NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Temple senior Khalif Wyatt was named Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Player of the Year and Saint Louis coach Jim Crews was chosen as the Coach of the Year the league announced Tuesday. VCU’s Briante Weber earned Defensive Player of the Year honors and Xavier freshman Semaj Christon was named the conference’s Rookie of the Year.
Cody Ellis of Saint Louis was named the A-10’s Sixth Man of the Year and Xavier’s Travis Taylor was selected for the Chris Daniels’ Most Improved Player Award. The league also released its All-Conference teams, which along with the major awards were voted on by a panel of the A-10’s 16 head coaches. The All-Academic team, which was selected by the A-10’s sports information directors, was also announced Tuesday.
Wyatt led the Owls and the Atlantic 10 in scoring, averaging 19.9 points per game. A senior guard from Norristown, Pa., he recorded five games where he scored 30 or more points and he was named A-10 Player of the Week four times this season.
Crews led the Billikens to the top seed for the A-10 Championship and an Atlantic 10 regular season title for the first time in school history. SLU was 24-6 this season, including a nine-game and an 11-game win streak. Crews’ guided his Saint Louis team through the loss of former coach Rick Majerus.
Weber was among the nation’s leader is steals, helping the Rams and their trademark HAVOC defense rate first in that category as a team for most of the season. A sophomore guard from Chesapeake, Va., his quick hands and feet helped him average 2.8 steals per game.
Christon led Xavier in scoring, averaging 15.4 points per game to rank sixth in the A-10 and lead all freshmen. A guard from Cincinnati, Ohio, he also ranked fifth in assists in the league, averaging 4.7 per game.
Ellis, a senior forward from Perth Australia, averaged 10.1 points per game, all coming off the bench. A catalyst for the Billikens, he also averaged 3.5 rebounds per game and one steal per game.
Taylor, a senior forward from Union, N.J. led the Atlantic 10 in rebounding, pulling down 10.2 rebounds per game. He also averaged 11.4 points per game, making him the only player with a double-double average in the A-10 this season.
The awards serve as the lead off to the 2013 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship, which tips off Thursday from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The single-elimination tournament features 12 teams battling for the A-10 title and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
2012-13 Atlantic 10 Conference Men’s Basketball End of Season Awards
Player of the Year Khalif Wyatt, TU
Defensive Player of the Year Briante Weber, VCU
Rookie of the Year Semaj Christon, XU
Coach of the Year Jim Crews, SLU
Sixth Man of the Year Cody Ellis, SLU
Chris Daniels Most Improved Travis Taylor, XU
First Team All-Conference Khalif Wyatt, TU Ramon Galloway, LAS Rotnei Clarke, BU Dwayne Evans, SLU Chaz Williams, UM
Second Team All-Conference Juvonte Reddic ,VCU Treveon Graham, VCU Semaj Christon, XU Tyreek Duren, LAS Kevin Dillard, UD
Third Team All-Conference Darien Brothers, UR Ronald Roberts, SJU Kwamain Mitchell, SLU Jordair Jett, SLU Travis Taylor, XU
All-Academic Andrew Smith, BU Dwayne Evans, SLU Nemanja Mikic, GW T.J. DiLeo, TU Nikola Malesevic, URI
All-Defensive Team Briante Weber,VCU Jordair Jett, SLU Pierria Henry, CHA Roosevelt Jones, BU Darius Theus, VCU
All-Rookie Team Semaj Christon, XU Kellen Dunham, BU Derrick Colter, DUQ Willie Clayton, CHA Melvin Johnson, VCU