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National award for Davis UK's first

NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis was busier than any other player in the Final Four.

The Kentucky freshman had to make the circuit of player of the year presentations Friday, not that he was complaining.

"There were a lot of awards (Thursday and Friday)," Davis said with a big smile. "It's a great feeling, especially as a freshman. I've been working hard and now it's rewarding."

Davis became the first Kentucky player and second freshman voted Associated Press player of the year. He picked up his latest trophy, along with coach of the year for Frank Haith of Missouri.

It was Davis' second ceremony of the day, and he had to make a quick exit for practice to prepare for today's national semifinal against Louisville.

The 6-foot-10 Davis averaged 14.3 points — on a team with six double-figure scorers — 10.0 rebounds and 4.6 blocks and shot 64.2 percent. His block total is a school record and third-best ever for a freshman. He was named the SEC's top player, defensive player and freshman.

The only other freshman to win it was Kevin Durant of Texas in 2007. Davis received 43 votes from the 65-member national media panel before the NCAA Tournament.

Thomas Robinson of Kansas was second with 20 votes and Michigan State's Draymond Green got the other two.

Haith, a former Miami coach, won 30 games and the Big 12 tournament in his first season at Missouri. He got 21 votes from the media panel, while John Calipari of Kentucky and Tom Izzo of Michigan State tied for second with 10 votes each.

Florida State's Leonard Hamilton received one vote.

Big East tourney ban possible for UConn

HARTFORD, Conn. — Big East presidents agreed on a policy that would bar Connecticut from next season's conference tournament because the Huskies haven't qualified academically for the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Spokesman John Paquette confirmed that the presidents agreed in principal to the policy during a meeting on March 7 in New York. Paquette said official language likely will be adopted in May. Connecticut president Susan Herbst has said she favors high academic standards, but believes banning UConn from next year's NCAA postseason would punish good students for the actions of those who are no longer at the university. Under rules approved in October, the defending national champions would be academically ineligible in 2013, because the NCAA plans to use data from the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years, when Connecticut' scores were too low to meet the threshold.

ALL-STAR GAME: Big East player of the year Jae Crowder of Marquette had 25 points to lead the East, led by former Alabama coach Wimp Sanderson, over the West 103-99 in the College All-Star game.

ARKANSAS: Coach Mike Anderson said BJ Young, a freshman guard who led the team in scoring this season, is exploring whether to enter the NBA draft. Anderson said Young hasn't hired an agent.

NEBRASKA: The school paid the $350,000 new coach Tim Miles owed Colorado State for breaking his contract with the Rams. His CSU deal required the buyout if he left before June 30; the Cornhuskers hired him last week.

National award for Davis UK's first 03/30/12 [Last modified: Sunday, April 1, 2012 12:33am]

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