Williams, Miller earn Pac-10 honors

March 7, 2011

The two figures most responsible for Arizona's return to Pac-10 basketball prominence were rewarded Monday by winning two of the top postseason honors in voting by conference coaches.

Sophomore forward Derrick Williams was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year, and second-year coach Sean Miller took home Coach of the Year honors.

The other individual honors went to California Allen Crabbe, Freshman of the Year; Washington's Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Most Improved; and USC's Marcus Simmons, Defensive Player of the Year.

Williams is Arizona's sixth Pac-10 player of the year, following in the footsteps of Sean Elliott (1988, '89), Chris Mills (1993), Damon Stoudamire (1995), Mike Bibby (1998), and Jason Terry (1999). He led the Wildcats in scoring (18.8 ppg, second in the Pac-10), field goal percentage (.612, first Pac-10), and rebounding (8.2 rpg, fifth Pac-10). He recorded 13 20-point games and 10 double-doubles. He was voted Freshman of the Year in 2010 and becomes the fourth sophomore to earn Player of the Year honors, joining California's Jason Kidd (1994), Bibby (1998) and Arizona State's James Harden (2009).

Miller, 42, has guided Arizona to a 25-6 record (14-4 Pac-10) and its 12th Pac-10 title (first since 2005). He was Atlantic-10 Coach of the Year at Xavier in 2008. He has a 41-21 record at Arizona and a 161-68 career record. Arizona's Lute Olson was a seven-time Coach of the Year honoree, most recently in 2003.

Williams was joined on the all-conference team by forward Bryan-Amaning and guard Isaiah Thomas of Washington, guard Jeremy Green of Stanford, guard Jorge Gutierrez of California, guard Malcolm Lee and forwards Tyler Honeycutt and Reeves Nelson of UCLA, guard Klay Thompson of Washington State and forward Nikola Vucevic of USC.

ASU sophomore Trent Lockett was a second-team selection, along with Cal forward Harper Kamp, who played high school ball in Mesa; Oregon forward Joevan Catron, Washington State forward DeAngel Casto and Oregon State guard Jared Cunningham.

ASU senior guard Ty Abbott and Arizona sophomore guard Lamont (MoMo) Jones earned honorable mention.

The all-freshman team included Crabbe, Stanford guard-forward Anthony Brown, Stanford forward Dwight Powell, USC guard Maurice Jones, UCLA center Joshua Smith and Washington guard C.J. Wilcox.

The all-defensive team included Simmons, Gutierrez, Lee, Casto and Cunningham.