NASHVILLE – Tennessee and Vanderbilt swept the men’s and women’s college player and coach of the year awards for the 2006-07 season, the Tennessee Sports Writers Association announced today.
Candace Parker was named the state’s women’s basketball player of the year while Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt was named coach of the year.
On the men’s side, Vanderbilt’s Derrick Byars and coach Kevin Stallings garnered the top awards.
Parker was named player of the year on the women’s side for the second straight year. The sophomore was named State Farm Player of the Year and was named Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four as she helped the Lady Vols to the NCAA championship.
Summitt, the winningest basketball coach for men or women, won her seventh national championship when the Lady Vols defeated Rutgers. Summitt guided the Lady Vols to a 34-3 record and top national seed.
Byars helped lead Vanderbilt’s resurgence, which included an appearance in the NCAA round of 16. The senior from Memphis was among the league leaders in scoring, three-pointers per game, field goal and field goal percentage, free throw percentage and assists while being named SEC Player of the Year.
Stallings was named the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Commodores to a 22-12 mark and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Vanderbilt overcame a 1-3 start and advanced to the Sweet 16, losing by one-point to eventual runner-up Georgetown. The Commodores defeated six nationally-ranked teams, including national champion Florida, and swept traditional power Kentucky for the second straight season.
The players and coaches of the year will be presented their awards during the annual TSWA Convention in July in Nashville.
Capsules for TSWA Players and Coaches of the Year
Men’s Player of the Year
Derrick Byars, Vanderbilt University
Senior, Guard/Forward, Memphis, Tenn.
Named 2007 Southeastern Conference Player of the year and unanimous First-Team All-SEC selection by the league’s coaches … helped lead the Commodores to a 22-12 overall record, the second most league wins in the SEC (10) and a visit to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament … finished the year ranked among the SEC leaders in a league-high nine statistical categories: scoring (fourth at 17.0), 3-pointers per game (eighth at 2.32), field goal percentage (ninth at .457), 3-point field goal percentage (ninth at .373), steals (11th at 1.41), free throw percentage (12th at .711), assists (12th at 3.41), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.45-to-1) and rebounding (23rd at 4.9) … finished second in scoring with 19.1 points per game during league play … A two-time SEC Player of the Week selection, Byars led the Commodores in scoring 17 times during the season, including 14 of 20 games from the start of conference play through the postseason. He also led Vanderbilt in scoring in seven of its 10 games against ranked opponents, averaging 20.2 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 51.4 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range … netted 24 points on 11-of-19 shooting in Vanderbilt’s 83-70 victory against then-No. 1 Florida. He posted 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting to go with seven rebounds in an 82-81 win over then-No. 16 Tennessee. He willed Vanderbilt to the Sweet 16, pouring in 19 of his game-high 27 points after intermission during the Commodores’ 78-74 double-overtime thriller against then-No. 13 Washington State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament … finished the year as the team leader in scoring (17.0), assists (3.4) and steals (1.4).
Men’s Coach of the Year
Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt University
Named the 2007 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year … orchestrated the Commodores standout 2007 campaign that was capped off with the school’s second visit to the Sweet 16 in the last four years … after starting the season 1-3 and losing the services of starting center Alan Metcalfe with a broken left foot, Stallings and his staff reorganized the Commodore attack and directed Vanderbilt to a 22-12 overall record during the season … The Commodores beat a school-record six nationally ranked teams during the regular season – a number that ranked third most in the country behind only UCLA and North Carolina. Vanderbilt defeated topped-ranked and eventual national champion Florida, 83-70, on Feb. 17 and swept SEC traditional power Kentucky for the second consecutive season … Vanderbilt finished with the second-most league wins in the SEC with 10 and became the only squad in the league to never lose back-to-back conference games during the year … Stallings tutored senior wing player Derrick Byars who blossomed in his final season in Nashville and was named the 2007 SEC Player of the Year by the league’s coaches … The Commodores were ranked in the national polls for the first time since 2004.
Women’s Player of the Year
Candace Parker, University of Tennessee
Sophomore, Forward/Guard/Center, Naperville, Ill.
Parker was the fourth underclassman to win the State Farm Wade Trophy, the women’s National Player of the Year award … was named Most Outstanding Player after averaging 15.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in two games in the Final Four, leading the Lady Vols to a national championship … recorded 34 double-digit scoring games (out of 36 total games), including 17 in the NCAA title game vs. Rutgers … was a consensus first-team All-America player … averaged 19.6 points and 9.8 rebounds for the season.
Women’s Coach of the Year
Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee
Guided the Lady Vols to a 34-3 record; a 14-0 SEC regular season sweep to claim the SEC regular season title and the tournament’s No. 1 seed … took Tennessee to its 17th NCAA Final Four and claimed the program’s seventh NCAA title … named the SEC Coach of the Year and the WBCA District Coach of the Year.