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Texas' Durant, Washington State's Bennett honored

Texas' Durant, Washington State's Bennett honored

Texas' Durant, Washington State's Bennett honored
March 27th, 2007

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Texas freshman sensation Kevin Durant was selected as player of the year and Washington State head coach Tony Bennett was named coach of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Durant is the first freshman to win the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the first player from the Big 12/Big 8 Conference to win the award since its inception in 1959.

The 6-9 Durant, likely a top 1-2 pick in the NBA Draft if he decides to leave school, led the Longhorns to a 25-10 record, averaging 25.8 ppg and 11.1 rpg. Texas fell just short of a Big 12 Conference Tournament title, falling to Kansas in the final in overtime. The Longhorns then advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to USC.

Bennett, in his first season since taking over for his father Dick, will receive the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award for becoming the first coach in the history of the Pac-10 to take his team from last place in the conference the previous season to an NCAA Tournament appearance the next year.

Led by Bennett, the Cougars compiled a 25-7 regular season record and were rewarded a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Washington State easily handled Oral Roberts in the first round before falling victim to upstart Vanderbilt.

Durant and Bennett will be honored by the USBWA this Friday at an awards breakfast in Atlanta, site of the NCAA Final Four.

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