Kelley makes first team, snubbed for POY
"Obviously it's an honor to me. I definitely worked hard for it. I tried to give my team everything I could give them," Kelley said. "And when you give your team everything you can give them, and when it comes out successful as an indivdual, then I guess that's an honor."
Kelley finished the regular season averaging 36.5 minutes per game and 19.1 points per game. In that average, Kelley scored 19+ points in the last eight games. He also sits at 1,477 career points (No. 9 all-time at USC), and if he gets 23 points before season's end, he will be the only player in Carolina history with 1,500 points and 500 assists.
"I strongly endorse Tre'. Not cause he's mine, but cause I've seen what he's done. I've seen the way he's done it,"USC coach Dave Odom said. "He'll be my player of the year regardless of what happens."
With impressive statistics, Kelley was a candidate for the AP's Player of the Year award, but the honor went to Tennessee's Chris Lofton.
If I had had an AP vote, I would have voted for Tre' Kelley. Obviously that's no surprise to anyone, but I will also tell you I have great respect for Chris Lofton," Odom said. "Chris lofton has hit huge shots in his three years. This year included. But so has Tre' Kelley."
Joining Kelley on the SEC honors list was USC center Brandon Wallace, who was an honorable mention player. The senior from Jackson, S.C. finished the season averaging just under a double-double with 9.7 points and 9.2 rebounds. Both he and Kelley also averaged 36.5 minutes per game.
"I happened to tell Brandon about it a while ago. I said, 'Congratulations.' He said, 'For what?' I told him, and he was surprised. I said, 'I'm not. I would have been surprised if you had not gotten a mention on it,'" Odom said.
In his career, Wallace blocked a Gamecock career best 244 shots and is No. 10 all-time in the SEC in blocks.
"Its something that never dawns to have people think that highly of you. It's a good day," Wallace said.
Despite the season's struggles, Odom was pleased to see his team receive recognition for their hard work.
"I think it's a great thing for our program to have two guys on the all-conference teams particulary in a year where our team has not measured up to what we want," Odom said. "It speaks volumes about who they are as basketball players."
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