Bama basketball sweeps top SEC honors

TUSCALOOSA - In a season where basketball has provided cause for celebration at the University of Alabama, the fun continued Monday when the Southeastern Conference unveiled its 2002 men's basketball postseason awards, honors voted upon by the league's 12 head coaches.

The Crimson Tide swept the conference's top three awards as Mark Gottfried was voted the SEC Coach of the Year, Erwin Dudley was voted the SEC Player of the Year and Mo Williams was voted SEC Freshman of the Year.

Dudley named SEC Player of the Year. (AllSport)

Gottfried led Alabama to its first SEC regular season championship since 1987, a year he was a senior starting guard on the Tide's NCAA Sweet 16 team. Alabama also won its first league Western Division title, has been ranked in the nation's top 10 for the past six consecutive weeks, and compiled a perfect 17-0 home record, stretching its string of wins in Coleman Coliseum to 34-1 in the last two seasons.

He's the first Alabama coach to receive the award since Wimp Sanderson in 1989 and is expected to lead Alabama into its first NCAA postseason appearance since 1995.

Dudley has been a force in the league, leading the conference in rebounding for the second straight season and producing 14 double doubles this season in scoring and rebounding. He is the first Alabama player named the league's Player of the Year since Derrick McKey won the honor in 1987. Dudley was the only unanimous selection for the All-SEC First Team.

"It's a big honor, a fun one to receive," said Dudley, a Uniontown native who has started in every game Alabama has played (95 straight) since he arrived on campus three years ago. "We haven't had a player of the year since 1987 and that's a long time. There have been a lot of great players who have come through here during that time, so that makes this all the more special. But this is a team honor.

Bama's Maurice ‘Mo' Williams named SEC Freshman of the Year. (Associated Press)

"It doesn't belong to just me. This is a team that does everything together, and when one of us wins an honor, it's a tribute to every player on this team and to every one of our coaches."

Williams, too, has been a regular in Alabama's starting lineup, jumping in as Alabama's point guard and starting in all 30 games this season. The Jackson, Miss., native was the unanimous selection by the league's coaches as its SEC Freshman of the Year.

Williams was also a unanimous pick on the five member SEC All-Freshman Team. Joining Dudley, Williams and Gottfried on the league awards list is junior guard Rod Grizzard. Grizzard was named Third Team All-SEC. Following is a list of the league's award winners:

First Team All-SEC

Erwin Dudley, Alabama* F/C 6-8 260 Jr. Uniontown, Ala.
Udonis Haslem, Florida C 6-9 246 Sr. Miami, Fla.
Jarvis Hayes, Georgia G/F 6-6 200 So. Atlanta, Ga.
Tayshaun Prince, Kentucky G/F 6-9 215 Sr. Compton, Calif.
Vincent Yarbrough, Tennessee F 6-7 210 Sr. Cleveland, Tenn.

Second Team All-SEC

Matt Bonner, Florida F 6-10 237 Jr. Concord, N.H.
Brett Nelson, Florida G 6-4 182 Jr. St. Albans, W.Va.
Ronald Dupree, LSU G/F 6-6 210 Jr. Biloxi, Miss.
Justin Reed, Ole Miss F 6-8 225 So. Jackson, Miss.
Mario Austin, Mississippi State F/C 6-9 265 So. York, Ala.
Marcus Haislip, Tennessee F 6-10 230 Jr. Lewisburg, Tenn.

Third Team All-SEC

Rod Grizzard, Alabama G 6-8 205 Jr. Birmingham, Ala.
Jannero Pargo, Arkansas G 6-2 165 Sr. Chicago, Ill.
Ezra Williams, Georgia G 6-4 205 Jr. Marietta, Ga.
Jamel Bradley, South Carolina G 6-2 170 Sr. Beckley, W.Va.
Matt Freije, Vanderbilt F 6-9 210 So. Shawnee Mission, Kan.

SEC Coach of the Year

Mark Gottfried, Alabama

SEC Player of the Year

Erwin Dudley, Alabama

SEC Freshman of the Year

Maurice Williams, Alabama*
* Unanimous Selection; Ties are not broken

SEC All-Freshman Team

Maurice Williams, Alabama
Brandon Robinson, Auburn
David Lee, Florida
Chuck Hayes, Kentucky
Brian Thornton, Vanderbilt

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