Redick, Morrison lead All-Americans
TONIGHT ON TV: NIT semifinals, ODU vs. Michigan, 7, and South Carolina vs. Louisville, 9, ESPN2.
By wire services
Published March 28, 2006
Duke's J.J. Redick and Gonzaga's Adam Morrison spent all season locked in a bicoastal scoring race. Fittingly, they ended it as the only unanimous selections for the Associated Press' All-America team.
Redick, the most prolific 3-point scorer in college history, was a repeat choice. He and Morrison were joined on the first team Monday by Redick's teammate, center Shelden Williams, Villanova guard Randy Foye and swingman Brandon Roy, Washington's first All-American in 53 years.
Redick and Morrison gave fans a "Can you top this?" scoring competition that ended with both receiving all 72 first-team votes from members of the national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. The voting took place before the NCAA Tournament.
Morrison, the only junior on an otherwise all-senior first team, won the scoring title with a 28.4 average, just ahead of Redick's 27.4. Morrison shot 43.7 percent from 3-point range and Redick 42.1 percent.
"It is a testament to the type of season each of us has had," Redick said. "Adam is certainly a great player and it is an honor to be a unanimous pick along with him."
Morrison said being All-America isn't "something you think about receiving when you start your collegiate career, but to be associated with some of the great names of college basketball is an honor. I guess to be a unanimous pick with J.J. seems only fitting since the two of us have been followed so closely this year. He's a great player."
Morrison is Gonzaga's second All-American, joining Dan Dickau in 2002.
There were two unanimous selections for the second time in three years. In 2004, St. Joseph's Jameer Nelson and Connecticut's Emeka Okafor were unanimous.
Florida's Joakim Noah was an honorable mention. For complete All-America voting, see page 7C.
GAMECOCKS AIM AT HISTORY: South Carolina coach Dave Odom was surprised to hear that it has been 60 years since the National Invitation Tournament had a repeat champion.
The Gamecocks will try to become the first team to win consecutive NIT titles since St. John's in 1943 and 1944 when they play Louisville in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden tonight.
"I didn't realize it's been that long," Odom said. "If we can do that, it would be pretty special."
Odom has had incredible success in the NIT. He is 19-3 in the tournament, winning the championship in 2000 with Wake Forest. He also lost with the Gamecocks in the 2002 title game.
"I enjoy the NIT," Odom said. "I don't know if anyone wants their legacy to be he was a great NIT coach, but by the same token, when you're given the opportunity to play in the tournament, you're excited about it."
KNIGHTS INTRODUCE COACH: Fred Hill Jr. was introduced as Rutgers coach, calling it the culmination of a lifelong dream.
The New Jersey native succeeds Gary Waters, who resigned this month with four years left on his contract. Waters brought in Hill before last season as an associate coach for a Scarlet Knights team that finished 19-14 and played in the NIT.
"A long time ago I had a dream to come here," said Hill, 47, who since 1981 has served as an assistant coach at eight schools in addition to Rutgers, including fellow Big East members Villanova and Seton Hall.
"You can never pick and choose in this business," he said. "There were some opportunities to be a head coach that I didn't take because I didn't think the timing was right. This was an opportunity I was waiting for, and for whatever reason it seems to have worked out the right way."
ALBANY: Coach Will Brown was given a five-year extension nine days after his 16th seed Great Danes nearly upset No.1 Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In his fifth season as coach, Brown, 34, guided the Great Danes to their first America East regular-season title and tournament championship. They went 21-11 in reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time as a Division I program.
HOUSTON: Coach Tom Penders received a new five-year contract, adding one year to his current deal. The Cougars went 21-10 and reached the NIT's second round.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Guard Jamaal Tatum was arrested early Saturday and charged with drunken driving. Tatum, a starter who averaged 15 points and 3.3 assists this season, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and failing to yield.
TENNESSEE: Junior Dane Bradshaw had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist that had been bothering him most of the season, school officials said.