Pac-10 Season Awards and Snubs


by: Griffin Bennett

Today the annual season awards came out which were voted on by the coaches. The coaches are probably the most qualified voters as they watch film on every team all through out the year, but sometimes the votes just don’t add up. They aren’t allowed to vote for their own players which in some cases can cause some sleepers to sneak into the ranks. Who else does Ben Howland vote for the first team All-Pac 10 if he can’t vote for his own players? Here’s a look at the awards and some of my thoughts along with it.

All-Pac 10 Team:

First Team:

  • Matthew Bryan-Amaning – WASH – F – Sr. – 6-9 – 240
  • Jeremy Green – STAN – G – Jr. – 6-4 – 198
  • Jorge Gutierrez – CAL – G – Jr. – 6-3 – 195
  • Tyler Honeycutt – UCLA – F – So. – 6-8 – 183
  • Malcolm Lee – UCLA – G – Jr. – 6-4 – 195
  • Reeves Nelson – UCLA – F – So. – 6-8 – 235
  • Isaiah Thomas – WASH – G – Jr. – 5-9 – 185
  • Klay Thompson – WSU – G – Jr. – 6-6 – 202
  • Nikola Vucevic – USC – F – Jr. – 6-10 – 240
  • Derrick Williams – ARIZ – F – So. – 6-8 – 240

Second Team:

  • DeAngelo Casto – WSU – F – Jr. – 6-8 – 255
  • Joevan Catron – ORE – F – Sr. – 6-6 – 237
  • Jared Cunningham – OSU – G – So. – 6-4 – 182
  • Harper Kamp – CAL – F – Jr. – 6-8 – 245
  • Trent Lockett – ASU – G – So. – 6-4 – 211

Honorable Mention (receiving at least three votes):

  • Ty Abbott (ASU, Sr., G)
  • Allen Crabbe (CAL, Fr., G)
  • Lamont Jones (ARIZ, So., G)
  • Josh Owens (STAN, Jr., F).

What they got wrong:

First off, let me rant about the relatively new 10 person first team squad . The same people who complain about dodge ball and peanut butter being dangerous in schools are the same people who wanted to expand the first team from 5 to 10. Including everyone is boring and now I can’t argue about whether or not Reeves Nelson or MBA is better. I hate all of you, who ever you are. At least release the voting totals so we can know who were the last ones in and in what order.

Anyways, with 10 first team slots it becomes very easy for the coaches to not make any mistakes. With that said, there was one glaring mistake that the coaches made: Malcolm Lee over Joevan Catron. Catron finished 7th in scoring while Lee finished 11th. Catron was the best player on a surprising Oregon squad and scared my much more than Lee did. I’m sure the coaches voted for Lee based on his hype, but Catron got shafted on this one.

Other than that, there is one more that stand out to me. How did Lamont Jones get an honorable mention? He averaged 11.3 points, 2.5 assists, 1.8 rebounds and .8 steals. Were the coaches just looking to award another Wildcat for winning the title? For me, that spot should belong to Justin Holiday. He averaged 10.6 points, 2.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. It’s nit-picky, but Jones was a little bit better than average and Holiday had better defense for most of the year.

Pac-10 All-Freshman Team:

  • Anthony Brown – STAN – G/F – 6-7 – 200
  • Allen Crabbe – CAL – G – 6-4 – 165
  • Maurice Jones – USC – G – 5-7 – 155
  • Dwight Powell – STAN – F – 6-10 – 227
  • Joshua Smith – UCLA – C – 6-10 – 305
  • C.J. Wilcox – WASH – G – 6-5 – 190

Honorable Mention (receiving at least three votes):

  • Jordin Mayes (ARIZ, G)
  • Terrence Ross (WASH, G)

What they got wrong:

Once again, it’s hard to get something wrong when you just randomly add an extra spot to a 5 person team. I’d love to know who were the two players that tied for fifth, assuming that was why there are six spots. I think Wilcox took Ross’ spot based purely on the last 3 games, and that is probably right. This team was pretty much black and white all year.

Pac-10 All-Defensive Team:

  • DeAngelo Casto – WSU – F – Jr. – 6-8 – 255
  • Jared Cunningham – OSU – G – So. – 6-4 – 182
  • Jorge Gutierrez – CAL – G – Jr. – 6-3 – 195
  • Malcolm Lee – UCLA – G – Jr. – 6-4 – 195
  • Marcus Simmons – USC – G – Sr. – 6-6 – 220

Honorable Mention (receiving at least three votes):

  • Matthew Bryan-Amaning (WASH, Sr. F)
  • Kyle Fogg (ARIZ, Jr., G)
  • Justin Holiday (WASH, Sr., F).

What they got wrong:

The defensive team awards are always tough because it’s less stat based than some of the others. I hate to keep picking on him, but Malcolm Lee as an all-defensive first teamer? Did I miss something? MBA should have made the team over Lee, especially because there is only one forward on the list. In the Pac-10, Lee finished 52nd in rebounds per game, 38th in steals per game, and 30th in blocks with 5. I don’t remember him being any type of lock-down defender. A very interesting pick. MBA, on the other hand, finished 4th in rebounds per game, 18th in steals per game, and 2nd in blocks per game. He was a top 3 post defender and should have been on this list. I’m not trying to be a homer, but last I checked rebounds are blocks are defensive statistics.

Pac-10 Player of the Year:

Derrick Williams: Williams becomes the sixth Arizona player to earn Pac-10 Player of the Year, and !rst since 1999, joining Sean Elliott (1988, 1989), Chris Mills (1993), Damon Stoudamire (1995), Mike Bibby (1998), and Jason Terry (1999). Williams led the Wildcats in scoring (18.8 ppg/2nd in Pac-10), !eld goal percentage (.612/1st), and rebounding (8.2 rpg/5th in Pac-10).  He’s posted 20 or more points 13 times this season, and posted 10 double-doubles.  In just two seasons, the 2010 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year has scored 1,070 points, while grabbing 472 rebounds. He’s the fourth sophomore in Pac-10 history to earn Player of the Year honors, joining California’s Jason Kidd (1994), Arizona’s Mike Bibby (1998) and Arizona State’s James Harden (2009).

Notes: Nothing wrong about this one. Williams, and the Wildcats, pulled away from Isaiah Thomas and Klay Thompson down the stretch to walk across the finished line. He was the best player on the best team and I don’t think that there is a single player that you wouldn’t trade for Williams straight up. He did have his ups and downs and his defense was questionable, but he was a force all year. Good call, and an easy pick.

Pac-10 Freshman of the Year:

Allen Crabbe: CRABBE becomes the seventh California player to earn Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, and !rst since 2004, joining Dave Butler (1983), Leonard Taylor (1985), Jason Kidd (1993), Tremaine Fowlkes (1995) Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1996), and Leon Powe (2004).  Crabbe was 14th in the league in scoring (13.0 ppg), fourth in free throw percentage (.824) and sixth in three-point !eld goal percentage (.406), which led all Pac-10 freshmen. His numbers are more impressive in Pac-10 play as he posted 16.4 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game, while leading the league in three-point !eld goal percentage (.481).

Notes: This award was wrapped up halfway through the season. Crabbe was instantly a starter and was needed for output from a Cal team that lost almost it’s entire team. Maurice Jones and Dwight Powell are nice additions to note, but Crabbe was easily the best freshman due to his opportunity that was given to him. Is he the BEST freshman in the Pac-10? That could certainly be argued heavily.

Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year:

Marcus Simmons: Simmons has been key in leading USC’s defense, allowing a league-leading low of 62.9 points per game overall, and 63.3 ppg in Pac-10 play. He’s been frequently called upon this season to guard the opponent’s top scorer, having limited several All-Pac-10 performers below their shooting percentages – Washington State’s Klay Thompson (12-of-35/.343), Stanford’s Jeremy Green (5-of-22/.228), UCLA’s Tyler Honeycutt (6-of-16/.375), and Washington’s Isaiah Thomas (8-of-20/.400), He’s the second Trojan to earn the honor as Taj Gibson collected the award in 2009.

Notes: Whatever. I’m sure the voting was real close on this one, but I would have probably voted for Cunningham. The stats that the Pac-10 lists for holding those players below their average shooting percentages is kind of laughable as he wasn’t guarding those players the whole game. I could try to make my case for Cunningham based on stats, but it would be like shouting at a wall.

Pac-10 Most Improved Player of the Year:

Matthew Bryan-Amaning: Bryan-Amaning is among the Pac-10 leaders in scoring (16.0 ppg/6th) and rebounding (8.3 rpg/4th) and has posted 10 double-doubles this season. He has appeared in all 30 games, with 26 starts this season.  Bryan-Amaning has steadily improved his numbers each season from 4.2 points/3.2 rebounds as a freshman, to 6.0 points/4.0 rebounds as a sophomore, to 8.8 points/5.9 rebounds in 22.8 minutes of action last season.

Notes: I’m still not sure what the qualifications are for this award. Do Harper Kamp and Josh Owens qualify because they missed all of last season with injuries? Would you compare their ’08/’09 numbers to this years? Are they even eligible for the award. I’ve tried asking around and no one seems to know the answer. If they DID qualify then my vote would be for Kamp. He overcame a terrible injury and made second-team All-Pac 10. If they didn’t qualify then I think the MBA choice is a nice one. Another good candidate would be Jared Cunningham. Can we please get some clarity on this issue?

Pac-10 Coach of the Year:

Sean Miller – Arizona – Miller, 42, has guided ARIZONA to its 12th Pac-10 title, and !rst since 2005, with a 14-4 league mark, 25-6 record overall. Under Miller, the Wildcats put together an eight-game winning streak at one point this season and found themselves back in the Top 25 of both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll for the !rst time since Dec. 31, 2007. Collecting his !rst Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor, he now has earned Coach of the Year honors in on both coasts, having been honored by the Atlantic-10 Conference in 2008. He’s the second Arizona coach to receive Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors, joining Hall of Famer Lute Olson, a seven-time recipient (1986, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1998, and 2003). Miller has a career record of 161-68 (.703), while his Arizona record stands at 41-21 (.661).

Notes: Here’s another award in which it’s qualifications are unclear. Is the coach who over-performed their expectations or is it the coach who won the most games? If it’s the latter then Sean Miller is your guy. The Wildcats were picked to finish second in the pre-season and ended up winning the league. He had the best player in the league and some average-to-good role players. In my opinion, the coach of the year was Cal’s Mike Montgomery. After winning the Pac-10 last year, Cal lost 4 of their starters and almost the entirety of their offense. Somehow the Bears finished tied for 4th place with a 10-8 record in the league. That is an impressive accomplishment and I think Montgomery got hosed.