Commentary

The crème de la crème in college hoops

Updated: March 5, 2012, 2:34 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

This is the time of the season where people talk about conference tournament and who will get in the big dance. They argue about potential seeds.

It is also the time of year where we give out awards. The prizes are doled out to the best of the best, the crème de la crème in college hoops.

[+] EnlargeAnthony Davis
Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/Getty ImagesAnthony Davis was the pick for Player and Diaper Dandy of the Year.

It was not easy to pick Player of the Year or Coach of the Year. The best player race really came down to two: diaper dandy Anthony Davis of Kentucky and Kansas star Thomas Robinson. Both are so vital to their respective teams. In the end, I gave the nod to Davis because of the way he changes the game with his defensive ability.

There were a number of outstanding candidates for Coach of the Year. Mike Brey did a remarkable job considering Tim Abromaitis was lost for the season due to injury. Names like Steve Prohm of Murray State, Steve Fisher of San Diego State, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and John Calipari of Kentucky are among the many deserving of consideration.

In the end, my choice is Bill Self of Kansas. Leading the Jayhawks to an eighth consecutive Big 12 title is an amazing feat. He did it after losing the Morris Twins, Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed and Josh Selby. Robinson averaged only 14 minutes a game last season. Rock, chalk, Jayhawk celebrated and the fans in Lawrence could be proud.

Here are my national awards, All-American teams and best of the best in the big-time conferences. It has been a super season, but the best has yeat to come with March Madness, baby!

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Anthony Davis, Kentucky
COACH OF THE YEAR: Bill Self, Kansas
ROOKIE COACH OF THE YEAR: Steve Prohm, Murray State
DIAPER DANDY OF THE YEAR: Davis

FIRST TEAM ALL-SOLID GOLD SUPER SEVEN
Anthony Davis, Kentucky
Thomas Robinson, Kansas
Draymond Green, Michigan State
Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
Doug McDermott, Creighton
Damian Lillard, Weber State
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State

SECOND TEAM ALL-SOLID GOLD
Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
Kevin Jones, West Virginia
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
Will Barton, Memphis

THIRD TEAM ALL-SOLID GOLD
Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
Jae Crowder, Marquette
Cody Zeller, Indiana
Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas

FOURTH TEAM ALL-SOLID GOLD
Mike Scott, Virginia
John Henson, North Carolina
Robbie Hummel, Purdue
Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin
Trey Burke, Michigan

FIFTH TEAM ALL-SOLID GOLD
Kris Joseph, Syracuse
John Shurna, Northwestern
Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette
Marcus Denmon, Missouri
Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut

SIXTH TEAM ALL-SOLID GOLD
Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State
Ricardo Ratliffe, Missouri
Dion Waiters, Syracuse
Terrell Stoglin, Maryland
Matthew Dellavedova, St. Mary's

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.