Now that the regular-season is behind us, it’s time to unveil the FOXSports.com National Awards.
The decisions weren’t easy — from Player of the Year to Coach of the Year. Even Defensive Player of the Year was challenging.
But here goes:
Player of the Year
Nolan Smith, 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Sr., Duke — This wasn’t an easy call, but he’s the most versatile player in the country and has done a terrific job since Kyrie Irving went down back in early December. Smith can score, distribute the ball, rebounds well for his position, is a quality leader and also defends.
Coach of the Year
Mike Brey, Notre Dame — There were plenty out there who thought Brey was crazy when he was upbeat before the season. Luke Harangody and Tory Jackson were both gone, but the Irish have been a fixture in the top 10 all season – and have done it with experience and as a team. Notre Dame finished the regular season at 25-5 overall and 14-4 in the Big East – just a game behind Pittsburgh.
Freshman of the Year
Jared Sullinger, 6-9, 280, C, Fr., Ohio State – We may not have gotten the Player of the Year right in the preseason, but we nailed this one. Sullinger has been a load down low for the Buckeyes and the primary reason why Thad Matta’s team is the favorite to cut down the nets in Houston.
Defensive Player of the Year
John Henson, North Carolina – His length is so difficult to contend with. Henson averages more than three blocks per game, but alters so many more and changes the game with his presence on the defensive end.
FOXSports.com 2010-11 All-Americans
F – JaJuan Johnson, 6-10, 220, Sr., Purdue – Decided at the last minute to return to school for his senior year and has taken advantage. Johnson is a versatile big man. Stats: 20.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.4 bpg.
C – Jared Sullinger, 6-9, 280, Fr., Ohio State – He’s surrounded by plenty of talent, but his presence is ultimately what has made the Buckeyes into a team that has a chance to win the national title. Great hands, terrific footwork and dominates in the paint. Stats: 17.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg.
G – Nolan Smith, 6-2, 185, Sr., Duke – Doesn’t blow you away with any one aspect of his game, but the veteran does everything well. Led the ACC in scoring and finished second in the league in assists. Stats: 21.6 ppg, 5.2 apg, 4.8 rpg, 36% 3-pointers.
G – Jimmer Fredette, 6-2, 195, Sr., BYU – There’s no more prolific scorer and no better offensive player in the country. The Jimmer can score in every way imaginable: He has unlimited range, can get to the basket and finish and has led the Cougars to a terrific season. Stats: 27.9 ppg, 4.3 apg, 3.5 rpg, 40% 3-pointers.
G – Jordan Taylor, 6-1, 195, Jr., Wisconsin – Vastly underrated. Taylor does it all for the Badgers. He scores, distributes and takes care of the ball as well as anyone – and has the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the nation. Stats: 18.2 ppg, 4.8 apg, 4.2 rpg, 45% 3-pointers.
F – Derrick Williams, 6-8, 230, Soph., Arizona – He’s been unbelievably efficient all season and is the primary reason the Wildcats won the Pac-10 regular-season title. Stats: 18.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 60% 3-pointers.
F – Kawhi Leonard, 6-7, 225, Soph., San Diego State – The underrated athletic forward plays as hard as just about anyone – and had 21 double-doubles this season while making the Aztecs a top 10 team. Stats: 15.2 ppg, 10.8 rpg.
C – Kenneth Faried, 6-8, 230, Sr., Morehead State – The New Jersey native led the nation in rebounding and didn’t just dominate against the Ohio Valley, either. Faried put up 20 points and 18 boards against Florida and had 15 points and 12 rebounds in a loss to Ohio State early in the season. Stats: 17.6 ppg, 14.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg.
G – Kemba Walker, 6-0, 175, Jr., UConn – He was the best player in the country in the non-conference slate, but struggled a bit in Big East play as opponents game-planned to stop him. Stats: 23.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.3 apg, 36% 3-pointers.
G – Ben Hansbrough, 6-3, 205, Sr., Notre Dame – Tyler’s younger brother has been the difference for the Irish this season. He does it all: scores, sets guys up, leads and defends. Stats: 18.5 ppg, 4.2 apg, 3.8 rpg, 45% 3-pointers.
F – Marcus Morris, 6-9, 235, Jr., Kansas – Hasn’t put up the numbers many expected, but the versatile forward has still had a good year in helping the Jayhawks win another Big 12 title. Stats: 17.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 36% 3-pointers.
F – Jon Leuer, 6-10, 230, Sr., Wisconsin – Extremely skilled forward has teamed with guard Jordan Taylor to give the Badgers as potent a 1-2 punch as there is in the nation. Stats: 18.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 40% 3-pointers.
C – Jordan Williams, 6-10, 260, Soph., Maryland – One of the elite big men in the country, Williams hasn’t gotten much national publicity because the Terps have struggled – especially due to their young guards. Stats: 16.9 ppg, 11.6 rpg.
G – Tu Holloway, 6-0, 185, Jr,, Xavier – This kid does it all for Chris Mack and the Musketeers. He can score, makes his teammates better, defends and is as tough as nails. Stats: 19.9 ppg, 5.6 apg, 5.2 rpg.
G – E’Twaun Moore, 6-4, 190, Sr., Purdue – Along with JaJuan Johnson, Moore carried the Boilermakers after the loss of Robbie Hummel in the preseason. Doesn’t blow you away, but plays every aspect of the game – and can really score. Stats: 18.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.2 apg, 41% 3-pointers.
F – Jordan Hamilton, 6-7, 220, Soph., Texas – When he’s good, he’s phenomenal – and when he’s bad, it’s not pretty. Hamilton is the best scorer in the nation not named Jimmer – and for the most part this season, he was nearly unstoppable. Stats: 18.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 40% 3-pointers.
F – Nikola Vucevic, 6-10, 250, Jr., USC – Hasn’t received the attention he deserves out on the west coast, but the Montenegro native is as versatile as any big man in the nation. Stats: 17.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 38% 3-pointers.
G – Jake Pullen, 6-1, 200, Sr., Kansas State – Struggled early in the season, but has been as good as anyone over the past month – and has been key in Kansas State’s turnaround. Stats: 19.6 ppg, 3.6 apg, 38% 3-pointers.
G – Mickey McConnell, 6-0, 190, G, Saint Mary’s – Manages to fly under the radar with the Gaels, but he’s a guy who makes his teammates better – and is as good of a shooter as there is anywhere. Stats: 16.8 ppg, 6.1 apg, 48% 3-pointers.
G – Marshon Brooks, 6-5, 200, Sr., Providence – He went for 52 in a loss to Notre Dame and 43 against Georgetown. He’ll be the best player not in the Big Dance. Stats: 24.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg.
F – Chandler Parsons, 6-10, 220, Sr., Florida – He struggled early, but it was more due to the fact that the Gators’ guards didn’t get him involved. Parsons was the best player on the best team in the SEC. Stats: 11.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.6 apg, 39% 3-pointers.
F – David Lighty, 6-5, 220, Sr., Ohio State – The numbers won’t blow you away, but he deserves a spot because he literally does everything. He can score when needed, defends and is a big-time leader. Stats: 12.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.7 spg, 38% 3-pointers.
C – Markieff Morris, 6-10, 245, Jr., Kansas – His twin brother gets most of the attention, but Markieff was terrific this season. He’s a guy who can score in the post and also step out. Stats: 13.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 60% FG.
G – Brandon Knight, 6-3, 185, Fr., Kentucky – Terrence Jones has put up more impressive numbers, but it’s been Knight who has been Kentucky’s best player throughout the course of the season. Stats: 17.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.0 apg.
G – John Jenkins, 6-4, 210, Soph., Vanderbilt – I’m not sure there’s a better pure shooter in the country. Jenkins also improved his game off the bounce this past season. Stats: 19.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 40% 3-pointers.
F – Tristan Thompson, 6-8, 225, Texas – 13.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.3 bpg. F – Terrence Jones, 6-9, 230, Kentucky – 17.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.9 bpg. C – Jared Sullinger, 6-9, 280, Ohio State – 17.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg. G – Brandon Knight, 6-3, 195, Kentucky – 17.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.0 apg. G/F – Harrison Barnes, 6-8, 220, North Carolina – 14.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg.
F – Chris Singleton, 6-9, 220, Jr., Florida State
F – Sam Muldrow, 6-9, 230, Sr., South Carolina
C – John Henson, 6-10, 220, Soph., North Carolina
G – Dogus Balbay, 6-1, 175, Sr., Texas
G – Marcus Simmons, 6-6, 220, Sr., USC
Mid-Major All-America Team
F – Keith Benson, 6-11, 230, Sr., Oakland – 17.7 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 3.8 bpg. C – Kenneth Faried, 6-8, 230, Sr., Morehead State – 17.6 ppg, 14.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg. G – Charles Jenkins, 6-3, 220, Sr., Hofstra – 23.1 ppg, 4.7 apg, 3.5 rpg, 41% 3-pointers. G – Mickey McConnell, 6-0, 190, Sr., Saint Mary’s – 16.8 ppg, 6.1 apg, 48% 3-pointers. G – Andrew Goudelock, 6-2, 200, Sr., College of Charleston – 23.0 ppg, 4.7 apg, 3.7 rpg, 40% 3-pointers.