Washington Earns Pac-10 Hoops Awards
March 9, 2009
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - After 10th-ranked Washington clinched the Pac-10 men's basketball title last week, it is no surprise that the league's coaches rewarded the Huskies with the majority of the conference individual postseason awards.
Lorenzo Romar was selected the Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Isaiah Thomas earned Freshman of the Year honors and Justin Dentmon was named the league's Most Improved Player in a vote of the conference's 10 head coaches.
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Jon Brockman and Dentmon were named to the all-Pac-10 first team, while Thomas earned second-team honors and was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. Venoy Overton was listed as an honorable mention selection for the conference All-Defensive Team.
Romar, who was also named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2005, led the Huskies to their first outright conference title since 1953 after having been picked fifth in the conference's preseason media poll. He is only the second UW coach to earn the honor twice - Marv Harshman was honored in 1982 and 1984 - and is a finalist for the Jim Phelan Award, given annually to the national coach of the year.
Thomas, a native of Tacoma, is the fourth Husky to earn Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors and the first since Mark Pope in 1992. He is sixth in the league in scoring adn led all freshmen with an average of 15.4 points per game, which leads four UW players who average in double figures. Thomas set UW freshman record with 477 points and is among the leaders in assists, steals and minutes played.
Dentmon increased his scoring average by six points per game, is among the school's all-time leaders in assists, steals and three-point field goals and has nearly 1,400 points in his career. The Carbondale, Ill. native improved his scoring average by nearly six points per game, has 12 more steals (in two fewer games), is shooting nearly 12 percent higher (.318 in `08 / .432 in `09) from behind the three-point arc and more than doubled his made three-pointers. He is also playing four minutes per game more than last year and has started all 31 games.
Brockman is the school's all-time rebounding leader and could move into the number two on the scoring charts in the next two weeks. He is a three-time all-league selection, has led the Pac-10 in rebounding the last three seasons and his 58 career double-doubles in scoring/rebounding is the nation's leader.
Washington returns to action Thursday at the annual Pac-10 Tournament at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Huskies are the number one see and will play the winner of Wednesday's Oregon State/Stanford game at 2:30 p.m.
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