Briann January Named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year
March 6, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State junior guard Briann January was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday as Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen announced the women's basketball honors for the 2007-08 season.
January, who is the first ever player to earn the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award, was also named Second-Team All-Pac-10 along with junior Lauren Lacey. Guard Jill Noe earned All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors and senior Reagan Pariseau and junior Sybil Dosty were both named All-Pac-10 Defensive Honorable Mention. The awards were determined by a vote of the league's 10 head coaches.
January, who is often handed the assignment of defending the opposing team's top player, has risen to the top of the steals list in the Pac-10 this season, averaging 2.4 per game. Eight times this season January has had four or more steals, including a season-best five steals vs. Oregon on Feb. 2. Currently seventh place on ASU's all-time steals list with 189, January needs one more steal to pass Sandra Hamilton (1981-82) for sixth place on ASU's all-time list. Equally effective on the offensive side of the floor, January concluded the regular season as the Pac-10 leader in free throw percentage (.864) and steals (2.38 spg), second in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.71), third in assists (4.66 apg) and 16th in scoring (11.0 ppg).
After sitting out a year following her transfer in 2006 from the University of Minnesota, Lacey burst onto the scene to become ASU's most productive offensive player this season. She scored in double figures 22 times in 29 games and concluded the regular season No. 8 in the Pac-10 in scoring (12.9 ppg) and No. 7 in field goal percentage (.495). Lacey has three of the four highest single-game point totals by a Sun Devil this season. She was named the Pac-10's Player of the Week after averaging 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals while connecting on nearly 73 percent (16-22) of her field goal attempts in ASU's wins over Washington State (Feb. 21) and Washington (Feb. 24). Lacey's performance against Washington included career bests in both points (25) and rebounds (11).
As the only player who has started every game this season, Noe has been a consistent contributor for the Sun Devils on both ends of the floor. She currently leads the team in three-point field goals with 27, is second in free throws made (60), assists (3.4 apg) and steals (1.6 spg) and third in scoring (8.1 ppg) and rebounds (3.9 rpg). This season Noe has scored in double figures 10 times, including a season-best 20 points at Texas Tech (Dec. 13), a game in which she also had a season-best 10 rebounds.
Dosty and Pariseau have both had a big hand in ASU's defensive success this season. Dosty currently leads the team in both defensive rebounds (3.8 rpg) and blocked shots (1.3 bpg). She currently sits in fourth place in team annals for the most blocks in a single season (37). Pariseau's 24 steals this year bring her career total to 138. She has come to be known as one of ASU's most tenacious defenders in recent memory as she can constantly be found disrupting the flow of opposing offenses.
The Sun Devils (20-9, 14-4 Pac-10) open up play in the 2008 Pac-10 Tournament on Saturday (11 a.m. PT/noon MT) when they take on Washington. The game can be heard live on 1440 KAZG. A live stream of the game can also be viewed on the Internet. For more details go to www.pac-10.org.