Briann January Named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year
March 11, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - For the second consecutive year Arizona State senior guard Briann January was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday as Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen announced the women's basketball honors for the 2008-09 season.
January, who last season became the first ever player to earn the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award, was also named first-team All-Pac-10 and to the Pac-10's Defensive Team. Junior guard Dymond Simon earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors and senior Sybil Dosty earned Pac-10 honorable mention honors and honorable mention recognition on the Pac-10's Defensive Team. The awards were determined by a vote of the league's 10 head coaches.
January, who is often given the assignment of defending the opposing team's top player, concluded the regular season ranked first in the Pac-10 in assists per game (4.7), 3-point FG percentage (.469) and assist-to-turnover ratio, second in steals per game (2.3), fourth in free throw percent (.840) and 3-point FGs per game (2.0) and 14th in scoring (12.1 ppg). Nationally, January is second in 3-point FG percentage and 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio. January, who was named second-team All-Pac-10 last season, is currently tied with former Sun Devil Amanda Levens for the most 3-point field goals (60) in a single season in school history. Last December January tied the school's single-game school record for more 3-pointers when she knocked down seven at UC Davis. Earlier this season January became ASU's all-time leader in assists (currently has 511). She also currently stands second on ASU's all-time list in steals (258, is 33 behind Cassandra Lander), third in free throws (384) and seventh in scoring (1,249 points, needs 92 points to pass Emily Westerberg for sixth place). January's defensive abilities have played a big role this season in helping the Sun Devils set the Pac-10 record for the fewest points allowed in a game (23) and the school record for the fewest points allowed in a half (8). In addition, six Pac-10 teams have scored their fewest points of the season against Arizona State in 2009.
Along with January, Simon helped provide the Sun Devils with one of the top backcourts in the country in 2008-09. The Phoenix, Ariz., product scored in double figures 24 times in 29 games and led the Sun Devils in scoring 14 times, including 10 times during its recent school record 15-game winning streak. Simon, who scored a season-best 22 points in a win against USC in January, was named the Pac-10's Player of the Week on February 2 after averaging 15.5 points and 4.5 assists in wins at Washington State and at Washington. Her season ended prematurely after suffering a knee injury in last Saturday's loss at Stanford. At the time of her injury, Simon led the team and was seventh in the Pac-10 in scoring (13.8 ppg), second on the team and seventh in the Pac-10 in assists per game (3.3) and eighth in the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio. Her 88.2 percent free throw percentage, which was ninth in the nation this week, is a single-season school record.
Dosty has played a big role in the Sun Devils' success on both ends of the floor in 2008-09. One of ASU's top rebounders in recent memory, Dosty has led or shared the team lead in rebounding 18 times this season and has posted double figures in rebounds eight times. Her 7.0 rebounds per game lead the team and are sixth in the Pac-10. Dosty also leads the team in field goal percentage (.548, third in the Pac-10), offensive rebounding (2.8 rpg, fifth in the Pac-10) and blocks per game (1.3, third in the Pac-10) and is fourth on the team in scoring (8.5 ppg). Dosty is currently in third place on ASU's all-time list with 80 career blocks. She needs 20 more to pass Fran Ciak for second on the list. Dosty's 40 blocks this season have helped the Sun Devils set a single-season record for most rejections in a season (currently 123). Earlier this season, Dosty was named to the Preseason WNIT's All-Tournament Team after averaging 11.7 points, 7.0 rebs and 2.0 blocks in ASU's three games and she was named the MVP of the ASU Classic (Dec. 6-7) after averaging 13.5 points and 9.0 rebounds while making 80 percent of her shots in wins against UC Irvine and Northern Arizona.
The Sun Devils (23-7, 15-3 Pac-10) open up play in the 2009 Pac-10 Tournament on Friday (11 a.m. PT) when they take on USC. The game can be heard live on 1440 AM KAZG. A live stream of the game can also be viewed on the Internet. For more details go to www.pac-10.org.