Conference player and coach of the year
A lot of people have been asking me about my conference player and coach of the year choices. Well, let's break it down with some of the bigger conferences. I will announce my national player and coach of the year early next week.
Player: Nolan Smith, Duke
Coach: Brad Brownell, Clemson
COMMENT: Smith was a slam dunk choice. Brownell has done a solid job at Clemson and he gets the nod over Roy Williams of North Carolina and Steve Donahue in his first year at Boston College.
Player: Tu Holloway, Xavier
Coach: Chris Mack, Xavier
COMMENT: It was a tough call between Mack and the coach Fran Dunphy of Temple, but I really like what Mr. Mack has done with the Musketeers.
Player: Kemba Walker, Connecticut
Coach: Mike Brey, Notre Dame
COMMENT: Compared to all of the other conferences, selecting a coach from this league was the most difficult. You could make a case for Steve Lavin of St. John's or Rick Pitino of Louisville.
Player: Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
Coach: Thad Matta, Ohio State
COMMENT: Matta lost the former Player of the Year (Evan Turner) and his Buckeyes will probably have a No. 1 seed at the Big Dance.
Player: Jordan Hamilton, Texas
Coach: Bill Self, Kansas
COMMENT: It was a tough decisions here too. Marcus Morris of Kansas is a legit candidate for POY in the league. Colorado head coach Tad Boyle is also worthy of consideration.
Player: Charles Jenkins, Hofstra
Coach: Jim Larranaga, George Mason
COMMENT: Jenkins is unsung in terms of national exposure. Larranaga has done a super job with the Patriots.
Player: Randy Culpepper, UTEP
Coach: Larry Eustachy, Southern Miss.
COMMENT: Culpepper has been remarkable in his senior year. Eustachy has Southern Miss. battling for the top spot in the conference.
Player: Jimmer Fredette, BYU
Coach: Dave Rose, BYU
COMMENT: Fredette is a no-brainer. Rose and San Diego State's Steve Fisher are neck and neck, but the Cougars ability to beat the Aztecs twice is the difference maker.
Player: Derrick Williams, Arizona
Coach: Ben Howland, UCLA
COMMENT: Williams, the high-riser, is a first-team All-American in my book. I gave the slightest of edges to Howland over Arizona coach Sean Miller.
Player: John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
Coach: Anthony Grant, Alabama
COMMENT: Jenkins gets the nod over Terrence Jones of Kentucky and Chandler Parsons of Florida. Grant's team was 5-6 at one point as the Tide have turned things around completely.