March 22 – BYU guard Jimmer Fredette is Sporting News’ 2011 College Basketball Player of the Year. The nation’s leading scorer, Fredette averaged 28.5 points per game and scored 40-plus points in four games, including more than 50 points in one game. His leadership was pivotal throughout BYU’s 30-4 regular season.
“The season has been a lot of fun. It’s been a little crazy and hectic at times, but it’s been a good experience,” Fredette told Sporting News. “Player of the year is a great thing. Just to be in the conversation is a great thing itself, and to win it is a whole different ballgame. The best college players ever have won that award.”
Coach of the Year honors go to Pitt’s Jamie Dixon, whose philosophy of player improvement led Pitt to a 27-5 record, 15-3 Big East record and the Big East regular-season championship. The Panthers have won at least 20 games and 10 in the Big East in each of Dixon’s eight seasons. Few of his players transfer if their careers start slowly-never once have you heard of his team splintering because players were focused on their draft statuses.
“I think that’s the type of sacrifice you have to make to become a Pitt player,” senior forward Gilbert Brown says. “If you sacrifice for the team, you’ll have the outcome. I think that’s the environment Coach brings to the team.”
Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger is Sporting News’ 2011 Freshman of the Year. Sullinger has a complete game-he can score, pass and rebound-and his 17.2 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 250 free throw attempts and .536 FG% match up with many of the great big men of the past 20 years.
“It seems like he’s played so much basketball that it just comes easy to him,” Northwestern coach Bill Carmody says about Sullinger. “I’m sure it’s through hard work, but a lot of guys that you teach different moves become very robotic. He’s not that at all.”
Sporting News college basketball writers and editors determine the player of the year, coach of the year, freshman of the year and All-American teams.
The March 28 issue of Sporting News Magazine featuring Tim Lincecum on the cover is on newsstands later this week and also includes a preview of all 30 MLB teams and the Sporting News 125th anniversary feature, the greatest college basketball teams of all time. For more information on the Sporting News College Basketball awards please visit: http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2011-03-22/jimmer-fredette-named-sporting-news-2011-college-basketball-player-of-the-year
Sporting News All-American Teams
G Kemba Walker, Jr., Connecticut
G Nolan Smith, Sr., Duke
G Jimmer Fredette, Sr., BYU
F Jared Sullinger, Fr., Ohio State
F/C JaJuan Johnson, Sr., Purdue
G Ben Hansbrough, Sr., Notre Dame
G Jordan Taylor, Jr., Wisconsin
F Marcus Morris, Jr., Kansas
F Kawhi Leonard, Soph., San Diego State
F Derrick Williams, Soph., Arizona
G Jacob Pullen, Sr., Kansas State
G Tu Holloway, Jr., Xavier,
G Charles Jenkins, Sr., Hofstra
G/F Jordan Hamilton, Soph., Texas
F/C Kenneth Faried, Sr., Morehead State