Lopez, Tajuan Porter, Taj Gibson and Chase Budinger. Easiest way may be to leave off Robin Lopez (Brook’s numbers are a lot better) and go with six.
Coach of the Year will undoubtedly be Tony Bennett.
WSU is also likely to win the Newcomer of the Year award, which goes to the transfer that made the biggest impact. There were few that did much this year, so I’d figure the award will go to Cougar guard Taylor Rochestie, who transferred from Tulane.

Comments | Topics: UCLA


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