March 16, 2009
ATLANTA (AP) -- LSU senior guard Marcus Thornton was named player of the year on The Associated Press All-SEC team announced Monday after leading the Tigers to the regular-season championship and a spot in the NCAA tournament.
LSU also claimed the coach of the year award, which went to Trent Johnson for turning around a program that slumped the last two years under John Brady.
Mississippi freshman Terrico White was named newcomer of the year.
Thornton was a unanimous selection to the AP's first team. He was joined by the SEC's top scorer, Jodie Meeks of Kentucky (24.2), along with South Carolina's Devan Downey, Tennessee's Tyler Smith, Mississippi State's Jarvis Varnado, Florida's Nick Calathes and LSU's Tasmin Mitchell.
Varnado, Calathes and Mitchell tied for the final first-team spot.
Meeks stood out during Kentucky's disappointing season, breaking the school scoring record with a 54-point performance against Tennessee in mid-January. Downey was the league's third-leading scorer at 19.9 a game, also placed third in assists (4.5) and led in steals (3.0). Each was named to the first team on all but one ballot.
Smith led Tennessee at 17.2 points a game. Varnado is the nation's top shot blocker (4.7) and broke the SEC's season record with 165, eclipsing the mark of 157 he had shared with Shaquille O'Neal. Calathes led the conference in assists (6.4) and ranked second in steals (2.0). Mitchell shared the scoring load with Thornton at 16.3 points a game.
White, who averaged 13.7 points a game in his first season at Ole Miss, was among those named to the second team, along with Kentucky's Patrick Patterson, Auburn's Korvotney Barber, Alabama's Alonzo Gee, Ole Miss' David Huertas and Arkansas' Michael Washington.
Smith and Downey made the first team for the second year in a row, while Thornton and Calathes moved up from the 2008 second team. Patterson was a second-teamer for the second straight season.
The 61st annual AP All-SEC was selected by a 12-member media panel representing each of the conference's nine states.
The 2009 Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference men's basketball team released Monday, with name, school, position, height and class (u-unanimous choice to first team; t-tied for final spot on first team):
|Devan Downey||South Carolina||G||5-9||Jr.|
|t-Jarvis Varnado||Mississippi State||F-C||6-9||Jr.|
|HONORABLE MENTION: Dominique Archie, South Carolina, F, 6-7, Jr.; Wayne Chism, Tennessee, F, 6-9, Jr.; Chris Johnson, LSU, 6-11, Sr.; A.J. Ogilvy, Vanderbilt, C, 6-11, So.|
|PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Marcus Thornton, LSU|
|COACH OF THE YEAR: Trent Johnson, LSU|
|NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Terrico White, Mississippi|