SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The 2009-10 Southern Conference men's basketball postseason awards were announced on Wednesday, following a balloting of the league's head coaches. South Division champion Wofford was a big winner, garnering Player of the Year honors for junior forward Noah Dahlman and Coach of the Year honors for Mike Young.
In the other individual awards, Jeremy Simmons of the College of Charleston and Western Carolina's Brigham Waginger were named Co-Defensive Players of the Year while Davidson guard JP Kuhlman was tabbed as the league's Freshman of the Year.
Dahlman was a key in leading Wofford to the program's first South Division championship and a 15-3 league record. The junior ranked fourth in the conference in scoring at 17.4 points per game and seventh in rebounding with 6.3 boards per contest. Dahlman also made 59.2 percent of his field goal attempts, good enough for fourth in the SoCon, en route to becoming the first Terrier to win the league's top honor.
Young, in his eighth season at the helm of the Wofford program, took the Terriers to new heights in 2009-10, with a 23-8 overall record and a 15-3 league mark. The team won the South Division title and earned a number one seed at this week's SoCon Men's Basketball Championship, both which are firsts for the school which joined the SoCon for the 1997-98 season.
Simmons and Waginger were the top defenders statistically in the league this season as Simmons led the league in blocked shots (2.1 bpg) while Waginger paced the league in steals (2.7 spg). Simmons, who helped the Cougars to finish second in the SoCon's South Division with a 14-4 record, recorded three or more blocks in game games this season, including five on three separate occasions. Waginger, who ranks seventh nationally in steals per contest, was a key player in leading the Catamounts to their first 20-win season since joining the Division I ranks more than three decades. The senior recorded a season-high seven steals in WCU's regular season finale against Chattanooga on Saturday afternoon.
Kuhlman started 23 of Davidson's 30 games during the regular season while averaging 12.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. The guard was second only to teammate Jake Cohen among freshman scorers while pacing SoCon freshmen in assists, three-point field goal percentage, assist/turnover ratio and minutes played. He joins Landry Kosmalski and Stephen Curry as Wildcats who also claimed the coaches Freshman of the Year accolade.
Dahlman was one of three players to earn all-conference honors for the second straight season, joined by College of Charleston's Andrew Goudelock and The Citadel's Cameron Wells.
Also earning All-SoCon honors were Donald Sims (Appalachian State), Simmons, Amu Saaka (Furman), Willie Powers (Georgia Southern), Ben Stywall (UNC Greensboro), Brandon Giles (Western Carolina) and Tim Johnson (Wofford).
Joining Kuhlman on the All-Freshman team were Cohen, Willis Hall (College of Charleston), Harrison DuPont (The Citadel) and Kyle Randall (UNC Greensboro).
The 2010 Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament begins Friday, March 5 at Bojangles' Coliseum in Charlotte, N,C. Following the first round and quarterfinal games, the event will shift to Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats, for Sunday's semifinals and Monday's championship game.
2010 SoCon Men's Basketball Awards
Donald Sims, Appalachian State
Andrew Goudelock, College of Charleston
Jeremy Simmons, College of Charleston
Cameron Wells, The Citadel
Amu Saaka, Furman
Willie Powers, Georgia Southern
Ben Stywall, UNC Greensboro
Brandon Giles, Western Carolina
Noah Dahlman, Wofford
Tim Johnson, Wofford
Willis Hall, College of Charleston
Harrison DuPont, The Citadel
Jake Cohen, Davidson
JP Kuhlman, Davidson
Kyle Randall, UNC Greensboro
Player of the Year
Noah Dahlman, Jr., F, Wofford
Co-Defensive Players of the Year
Jeremy Simmons, Jr., F, College of Charleston
Brigham Waginger, Sr., G, Western Carolina
Freshman of the Year
JP Kuhlman, G, Davidson
Coach of the Year
Mike Young, Wofford