Kruger Also Earns USBWA All-District Award|
March 11, 2008
LAS VEGAS - One day after being selected as the Mountain West Conference's Coach of the Year, UNLV men's basketball head coach Lon Kruger was named the 2007-08 United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District VIII Coach of the Year. Also, after being named a first-team All-MWC selection, Runnin' Rebel guard Wink Adams was named to the USBWA All-District VIII team.
The USBWA All-District Teams are based on voting from its national membership. There are nine regions from coast to coast. A player and coach of the year were selected in each district.
Last week, Kruger was named a finalist for the organization's Henry Iba Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top coach. He has led this year's Runnin' Rebels to a 23-7 overall record and a second-place finish in the MWC with a 12-4 league mark. He has led UNLV to back-to-back seasons with at least 23 wins for the first time since 1990-91 and 1991-92. Not only did UNLV lose four starters from last year's NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 team, but also the 2006-07 MWC Defensive Player of the Year.
Adams, a 6-foot junior, leads the Runnin' Rebels in scoring this season with 15.9 ppg, which ranks fourth in the MWC. He leads the conference in free-throw shooting percentage (85.4 percent) and also ranks in the top 10 in the conference in field-goal percentage, assists, steals, 3-pointers made and minutes played.
The District VIII Player of the Year was New Mexico's J.R. Giddens, while the all-district team is made up of Adams, Jaycee Carroll (Utah State), Lee Cummard (BYU), Brandon Ewing (Wyoming), Giddens, Justin Hawkins (New Mexico State), Marcelus Kemp (Nevada, Reno), Reggie Larry (Boise State), Trent Plaisted (BYU) and Carlos Taylor (Montana State).
Other district coaches of the year are Jim Calhoun from Connecticut (I), Steve Donahue from Cornell (II), Mike Krzyzewski from Duke (III), Bruce Pearl from Tennessee (IV), Matt Painter from Purdue (V), Keno Davis from Drake (VI), Scott Drew from Baylor (VII) and Herb Sendek from Arizona State (IX).
Other district players of the year are A.J. Price from Connecticut (I), Jason Thompson from Rider (II), Tyler Hansbrough from North Carolina (III), Chris Douglas-Roberts from Memphis (IV), Luke Harangody from Notre Dame (V), Michael Beasley from Kansas State (VI), D.J. Augustin from Texas (VII) and Kevin Love from UCLA (IX).
District VIII includes the states of Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Montana.