Howland Earns Second National Coach of the Year Honor (Collegehoops.Net)

April 7, 2006, the web's most popular independent college basketballsite, announced the remainder of their 2006 postseason awards today. BenHowland, coach of national runner-up UCLA was named the Coach of the Year. Fellow Final Four participant GeorgeMason was named the 2006 Program of the Year for theirimpressive run through the NCAA Tournament. A complete list of postseasonawards is included below: Coach of the Year

Ben Howland, UCLA
From beginning to end, 2005-06 was a magical season for the UCLA Bruins.It began with an 11-1 start, continued with a Pac-10 regular season title,was followed by a Pac-10 Tournament title, and culminated with a run tothe NCAA Tournament Finals. All of this occurred despite a continualstring of injuries, including the season-ending loss of starter JoshShipp. This improbable success falls firmly on the shoulders of BenHowland, who has almost personally turned around this West Coast Power.After going 10-19 in the season before his arrival, the Bruins haveimproved from 11, to 18, to 32 wins. Program of the Year

George Mason
Even before their surprising run to the Final Four, George Mason wasalready having an impressive season. The Patriots finished tied atop theCAA with a 15-3 record, finished the regular season with an RPI of 26, anda non-conference RPI of 30. After a disappointing loss to Hofstra in theCAA Tournament, including an unfortunate punching incident by senior guardTony Skinn, the Patriots were sweating out an NCAA Tournament bid.However, Coach Jim Larranaga's handling of this situation, and theirmonster-slaying NCAA Tournament run makes them worthy of being 2006Program of the Year. Most-Improved Player

Joakim Noah, FloridaNoah, who blossomed into a media darling during Florida's NationalChampionship Run, exemplifies the Most-Improved Player award. Afteraveraging just 9 minutes per game in 2004-05, Noah exploded with averagesof 14.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, and 2.4 bpg. Impressively, he put up these numbersin just 24.9 mpg and is primed to improve once again with full startersminutes next year. Conference of the Year

Missouri Valley ConferenceThis award goes to a conference that features impressive top-to-bottomteam success, an exciting conference race, challenging scheduling, and alack of off-the-court distractions. The MVC had a banner year this seasonwith four NCAA Tournament bids, six teams in the RPI Top 40, the sixthoverall conference RPI rating, and two teams in the Sweet Sixteen. All inall, this was one of the easiest postseason awards to give in 2006. All-Favorite Team

G Kyle Lowry, Villanova
G Mike Gansey, West Virginia
F Brandon Roy, Washington
F Adam Morrison, Gonzaga
F Glen Davis, LSU
Whether because of sheer physical talent, basketball savvy, impressivehustle, and a sterling personality, the All-Favorite Teamis for players who make it fun and exciting to be college basketball fans.

- For a complete list of CHN postseaon awards, including All-Americans andAll-Rookie Teams, visit

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