Jimmer Fredette became a one-name star during his senior season at BYU.
Leading the country in scoring helped, as did being on a team that spent the second half of the season ranked in the top 10.
On Friday, Fredette – wait, make that Jimmer – was voted The Associated Press’ player of the year.
“It’s been quite a ride, and it’s been a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t take anything back,” Fredette said. “I had quite the career at BYU. There were a lot of ups and downs, but there were a lot more ups this year.”
The Cougars won the Mountain West Conference regular-season title and lost to San Diego State in the tournament final. A No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, they lost to No. 2 seed Florida in overtime in the round of 16 and finished with a 32-5 record.
“I just knew right from the beginning we could have a very good year with the guys returning, and it was one of the most talented teams I’ve ever played on,” said Fredette, who averaged 28.5 points. “Then we started to play well and beat Arizona, and I knew from there we could be a force. That’s what happened because we stayed hungry all year, and that’s what separated us from other teams.”
Fredette received 48 votes from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. The voting was done before the NCAA tournament.
Kemba Walker of Connecticut was second with 11 votes. Nolan Smith of Duke had five, and Jared Sullinger of Ohio State one.
Fredette is the first BYU player to win the award.
NOTRE DAME’S BREY NAMED TOP COACH
Notre Dame’s Mike Brey was voted The Associated Press coach of the year after he led the Fighting Irish to a second-place finish in the Big East and a No. 5 ranking in the final poll.
Brey led the Fighting Irish to a 27-7 record, their second-most wins in a season. Their 14-4 mark in the Big East tied their record for conference victories. Notre Dame was a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, losing to Florida State in the third round.
Brey drew 28 votes, 14 more than runner-up Steve Fisher of San Diego State.
Brey is the first Notre Dame coach to win the award, and he is the second straight Big East coach to get it, following Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim last year.
KRUGER WILL TAKE OVER AT OKLAHOMA
UNLV coach Lon Kruger told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he has accepted an offer to become the coach at Oklahoma.
Kruger has coached at UNLV since 2004. Among the teams he previously coached are Florida, Illinois and the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.
The College of Charleston’s Andrew Goudelock scored 21 points, and Morehead State’s Kenneth Faried had 17 points and 18 rebounds to lead the West team to a 113-108 win over the East in the Reese’s College All-Star game in Houston. Missouri State hired Purdue’s Paul Lusk as its head coach. He replaces Cuonzo Martin, another former Purdue assistant, who is taking over at Tennessee. Former Connecticut player Nate Miles said he is open to talking to the NCAA about rule violations during his recruitment from 2006-2008.
Player of the year
Jimmer Fredette, BYU48
Kemba Walker, Connecticut11
Nolan Smith, Duke5
Jared Sullinger, Ohio State1
Coach of the year
Mike Brey, Notre Dame28
Steve Fisher, San Diego State14
Steve Lavin, St. John’s6
Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh4
Thad Matta, Ohio State4
Matt Painter, Purdue3
Rick Pitino, Louisville2
Billy Donovan, Florida1
Jim Engles, New Jersey Tech1
Sean Miller, Arizona1
Bill Self, Kansas1