March 10, 2008

Howland talks about team honors

The UCLA Bruins were highly honored today when the Pac 10 conference released its all-Pac 10 team. Kevin Love was name Pac 10 Player of the Year and was Pac 10 Frosh Player of the Year. Russell Westbrook earned Pac 10 Defensive Player of the Year. UCLA basketball coach Ben Howland held an impromptu teleconference to discuss his team and their honors.

"I'm pleased and excited for Kevin Love and for his teammates," Howland said. "I think it was Fred Washington who said the player who wins MVP should come from the winning team, the best team and Kevin is definitely deserving.

"We won the conference by three games and I think it was great being part of a really good team obviously, not only being a great player, but being a part of a good team was great for him to win that award.

"Also to be freshman of the year was exciting and I was really excited for Russell Westbrook being selected defensive player of the year and third team.

"My only disappointment in this was that I thought Darren Collison definitely deserved to be on the first team and that was a little frustrating for me.

"When you look at his numbers, you know he's number one in free throw percentage, is number one in steals, he's number two in assists, he shooting 53 percent from the three, which I think is second. He is averaging 15.4 points a game, which is ninth and he's on the all-defensive team so the coaches do recognize what a great defender he is and when you win the league by three games and you're the starting point guard, I really believed that he deserved to be first team.

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