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Arizona's Derrick Williams selected Pacific 10 Conference player of the year

March 7, 2011 | 11:03 am

Williams_225 Arizona forward Derrick Williams was selected Pacific 10 Conference player of the year in a vote of conference basketball coaches, becoming only the fourth sophomore to win the award.

The former La Mirada High standout, who once committed to USC before switching his allegiance to the Wildcats, averaged 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds for Arizona, which won the Pac-10 regular-season title. The other sophomores to win the award were Arizona State's James Harden (2009), Arizona's Mike Bibby (1998) and California's Jason Kidd (1994).

Cal's Allen Crabbe, a former Los Angeles Price High star, was chosen the Pac-10's freshman of the year and Arizona's Sean Miller was voted coach of the year. USC's Marcus Simmons was selected defensive player of the year and Washington's Matthew Bryan-Amaning was voted most improved player.

UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt, Malcolm Lee and Reeves Nelson were selected to the Pac-10's first team, giving the Bruins more selections than any other team. The remainder of the first team: Bryan-Amaning, Williams, Stanford's Jeremy Green, Cal's Jorge Gutierrez, Washington's Isaiah Thomas, Washington State's Klay Thompson and USC's Nikola Vucevic.

Bruins center Joshua Smith was selected to the all-freshman team, joining Crabbe, Stanford's Anthony Brown and Dwight Powell, USC's Maurice Jones and Washington's C.J. Wilcox.

Lee and Simmons made the all-defensive team in addition to Washington State's DeAngelo Casto, Oregon State's Jared Cunningham and Gutierrez.

-- Ben Bolch

Photo: Derrick Williams. Credit: John Miller / Associated Press