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Husky Men's Basketball

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May 15, 2007 at 10:21 AM

Pac-10 coaches recommend reconfiguring awards

About the biggest news to come out of the Pac-10 basketball coaches’ annual meetings earlier this month was a recommendation to change the way the conference hands out its annual player awards.
Since the 1979-80 season, the Pac-10 has named one 10-man all-conference team in a vote of the conference coaches (except for a couple of years, like last season, when only nine were named — rules stipulate that players must receive votes from at least 50 percent of the coaches to make the team).
But Pac-10 coaches are recommending that format be changed to instead name a first, second and third team with five members on each team, as well as a Player of the Year that won’t be a part of any of the teams (previously, the Player of the Year has also been on the all-conference team).
Coaches feel that change would be a way to honor more players — 16, obviously, as opposed to 10, on just the all-conference teams. But it would also force the coaches to make some tough choices as to who belongs on the top five, the second five, etc. (It’s unclear whether the teams would simply include the top five or be selected by position, such as a center, two forwards and two guards).
The coaches would also like to add such awards as a Sixth Man Award, Defensive Player of the year and Comeback Player of the Year (would Justin Dentmon be a prime candidate for that next year, or what?) The conference did briefly hand out Defensive POY and Sixth Man awards for a few years in the mid-1980s but did away with them.
Since then, the conference has handed out Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards and named a 10-man all-conference team and a five-man freshman team, and that’s been it.
The conference has also often named a Newcomer of the Year, an award given to the top transfer. But that has not been an official conference award, instead given out by the conference’s broadcasters. It wasn’t awarded this year since it was felt there wasn’t a large enough field of contenders, but could return in the future.
The coaches would also like to continue naming a five-person All-Freshman team but also make the change that the Freshman of the Year stand alone from the All-Freshman team, so as to add one more player to the mix.
None of this has yet been approved, however, as it will have to be voted on by the Pac-10’s Awards Review Committee sometime this summer. One sticking point is that the conference likes to have its awards be uniform, so if men’s basketball were to change its awards structure, women’s basketball might have to, as well.
But many other conferences hand out a number of different awards, which only adds to the interest and fan discussion. Certainly, UW would have probably added a lot of additional hardware the last few years had any of those awards been in place. Bobby Jones likely would have had a two-or-three-year lock on the Defensive POY, and Tre Simmons and Brandon Roy might have been back-to-back winners of the Sixth Man award in 2004 and 2005.



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