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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 10, 2008 at 9:26 AM

Awards time

The All-Pac-10 team and other conference post-season awards are expected to be unveiled in the next day or so.
Here are my picks:
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kevin Love, UCLA. A lot of good candidates — Brook Lopez, O.J. Mayo, Ryan Anderon, Jerryd Bayless. Ultimately, Love gets the nod for his consistency and value to a team that won the title. In a rather amazing achievement for a freshman, he scored in double figures in every game UCLA played this season. And in the team’s biggest game of the season, the league clincher against Stanford, he put it all on display with 17 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high five assists. He also became much more of a shot-blocking threat as the season wore on (17 in the last eight games). One scout noted to me recently that you could argue that Brook Lopez means more to his team. UCLA even without Love, he said, could win the Pac-10. Not the case with Stanford without Lopez. A good point. But to me, Love just did it all, and did it all every night.
ALL-PAC-10 TEAM
Remember, this year there are three teams of five, and position doesn’t matter (meaning, five centers could go on the first team if so desired).
FIRST TEAM
Kevin Love, UCLA — For the reasons stated above.
O.J. Mayo, USC — Averaged 26.1 points the last six games.
Brook Lopez, Stanford — Most intimidating player in the conference.
James Harden, ASU — Biggest reason for ASU’s revival.
Ryan Anderson, Cal — Second in scoring in Pac-10 (21.1) and third in rebounding (10.3).
SECOND TEAM
Jon Brockman, Washington — Made more FGs (129) than anyone but Mayo in Pac-10 play.
Jerryd Bayless, Arizona — Coaches might switch Bayless and Harden. I went with Harden on first team after seeing he tied for lead in conference in steals (2.06) along with offensive numbers comporable to those of Bayless.
Kyle Weaver, WSU — Not a guy you can define with stats. Simply does what it takes to win.
Maarty Leunen, Oregon — Shot an amazing 56.5 percent on three-pointers in Pac-10 play (39-69) and also ranked in leaders in rebounding and assists (3.17 a game, as many as Mayo).
Darren Collison, UCLA — You’d never know it by how he plays at Hec Ed, but, he’s the best-shooting PG in the conference (53.8 on three-pointers).
THIRD TEAM
Derrick Low, Washington State — Third in conference play in three-pointers made (46).
Chase Budinger, Arizona — A little too erratic to warrant being any higher.
Taj Gibson, USC — Led conference in blocked shots and field goal percentage (in Pac-10 play).
Russell Westbrook, UCLA — Another whose impact on the game is greater than any stats.
Taylor Rochestie, WSU — Coaches will probably go with Malik Hairston of Oregon. But Rochestie is hard not to honor in some way for his amazing 3.55 assist-to-turnover ratio while also shooting 41 percent on threes.
ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Mayo, Bayless, Love, Harden and USC’s Davon Jefferson.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Weaver, WSU. A tough, tough call over Brook Lopez and Gibson, who dominate in the middle. But Weaver is the standard-bearer for defense on the perimeter and his versatility increases his value.
ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
Weaver, Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez, Stanford, Gibson, Jeff Pendergraph, ASU.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Trent Johnson, Stanford. Herb Sendek of ASU is the other legit contender, and probably will be the winner. But Johnson should be honored for getting Stanford one really controversial call away from potentially tying for the conference title in a year when the Cardinal was picked to finish fifth, which is as big a jump as Sendek’s ASU team ultimately made (ninth to fifth). Tim Floyd of USC also deserves mention.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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