Sports Buzz Season Awards

Posted: March 8, 2011 by Bacon in Kentucky Basketball, Louisville Basketball, Outside the Ville

The season is coming to an end and conference tournaments are about to begin, so I figured it was time to give out this years 1st annual Louisville Sports Buzz season awards. With this sites strong ties to the Kentuckiana area we will show a little more focus on the Big East and the SEC but I will go through all the “power” conferences as well. So let’s get started…

Southeastern Conference

Coach of the Year: Anthony Grant – Alabama

Grant is in his second season but that didn’t stop him from leading the Tide to an SEC West title and  back in the tournament for the first time since 2005-2006.

Freshman of the Year: Brandon Knight / Terrence Jones – Kentucky

Tough choice here between Knight and fellow Freshman teammate Terrence Jones. Their numbers are both impressive  and I like Knights more consistent play but Jones leading the SEC in rebounding made it to hard to pick just one here.

Player of the Year: Brandon Knight / Terrence Jones – Kentucky

Again this was a very tough choice and just cause these two Wildcats are also Co-Freshman of the Year that doesn’t mean they also aren’t the two best players in the conference. I thought strongly about Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins (SEC leading scorer) but the overall numbers of Knight (17 ppg, 4 apg ) and Jones (17 ppg, 9 rpg) is just to good to over look as the best players in the SEC.

Big Ten Conference

Coach of the Year: Matt Painter – Purdue

Yes Purdue was picked by many to win the Big Ten or at least second to Ohio State but when Robbie Hummel went down many people, including me thought this season was lost. That didn’t stop Painter from getting the Boilermakers to a 25-6 record for third place in a tough Big Ten conference.

Freshman of the Year: Jared Sullinger – Ohio State

Maybe the easiest choice on this entire list to make. Sullinger’s 17 ppg and 9 rpg don’t start to describe his dominance in the paint while help leading the Buckeyes to a Big Ten regular season title.

Player of the Year: JaJuan Johnson – Purdue

When Hummel went down a lot was asked by other Boilermakers to pick up the slack. This was a tough choice cause Johnson’s teammate E’Twaun Moore may be my second choice for this award. Johnson’s consistent scoring ( 20 ppg, leads the Big Ten) and 8 rebounds a game (4th in Big Ten) was enough to give him a slight edge over his teammate.

Big Twelve Conference

Coach of the Year:Tad Boyle – Colorado

Yea Bill Self’s Jayhawks were awesome and Rick Barnes Longhorns have been impressive but you know what? That is no surprise to anyone. I give the love of this award to a first year coach who has the Buffaloes on the brink of their first tournament appearance since 2003 and their first winning season since 2006. The overachieving  job by Boyle gives him this honor from me over his fellow coaches who were thought to be already good.

Freshman of the Year: Tristan Thompson – Texas

This was a close race between the winner (Thompson) and Baylor Freshman Perry Jones. Both averaged 13 ppg, both grabbed 7 rpg but the edge went to Thompson for his Longhorns better season and his 2 blocks per game ( Jones averaged less than one per game).

Player of the Year: Jordan Hamilton – Texas

Again this one was tough. It came down to Hamilton,   Jacob Pullen (Kansas State), LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor), and Alec Burks (Colorado) but in the end I had to go with the best player on one of the clear-cut two best teams. Hamilton is putting up 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists a game for the 25-6 Texas Longhorns. His individual numbers are as good as any of the other candidates but only his team is looking at a Final Four run.

ACC Conference

Coach of the Year : Roy Williams – North Carolina

Yes it is no shock that Williams has the Tar Heels at the top of the conference but after a slow start to the season and having to dismiss your starting point guard. Williams kept this teams heads on straight on the way to another ACC regular season title.

Freshman of the Year: Harrison Barnes – North Carolina

This would have probably gone to Kyrie Irving hands down, and maybe it still should but the fact Irving only played in 8 games (no matter how impressive the games were) I couldn’t in my right mind give it to him over Barnes. Harrison’s numbers may not be as large as Irving (Kyrie 17 ppg to Barnes 14 ppg) but thae fact he was there all season and a huge factor in the Tar Heels winning the ACC gave him the slight edge.

Player of the Year: Nolan Smith – Duke

I am not going to lie…I really wanted to pick Maryland big man Jordan Williams for this award. His numbers ( 17 ppg and 12 rpg) definitely defend it but Nolan’s numbers are not for scrubs either ( 21 ppg, 5 apg, 4 rpg, 1 spg) and the fact he has been a great leader for a Duke team that lost maybe the best Freshman in the country 8 games into the season.

Pac-10 Conference

Coach of the Year : Sean Miller – Arizona

A down year in the Pac-10 maybe but Sean Miller in only his second season has done a great job turning around a once proud Wildcat tradition that had slightly slumped.

Freshman of the Year: Joshua Smith – UCLA

The mammoth of a freshman (6’10 305 pounds) is raw but it has been a down year for Freshman in the Pac-10. Smith has been solid none the less averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds, and 1 block per game. A close second would be California guard Allen Crabbe  (13 ppg, 5 apg).

Player of the Year: Derrick Williams – Arizona

Williams has been the leader and best player on the best team in this conference, averaging 18 points and 8 rebounds a game. Williams was some what an easy chose for this but if anyone would dethrone him it would be USC Junior big man Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic has been solid all year putting up 17 points and 10 rebounds a game.

Big East Conference

Coach of the Year: Rick Pitino – Louisville

Am I biassed making this pick as a Cards fan? You could say that but you can also say that doesn’t matter cause this Cards team was picked to finish 8th, while ending up 3rd. St. John’s Steve Lavin was a coin toss away from getting this award from me by the way.

Freshman of the Year: Shabazz Napier  – Connecticut

Another tough choice due to the fact there just wasn’t a lot of great Freshman in the Big East this year. Napier did have a good year though and was a solid contributor to the Huskies all season, averaging 8 points a game with 3 assists, 2 rebounds, and 1 steal a game as well. If it tell you how down this Freshman class was….second in my voting was Louisville big man Gorgui Dieng , who put up just 5 points and 4 rebounds a game but was third in the conference with 2 blocks per game. Dieng missed a decent amount of games due to different injuries which helped slide him into second though.

Player of the Year: Dwight Hardy – St. John’s

There was several players this could go to and to be honest not one of them is really a bad choice. As bad as the Freshman class may be in the conference. The rest of the talent pool is loaded. Hardy led the Red Storm though with 17 points a game and was the key player in their return back to relevance, while being as clutch as you can be in huge wins over Duke, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Villanova.

  1. pchak25 says:

    I love what Rick Pitino has done this year dealing with all the injuries and adversity but what Steve Lavin has been able to do at St. John’s has to be rewarded

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