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Monday, March 7, 2011
Simmons' defense honored by Pac-10

By Pedro Moura

USC guard Marcus Simmons has been named the Pac-10's defensive player of the year in a Monday vote of the conference's coaches.

Simmons, a senior, was praised all year by Trojans coach Kevin O'Neill for his defensive capabilities, and he came through on the expectations with big-time performances against the best in the conference, including Washington State's Klay Thompson, Stanford's Jeremy Green, Washington's Isaiah Thomas and UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt, holding all four of them well below their season-long shooting percentages in matchups against USC.

USC forward Nikola Vucevic was named to the All-Pac-10 first team after earning most improved player honors a year ago. Arizona's Derrick Williams earned Pac-10 player of the year honors,  beating out Vucevic and Thompson.

Other awards: Arizona's Sean Miller was named coach of the year, Washington's Matthew Bryan-Amaning was named most improved player and Cal's Allen Crabbe was named freshman of the year.

USC's Maurice Jones was named to the all-freshman team.

The rest of the awards are available here.