Now that the season is over, it’s time to hand out some hardware with the Goodman Postseason Awards: Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Frosh of the Year, Coach of the Year and All-Americans.
It was a difficult decision for Player and Coach of the Year, and the biggest surprise is that just one freshman made the list of 15 total All-Americans. On the first team, all five players were in their third or fourth year in college.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Luka Garza, 6-11, 260, C, Jr., Iowa – Garza was fifth in the country in scoring and flat-out dominated in the Big Ten, a league in which every team seemingly had a quality big man. This was a tough call between Garza and Dayton’s Obi Toppin, but Garza gets the call because he did it against high-level competition each and every night.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Marcus Garrett, 6-5, 195, G, Jr., Kansas – There were plenty of worthy candidates, but I went with Garrett due to his versatility and his buy-in on the defensive side of the ball.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Vernon Carey Jr., 6-10, 270, C, Fr., Duke – Carey doesn’t have a dynamic game, but he produced each and every game, which is difficult to do as a frosh. He averaged 17.8 points and 8.8 boards per contest and was extremely difficult to contain for opposing defenses.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Anthony Grant, Dayton – This was a brutal task because Baylor’s Scott Drew, San Diego State’s Brian Dutcher and even Creighton’s Greg McDermott were all more than worthy of this award, but what Grant did at his alma mater was special.
Luka Garza, 6-11, 260, C, Jr., Iowa – The Hawkeyes big man finished with 15 double-doubles and was a beast in the paint, doing it in arguably the best league in the country.
Stats: 23.9 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 36% 3-pointers
Obi Toppin, 6-9, 220, PF, RS So., Dayton – The athletic big man was the primary reason for the Flyers running the table in league play, being in the equation for a No. 1 seed and having a legit shot to cut down the nets in Atlanta.
Stats: 20.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.2 bpg, 63% FG, 39% 3-pointers
Payton Pritchard, 6-2, 190, G, Sr., Oregon – Pritchard was Mr. Clutch for the Ducks and did everything for Dana Altman’s team this season. You can easily make a case he was the best point guard in the country.
Stats: 20.5 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.3 rpg, 42% 3-pointers
Malachi Flynn, 6-1, 185, PG, Jr., San Diego State – Flynn did it all for the Aztecs. The Washington State transfer scored, distributed and took care of the ball. Flynn was among the nation’s leaders in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio.
Stats: 17.6 ppg, 5.1 apg, 4.5 rpg, 37% 3-pointers
Myles Powell, 6-2, 195, G, Sr., Seton Hall – Powell struggled shooting it from deep, but he was still a prolific scorer and the best player on a team that was in the top 10 for much of the season. He’s also an “intangibles” guy.
Stats: 21.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.9 apg, 31% 3-pointers
Saddiq Bey, 6-8, 216, F, So., Villanova – He doesn’t get enough credit, but he was ‘Nova’s best player this season. He can shoot it from deep, put it on the floor and do just about everything you need.
Stats: 16.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 45% 3-pointers
Jalen Smith, 6-10, 225, F, So., Maryland – Stix averaged a double-double and was the best player on a team that was in the mix as one of the top squads in the country. He truly did it all for the Terps — including being a big-time rim protector on the defensive end of the floor.
Stats: 15.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg
Udoka Azubuike, 7-0, 270, C, Sr., Kansas – Big Doke slimmed down, and it made a huge difference. He’s always been dominant with the ball deep in the paint, but Azubuike became a force on the defensive end as well. He finished with 15 double-doubles this year.
Stats: 13.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.6 bpg, 75% FG
Markus Howard, 5-11, 180, G, Sr., Marquette – He led the nation in scoring and despite the loss of the Hauser brothers prior to the season, Howard was still able to lock in a tournament berth. Few can match his ability to put the ball in the basket.
Stats: 27.8 ppg, 3.3 apg, 3.5 rpg, 41% 3-pointers
Devon Dotson, 6-2, 185, PG, So., Kansas – The cat-quick guard ran the show for the No. 1 team in the country. His floor game improved, and he’s lethal in transition.
Stats: 18.1 ppg, 4.0 apg, 4.1 rpg, 2.1 spg
Filip Petrusev, 6-11, 235, PF, So., Gonzaga – One of the nation’s biggest surprises, the Serbian was the Zags’ best player. He led the team in both scoring and rebounding, and was key for Gonzaga’s success this season.
Stats: 17.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg
Vernon Carey Jr., 6-10, 270, C, Fr., Duke – Didn’t get half the attention of Zion, but Carey was plenty effective. He can really score in the paint, and was also a force on the glass for the Blue Devils.
Stats: 17.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 58% FG
Cassius Winston, 6-1, 185, PG, Sr., Michigan State – He obviously had a tough season after the passing of his younger brother, but Winston was still damn good, leading the Spartans to a late-season surge.
Stats: 18.6 ppg, 5.9 apg, 43% 3-pointers
Marcus Zegarowski, 6-2, 180, PG, So., Creighton – It was a tough call between Zegarowski and teammate Ty-Shon Alexander, but Zegarowski was the guy who made it all go. He ran the team, and shot the heck out of the ball.
Stats: 16.1 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.8 rpg, 42% 3-pointers
Jared Butler, 6-3, 190, G, So., Baylor – It’s difficult not to have someone from the team that spent more time than any other program in the No. 1 spot. Butler hit some huge shots and led the Bears in scoring.
Stats: 16.0 ppg, 3.1 apg, 38% 3-pointers