Bumped - P
USC senior guard Marcus Simmons was awarded by a panel of all Pac-10 coaches as this year's conference Defensive Player of the Year. To be sure, coaches aren't allowed to vote for honors concerning coaching or players from their own team. Marcus is the second player from USC to win this prestigious award in the last 3 years. The last one from USC to win it was Taj Gibson in 2009. (btw: Taj had a monster game as the Bulls starting forward in helping to shut down LeBron James and Dwayne Wade's Miami Heat yesterday on a nationally televised broadcast of their game. It was awesome watching this beloved Trojan, Taj, hustle to the ball play after play, driving towards the basket and hitting his shots. He hit his free throws and sealed the victory for the Bulls by grabbing the last rebound off a LeBron James miss, helping the Bulls to gain a season sweep against the extremely talented Miami Heat roster of players.)
In other Pac-10 conference basketball news, Nikola Vucevic- USC starting power forward, was honored by being selected to 2010-11 All Pac-10 Conference First Team for men's basketball. As well, USC guard- Maurice Jones, was honored by being selected to the 2010-11All Pac-10 Conference Freshman First Team.
Per the Pac-10 website which announced this year's winners, "Simmons, a 6-6 senior guard, helped the Trojans allow a league-low 62.9 points per game. He held several All-Pac-10 performers below their shooting averages, including Washington State’s Klay Thompson (12 of 35, .343), Stanford’s Jeremy Green (5 of 22, .228), UCLA’s Tyler Honeycutt (6 of 16, .375) and Washington’s Isaiah Thomas (8 of 20, .400)." (Bix addendum: Marcus also held Arizona's Lamont Jones to 9 points on 3 for 12 shooting in USC's upset victory over the Wildcats on Feb. 24th. On any given night, Lamont Jones can put up 20 - 30 pts and dish out 5 - 10 assists. He has the luxury of feeding the likes of Derrick Williams and Solomon Hill, so containing LJones was just as important as stopping Derrick Williams from scoring and getting to the free-throw line)
All in all, Coach KO got these players to play sound basketball towards the end of the year and it showed in these prestigious honors bestowed upon these three Trojans. Fight On! Trojan basketball!