Odom, Balkman, Receive SEC Major Honors

South Carolina's Dave Odom and Renaldo Balkman received much deserved honors today from their peers within the Southeastern Conference ...

USC Head Coach Dave Odom has been named the SEC Coach of Year today in a vote by the SEC Coaches. It is the fourth time he has been named a conference coach of the year, with the first three times coming in the ACC (1991, 1994, 1995). He was also named the National Coach of the Year in 1995.

Odom led his Gamecocks from fifth place in the Eastern Division in 2003 at 12-16 overall and 5-11 in conference play, to third place in the Eastern Division in 2004 at currently 21-9 overall, 8-8 in SEC play. He is the first South Carolina coach to win the award since Eddie Fogler in 1997. Odom guided his squad to their turnaround this year after being picked in the preseason to finish last in the East Division. In three seasons in Columbia, he has compiled a 55-40 (.579) record.

USC freshman Renaldo Balkman has also been named to the SEC All-Freshmen team. He is averaging 6.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg and leads the team with 40 blocks. He is the fifth Gamecock to receive this honor during his career and the first since Chuck Eidson in 2000.

Quotes from both to come later today.

The SEC release follows:

The Southeastern Conference unveiled its men's basketball postseason awards Wednesday to cap off one of the most competitive seasons in league history.

Southeastern Conference Champion Mississippi State earned two 2004 SEC coaches' postseason awards as junior forward Lawrence Roberts was selected SEC Player of the Year and forward Shane Power was tabbed the first annual SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the league's coaches.

USC Head Coach Dave Odom was chosen SEC Coach of the Year by his peers and LSU forward Brandon Bass earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors. In two other first-year awards, Georgia's Rashad Wright earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors and Vanderbilt's Scott Hundley was named the SEC's Sixth Man of the Year.

Roberts garnered SEC Player of the Year honors in leading Mississippi State to both the SEC and West Division titles. He becomes the first Bulldog player to win the honor since the award was voted on by the coaches starting in 1987. MSU's Jeff Malone earned UPI SEC Player of the Year honors in 1983. Roberts was a unanimous All-SEC First Team selection.

Shane Power earned the inaugural SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, starting Mississippi State's last 13 games while sporting a 3.22 grade-point average in Sports Communication. He is currently a member of Mississippi State's Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization and MSU's Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

Brandon Bass was selected for the SEC Freshman of the Year award. Bass leads all SEC freshmen with 12.7 ppg and ranks second in the league in blocks (2.00 bpg). Bass was also one of three unanimous picks for the SEC All-Freshman Team.

Rashad Wright earned the inaugural SEC Defensive Player of the Year award, leading the SEC in steals in league play with 2.6 spg.

Scott Hundley was tabbed SEC Sixth Man of the Year, leading Vanderbilt's deep bench with 7.3 ppg (fourth best on the team) despite playing only 19.4 minutes per game.

A complete list of the 2004 SEC Men's Basketball postseason awards follows.

FIRST TEAM ALL-SEC Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown

Kennedy Winston, Alabama F 6-6 205 So. Prichard, Ala.
Anthony Roberson, Florida G 6-1 180 So. Saginaw, Mich.
Erik Daniels, Kentucky F 6-8 214 Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio
Gerald Fitch, Kentucky G 6-3 188 Sr. Macon, Ga.
Justin Reed, Ole Miss F 6-8 240 Sr. Jackson, Miss.
Timmy Bowers, Mississippi State G 6-2 190 Sr. Gulfport, Miss.
Lawrence Roberts, Mississippi State# F/C 6-9 235 Jr. Houston, Texas
Matt Freije, Vanderbilt# F 6-9 230 Sr. Shawnee Mission, Kan.

SECOND TEAM ALL-SEC Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown

Jonathon Modica, Arkansas G/F 6-4 200 So. Smackover, Ark.
Marco Killingsworth, Auburn F 6-7 235 Jr. Montgomery, Ala.
David Lee, Florida F 6-9 249 Jr. St. Louis, Mo.
Matt Walsh, Florida F 6-6 205 So. Holland, Pa.
Rashad Wright, Georgia G 6-3 195 Sr. Statesboro, Ga.
Chuck Hayes, Kentucky F 6-6 247 Jr. Modesto, Calif.
Jaime Lloreda, LSU F 6-9 246 Sr. Colon, Panama
Scooter McFadgon, Tennessee G 6-5 207 Jr. Memphis, Tenn.

SEC ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown

Jermareo Davidson, Alabama# F 6-10 210 Atlanta, Ga.
Ronnie Brewer, Arkansas# G 6-6 190 Fayetteville, Ark.
Olu Famutimi, Arkansas G/F 6-5 207 Flint, Mich.
Levi Stukes, Georgia G 6-1 180 Randallstown, Md.
Brandon Bass, LSU# F 6-8 250 Baton Rouge, La.
Todd Abernethy, Ole Miss G 6-1 190 Carmel, Ind.
Gary Ervin, Mississippi State# G 5-11 170 Brooklyn, N.Y.
Renaldo Balkman, South Carolina F 6-7 198 Tampa, Fla.

SEC COACH OF THE YEAR

Dave Odom, South Carolina

SEC PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Lawrence Roberts, Mississippi State

SEC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Shane Power, Mississippi State

SEC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

Brandon Bass, LSU

SEC SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR

Scott Hundley, Vanderbilt

SEC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Rashad Wright, Georgia

#-Unanimous Selection; Ties are not broken

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