Collegehoops.net Coach of the Year
Ben Howland, UCLA
From beginning to end, 2005-06 was a magical season for the UCLA Bruins. It began with an 11-1 start, continued with a Pac-10 regular season title, was followed by a Pac-10 Tournament title, and culminated with a run to the NCAA Tournament Finals. All of this occurred despite a continual string of injuries, including the season-ending loss of starter Josh Shipp. This improbable success falls firmly on the shoulders of Ben Howland, who has almost personally turned around this West Coast Power. After going 10-19 in the season before his arrival, the Bruins have improved from 11, to 18, to 32 wins.
Collegehoops.net Program of the Year
Even before their surprising run to the Final Four, George Mason was already having an impressive season. The Patriots finished tied atop the CAA with a 15-3 record, finished the regular season with an RPI of 26, and a non-conference RPI of 30. After a disappointing loss to Hofstra in the CAA Tournament, including an unfortunate punching incident by senior guard Tony Skinn, the Patriots were sweating out an NCAA Tournament bid. However, Coach Jim Larranaga's handling of this situation, and their monster-slaying NCAA Tournament run makes them worthy of being 2006 Program of the Year.
Collegehoops.net Most-Improved Player
Noah, who blossomed into a media darling during Florida's
National Championship Run, exemplifies an improved player. After
averaging just 9 minutes per game in 2004-05, Noah exploded with averages of
14.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, and 2.4 bpg. Impressively, he put up these numbers in
just 24.9 mpg and is primed to improve once again with full starters minutes
Noah, who blossomed into a media darling during Florida's National Championship Run, exemplifies an improved player. After averaging just 9 minutes per game in 2004-05, Noah exploded with averages of 14.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, and 2.4 bpg. Impressively, he put up these numbers in just 24.9 mpg and is primed to improve once again with full starters minutes next year.
Collegehoops.net Conference of the Year
Missouri Valley Conference
This award goes to a conference that features impressive
top-to-bottom team success, an exciting conference race, challenging
scheduling, and a lack of off-the-court distractions. The MVC had a
banner year this season with four NCAA Tournament bids, six teams in the RPI
Top 40, the sixth overall conference RPI rating, and two teams in the Sweet
Sixteen. All in all, this was one of the easiest postseason
awards to give in 2006.
Collegehoops.net All-Favorite Team
G Kyle Lowry, Villanova
G Mike Gansey, West Virginia
F Brandon Roy, Washington
F Adam Morrison, Gonzaga
Whether because of sheer physical talent, basketball savvy, impressive hustle, and a sterling personality, the Collegehoops.net All-Favorite Team is for players who make it fun and exciting to be college basketball fans.