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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies.

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March 10, 2008 9:26 AM

Awards time

Posted by Bob Condotta

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.

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Posted by Cougfan

10:37 AM, Mar 10, 2008

I put Brockman on the first team replacing Anderson. Close call, but that is how I go.

If Johnson is coach of the year then can we start some rumors that he is going to Indiana?

Posted by wayupwaydown

10:44 AM, Mar 10, 2008

Wow. When I see the list of players, it amazes me. There is so much talent in the Pac Ten this year. When Jon Brockman can't make the first team, it is just shockingly deep.

I can't really argue with it. Brockman missed in my mind by having a horrible year at the Free Throw line. If he would have done better at the line, the Huskies would probably be playing in the NCAA's, and he would get the first team nod over Anderson.

Posted by wayupwaydown

10:48 AM, Mar 10, 2008

Is Trent Johnson going to Indiana to be Tony Bennett's assistant??

:)

Posted by Cougfan

10:53 AM, Mar 10, 2008

Now that was funny!

Posted by mattysimone

11:15 AM, Mar 10, 2008

anybody down to do a free bracket on espn? ill start one as soon as they come out and post the league and password....even you bobby! i cant wait to see how many of you coug lovers take them past the second round!!! looks like maybe wisc in 2d round!

Posted by ChukkaHusky

11:19 AM, Mar 10, 2008

HOW COULD YOU NOT PUT BROCKMAN ON THE FIRST TEAM.
Why should he be penalized because the team didn't do well.
What is fifth in scoring and first in rebounds and tops in carrying the whole team on his shoulders.

Posted by Cougfan

11:26 AM, Mar 10, 2008

matty: I'm in only if I can put my Cougs in the Final Four! Be forewarned that I picked 62 out of 63 correct last year...yeah, right!

I want Bob in on it as well!

Posted by mattysimone

11:38 AM, Mar 10, 2008

K here it is...go to espn.com then find the tourney challenge. you may have to create an account but its free and you never get any bs spam either. the group is Pac10Rules and password is bobc should be lots of fun! you should see mine msimmons. this year is going to be crazy...it also shows the nation leader board and ave picks

Posted by Bob Condotta

11:43 AM, Mar 10, 2008

Matty --- Good idea. I'll definitely play along. Had planned on offering up something like that next week, but glad to see some of you guys start it. I'll do a post about it later and link to it and all that.

As for Brockman --- Probably should have explained why I didn't put him on the first team. First, I don't think the coaches will. I think he'll be right where I have him --- No. 6, the last guy off the first team (though as I wrote, could be Bayless instead of Harden on the first five). Other than Anderson, the other four guys led their team to the NCAA tournament (assuming ASU gets in which I think will happen). And Anderson's numbers are a little better and he's more versatile than Brockman right now. No shame in being No. 6. Any other year he's a slam dunk first-teamer.

Posted by mattysimone

11:50 AM, Mar 10, 2008

great!!! let me know if you guys have problems finding the league.....I agree with brock at the 6th man.....the funny thing is out of the first two teams he may be what maybe only one of two or three that could be in the conference next year? With all the departures in the pac and the incoming kids coming in to the Dub It looks like a great run in the pac next year for Jons senior season. He deserves it! even more so if I.T. makes grades.

Posted by Cade

11:58 AM, Mar 10, 2008

Low and Rochestie both on the 3rd team? Maybe if you combined them into one player.

I think Jordan Hill, Malik Hariston, Patrick Christopher, and maybe even Bryce Taylor are all deserving of one of those slots.

Hill in particular, was the heart and soul of Arizona's post game and defense: 12.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2 blocks.

The justification you provide for Low (3rd in the conference in 3 pointers made) isn't much of a stat. If anything I think Rochestie gets the nod over him--considering the hype he had coming into the season Low has been somewhat of an underperformer.

I love this blog, Bob, but your selections seem a little Homerish.

Posted by bomberboy

12:28 PM, Mar 10, 2008

count me in on the brackets...I do about 10 and stink on all of them. The thing I LOVE and HATE about the tourney is that although a lot of teams get in, it is accepted that anwhere from 5-8 have no business getting in. I think we can all agree that UW for instance did NOT earn a spot, and yet at least 3-5 teams that are clearly inferior will get in, and do evey year. As much as some love the zags, they would be on the bubble in the PAC-10, and the second place team, PLEEEEEZ! Also, Chapman? Just go through the # 15s & 16s and see how many would even be favored over weak teams like UW.

Posted by Dignan

6:52 PM, Mar 10, 2008

Lopez made 1st team over Brockman simply due to the fact that Lopez plays on a team that finished 2nd in conference and Brockman plays on the 8th place team. I don't agree with it, but that is probably why that decision was made.

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