ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association
has selected North Carolina's Roy Williams as national coach of the year
and the Tar Heels' Tyler Hansbrough freshman of the year.
|North Carolina coach Roy Williams and USBWA
vice-president Andy Katz with the Henry Iba Award.
Williams, in his third season at North Carolina, rebuilt a Tar Heel club
that lost all five starters and the top seven scorers from last year's national
championship team. Williams, with two freshmen and two former walk-ons in
the starting line-up, led the Tar Heels into the NCAA tournament as a No.
3 seed before losing to George Mason in the second round of the Washington
North Carolina finished the season with a 23-8 record, a No. 10 national
ranking in the final Associated Press poll after being unranked in the preseason
and a second place finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference after being picked
to finish sixth in the preseason in the ACC.
This is the second time in his career that Williams has been named coach
of the year by the Basketball Writers and is the first coach in the 50-year
history of the USBWA to receive the honors at two different programs. He
was selected coach of the year at Kansas in 1990.
The USBWA will present Williams with the association's
Henry Iba Coach
of the Year Award at a breakfast on Friday, March 31 at Conseco Fieldhouse
The Basketball Writers will also present the Oscar Robertson Trophy to
the national player of the year at the breakfast and honor the 1976 and
1981 Indiana University national championship teams on the 30th and 25th
anniversaries respectively of winning the NCAA title.
The 6-9, 235-pound Hansbrough, from Poplar Bluff, Mo., averaged 18.9
points and 7.8 rebounds for North Carolina to become the first North Carolina
freshman to lead the Tar Heels in both categories.
Hansbrough led all freshmen in the nation with a .570 field goal shooting
percentage and was the first freshman to be a unanimous all-Atlantic Coast
Conference first-team selection.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at
the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Today, it is one
of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected
a national player of the year since the 1958-59 season. For more information
on the USBWA, contact executive director Joe Mitch and 314-421-0339.