Bama Basketball Has Few Honorees

Alabama had a mediocre men's basketball season and the result was the Crimson Tide having not too many representatives on the all-star teams selected by Southeastern Conference coaches.



The SEC men's basketball coaches postseason awards were announced Tuesday, just as the SEC Tournament is about to tip off in Nashville on Thursday.

Alabama is going to finish its first season under Coach Anthony Grant with a winning record, thanks to back-to-back victories to close out the season. Prior to those wins, Grant said that he was not satisfied with the season, and it's unlikely the win at South Carolina last Wednesday or the regular season finale, a victory over Auburn Saturday, changed that attitude dramatically.

Alabama (16-14 overall, 6-10 SEC) and South Carolina will start the SEC Tournament in Nashville with a noon tip-off Thursday. The winner of that game advances to meet overall champion Kentucky at noon Friday.

The Crimson Tide and Gamecocks will be playing for the second time in just eight days when they begin SEC Tourney play. Bama had an impressive come-from-behind victory in Columbia, falling behind by 11-0, then rallying for a 79-70 road win.

"I think there will be a level of familiarity because we have played them within a week, but I think what will happen is that both teams will look at our game and there will be adjustments made," Grant said. "They got off to a great start, really got us a hole, so we're going to look and see what it was that they were doing that allowed them to have success. We had success in probably the last five minutes of the game with the things that we did, so I'm sure there will be adjustments that will be going on both ways as a result of our most recent game."

The leader of the Tide has been senior guard Mikhail Torrance. On Tuesday the coaches selected him to the second team in All-SEC balloting.

Tony Mitchell was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.

Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings earned SEC Coach of the Year honors.

One has to assume that Kentucky told the SEC how it wanted to divide the big loot, because the Wildcats had one freshman win SEC Freshman of the Year and another freshman win SEC Player of the Year.

Kentucky freshman guard John Wall was selected SEC Player of the Year by the league's coaches. Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins took the SEC Freshman of the Year award.

Florida's Ray Shipman earned SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors. Jarvis Varnado of Mississippi State was picked as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year for the third year in a row. Vanderbilt's John Jenkins earned SEC's Sixth Man of the Year honors.

This is the second SEC Coach of the Year honor for Stallings, who led the Commodores to a 12-4 mark in league play and a 23-7 overall record.

Wall garnered SEC Player of the Year honors in leading Kentucky to a 29-win season and the SEC championship. He becomes just the second freshman to be named SEC Player of the Year, joining LSU's Chris Jackson (1989). One of five unanimous All-SEC First Team selections, Wall led the league in scoring with 6.2 assists per game.

Cousins was one of just two players to average a double-double in league play with 15.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. He was among five unanimous All-Freshman team members.

Shipman earned the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, sporting a 3.45 grade-point average in Sport Management.

Varnado became the NCAA's all-time blocked shots leader this season with 542 career rejections. His 148 blocks this season rank second nationally and are fifth-highest single-season total in SEC history.

Although Alabama had the league's best defensive team throughout the year, the Crimson Tide did not place any players on the coaches' All-SEC Defensive Team.

Jenkins won the SEC's Sixth Man of the Year award. One of the most dangerous long-range shooters in the conference, Jenkins made 46.7 percent (64-of-137) of his three-pointers and averaged 10.5 points per game.

Coaches voted on eight member teams for First Team All-SEC, Second Team All-SEC and for the SEC All-Freshman Team. They voted on a five-player squad for the SEC All-Defensive Team. They were not permitted to vote for their own players and ties were not broken.

First Team All-SEC

*Trey Thompkins, Georgia – F, 6-10, 247, So., Lithonia, Ga.

*DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky – F 6-11, 270, Fr., Mobile, Ala.

Patrick Patterson, Kentucky – F 6-9, 235, Jr., Huntington, W.Va.

*John Wall, Kentucky – G 6-4, 195, Fr., Raleigh, N.C.

Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State – F, 6-9, 230, Sr., Brownsville, Tenn.

*Devan Downey, South Carolina – G, 5-9, 170, Sr., Chester, S.C.

Wayne Chism, Tennessee – C, 6-9, 246, Sr., Jackson, Tenn.

*Jermaine Beal, Vanderbilt – G, 6-3, Sr., 205, DeSoto, Texas

Second Team All-SEC

Mikhail Torrance, Alabama – G, 6-5, 210, Sr., Eight Mile, Ala.

Courtney Fortson, Arkansas – G, 5-11, 180, So., Montgomery, Ala.

Erving Walker, Florida – G, 5-10, 171, So., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Tasmin Mitchell, LSU – F, 6-7, 238, Sr., Denham Springs, La.

Chris Warren, Ole Miss – G, 5-10, 168, Jr., Orlando, Fla.

Dee Bost, Mississippi State – G, 6-2, 170, So., Concord, N.C.

A.J. Ogilvy, Vanderbilt – C, 6-11, Jr., 255, Sydney, Australia

Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt – F, 6-7, So., 210, Norrkoping, Sweden

SEC All-Freshman Team

Tony Mitchell, Alabama – F, 6-6, 185, Fr., Swainsboro, Ga.

*Marshawn Powell, Arkansas – F, 6-7, 220, Fr., Newport News, Va.

Kenny Boynton, Florida – G, 6-2, 183, Fr., Pompano Beach, Fla.

*Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky – G, 6-1, 190, Fr., Birmingham, Ala.

*DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky – F 6-11, 270, Fr., Mobile, Ala.

*John Wall, Kentucky – G 6-4, 195, Fr., Raleigh, N.C.

Reginald Buckner, Ole Miss – F, 6-8, 233, Fr., Memphis, Tenn.

*John Jenkins, Vanderbilt – G, 6-4, 215, Hendersonville, Tenn.

SEC All-Defensive Team

Patrick Patterson, Kentucky – F 6-9, 235, Jr., Huntington, W.Va.

*Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State – F, 6-9, 230, Sr., Brownsville, Tenn.

Devan Downey, South Carolina – G, 5-9, 170, Sr., Chester, S.C.

Sam Muldrow, South Carolina – F, 6-9, 220, Jr., Florence, S.C.

Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt – F, 6-7, So., 210, Norrkoping, Sweden

SEC Coach of the Year: Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt

SEC Player of the Year: John Wall, Kentucky

SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Ray Shipman, Florida

SEC Freshman of the Year: DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky

SEC Sixth-Man of the Year: John Jenkins, Vanderbilt

SEC Defensive Player of the Year: Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State*

*-Unanimous selection

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