Notebook: North Carolina’s Hansbrough claims top AP honor
North Carolina junior forward Tyler Hansbrough was selected The Associated Press’ college basketball player of the year, an honor that came less than an hour after he was presented the Oscar Robertson Trophy by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association as their player of the year.
The ceremonies were a couple of blocks apart in San Antonio, and the 6-foot-9 Hansbrough, his coach and parents made the short walk.
“I know people don’t believe this stuff, but he’s just a kid, a regular kid,” Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said when the group arrived for the AP’s presentation.
Hansbrough led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring (22.8) and rebounding (10.3) as the Tar Heels (36-2) were ranked No. 1 for all but six weeks this season and were the overall top seed for the NCAA Tournament.
“The No. 1 goal is getting wins here. That’s the most important thing,” he said. “Individual awards are great, but the national championship is the ultimate goal.”
Drake’s Keno Davis was selected coach of the year by the AP, and he, too, had a busy morning as he swept the awards given Friday.
He and his father, Dr. Tom Davis, who won the award in 1987 at Iowa, became the first father and son to win the award.
Davis led Drake to a school-record 28 wins, its first Top 25 ranking since 1975 and its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1971. He becomes the second straight first-year coach to win the award. Like Washington State’s Tony Bennett last season, he succeeded his father as head coach.
Kansas guard injures knee
Kansas reserve guard Rodrick Stewart shattered his knee when he fell while attempting a dunk at the end of a light workout.
Coach Bill Self said Stewart had fractured his kneecap and would have surgery when the team returns to Lawrence after the Final Four.
“We’re very disappointed. It’s bringing us down right now,” said teammate Brandon Rush, who hurt his knee last summer. “We definitely don’t need that right now.”
Stewart’s injury wasn’t the only adversity Kansas faced as it prepared to meet mighty North Carolina in a national semifinal tonight. Self spent part of his scheduled news conference answering questions about whether he was interested in taking the job at Oklahoma State, his alma mater.
Big buyout in Crean contract
Under a preliminary deal between new coach Tom Crean and the Indiana, Crean would owe $3 million if he resigned in the first three years of an eight-year contract. The amount lowers to $2 million in years four and five. It would be $1 million the last three years of the deal.
The contract is worth more than $18 million.
Gordon expected to turn pro
Indiana freshman Eric Gordon is expected to announce Monday that he’ll turn pro.
The Big Ten’s freshman of the year said through the university that he will hold a news conference in his hometown of Indianapolis to announce his decision.
The Indianapolis Star reported that Gordon would forgo his final three seasons of college ball, citing a source close to the situation.
Cal targets Montgomery
California reportedly has turned to its biggest rival to find its new basketball coach, agreeing in principle with former Stanford coach Mike Montgomery on a contract to replace the fired Ben Braun.
ESPN.com was first to report the news, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the negotiations. School spokesman John Sudsbury declined to comment, and athletic director Sandy Barbour did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.
Villanova’s grant released
Villanova guard and top 3-point shooter Malcolm Grant received a release from his scholarship and will pursue a transfer to another school.
Grant averaged 5.6 points for the Wildcats this season in 29 games. He was 34 for 73 (46 percent) from 3-point range to lead the Wildcats.