Monday, February 26, 2007

Cary's ballot for All-Southern Conference honors

The Southern Conference media will announce its all-conference teams as well as Coach, Player and Freshman of the Year this week. If my ballot is any indication, Davidson - picked to finish fourth in the South Division this season - will get a lot of recognition for its strong season.
Here’s my choices, with comments on award winners and first-team selections:

Freshman of the Year: Stephen Curry, Davidson. The easiest choice to make. Curry has a shot to make the Freshman All-America team, not just the conference list.

Coach of the Year: Bob McKillop, Davidson. McKillop’s team wasn’t expected to contend, yet Davidson dominated the league. The Wildcats went 17-1, and won 11 of those games by at least 10 points. All with the second-most inexperienced lineup in the NCAA this season. If McKillop doesn’t win, Appalachian State coach Houston Fancher might, but most of the Mountaineers' core players started last season.

Player of the Year: Curry. Curry and UNC Greensboro’s Kyle Hines appear to be the front-runners for this award, but the Davidson freshman earned it over the last month of the season. In Davidson's last 10 games - all wins - he averaged almost 25 points and became the conference’s leading scorer.
But Curry can do more than score - he’s become one of Davidson’s best perimeter defenders and averages almost five rebounds and two steals. Hines would have been an obvious choice a month ago, and he still might win, but he’s tailed off in recent weeks.

First team all-conference
Curry: Just nine 3-pointers away from a national record for freshman.

Hines: Undersized forward faced constant double-teams but still averaged 20 points.

D.J. Thompson, Appalachian State: The 5-foot-8 point guard averaged 16 points and gave Davidson and others fits trying to stop him.

Dontaye Draper, College of Charleston: Guard led team in scoring (15 ppg), assists and steals, and was the engine behind the Cougars' third-place finish.

Jason Richards, Davidson: Point guard was contender for player of the year in January, but has slipped recently. Still the most indispensable Wildcat, and ranks second in the nation in assists.

Second team
Nick Aldridge, Western Carolina; Donte Gennie, Georgia Southern; Thomas Sander, Davidson; Shane Nichols, Wofford; Keddric Mays, Chattanooga.

Third team
Louis Graham, Georgia Southern; Ricky Hickman, UNC Greensboro; Boris Meno, Davidson; Moussa Diagne, Furman; Donte Minter, Appalachian State.

All-freshman team
Curry, Aldridge, Kellen Brand, Appalachian State, Kendall Toney, UNC Greensboro, Will Archambault, Davidson.
- Kevin Cary