March 5, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Tony Bennett became the third man in Washington State history to be named Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year, conference, commissioner Tom Hansen announced Monday.
Bennett has led the Cougars to 24 wins this season, tied for the third most in school history and two shy of the WSU record set in 1940-41. The first-year Cougar mentor joins George Raveling (1976, Pac-8 and 1983, Pac-10) and Kelvin Sampson (1991) as WSU coaches to win the award.
"With the caliber of coaches in this league, I am much appreciative and very overwhelmed," Bennett said.
In addition to Bennett's award, WSU junior guards Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver were named All-Pacific-10 Conference. They become the 11th and 12th student-athletes in Cougar history to receive the accolade (three others were named All-Pacific-8). It marks the third time in school history two men have earned the award in the same season. Don Collins and Bryan Rison earned first team all-conference in 1980 and Isaac Fontaine and Mark Hendrickson garner honors in 1996.
Low leads Washington State in scoring at 13.5 points per game. A native of Honolulu, he has stared all 30 Cougar games this season and ranks fifth in the Pacific-10 Conference with 34.00 minutes per game, eighth in 3-point field goals made (2.10 per game) and steals (1.40 per game), and ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (40.1). His scoring average is 15th in the conference.
"It feels good," Low said upon learning of the award. "It's an honor to be recognized, but a lot of credit goes to my teammates." On Washington State's career lists, Low ranks in free throw percentage (third, 80.6), 3-point field goals (12th, 116), 3-point field goal percentage (12th, 37.1), steals (tied-13th, 92), steals average (16th, 1.26 per game), assists (16th, 194), and assists average (18th, 2.66 per game).
Weaver leads WSU with 166 rebounds, 141 assists and 65 steals. His 11.4 points per game are second among Cougars to Low's average and his 39 blocks are nine behind team leader Ivory Clark's 45.
A native of Beloit, Wis., Weaver became the first student-athlete in Pac-10 history to reach 300 points, 125 assists, 125 rebounds, 50 steals and 35 blocks in the same season. He currently ranks fifth all-time at WSU in assists average (3.63 per game), seventh in assists (298), tied for ninth in steals (119) and 11th in blocks (67), blocks average (0.82 per game), and steals average (1.45 per game).
"It's an honor to be recognized and be on that list with those 10 guys in this conference," Weaver said.
Weaver has five double-doubles this season, including the first triple-double in school history (14 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists at Stanford, Jan. 13).