Louisiana Tech’s Michael White named WAC’s top coach

Associated Press file photo by David Zalubowski -- Louisiana Tech coach Michael White, son of former Tulane Athletic Director Kevin White, returns to New Orleans to face the Green Wave on Thursday night.
Associated Press file photo by David Zalubowski -- Louisiana Tech coach Michael White, son of former Tulane Athletic Director Kevin White, returns to New Orleans to face the Green Wave on Thursday night.

Louisiana Tech men’s coach Michael White was named the Western Athletic Conference’s coach of the year, the league announced Sunday night.

White led the Bulldogs to a share of the school’s first regular-season WAC title. During his second year in Ruston, he led the Bulldogs to a 16-2 conference record — including a 16-0 start. He’s the first coach in school history to receive the honor.

Sophomore guards Raheem Appleby and Kenneth Smith were selected to the conference’s first team. Appleby, a second-team pick last year, led Tech in scoring during conference play at 12.3 points per game. Smith led the WAC in assists per game (4.89) and was second in assist-to-turnover ratio.

Idaho senior forward Chris Udofia was named player of the year, and New Mexico State center Sim Bhullar was picked as top freshman.

The Bulldogs are the No. 1 seed in the WAC tournament, which opens Tuesday in Las Vegas. Tech will face San Jose State or Texas-San Antonio in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

Big East

HOYAS’ PORTER LEADS FIRST TEAM: Georgetown sophomore forward Otto Porter was the lone unanimous selection to the All-Big East first team.

Louisville juniors Russ Smith and Gorgui Dieng are on the first team, which is chosen by the conference’s coaches. Also on the six-man first team are Connecticut junior Shabazz Napier, Providence junior Bryce Cotton and Notre Dame senior Jack Cooley.

The league’s player of the year, which will be announced Tuesday, will come from the first team.

Porter, second in conference games in scoring at 18.1 points, led the Hoyas to a three-way share of the regular season title along with Louisville and Marquette.

The second team is Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams and C.J. Fair, Vander Blue of Marquette, Sean Kilpatrick of Cincinnati and Jerian Grant of Notre Dame.

Big 12

COWBOYS’ SMART NAMED TOP PLAYER: Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart was voted the Big 12’s best player and top freshman by the league’s coaches.

Smart joins Texas’ Kevin Durant (2007) and Kansas State’s Michael Beasley (2008) as the only dual honorees.

Kansas State’s Bruce Weber was picked as the Big 12’s top coach.

Joining Smart on the first team are Kansas senior center Jeff Withey, Jayhawks freshman guard Ben McLemore, Kansas State guard Rodney McGruder and Oklahoma forward Romero Osby.

Tulane women

Tulane guards Olivia Grayson and Danielle Blagg were selected to the All-Conference USA second team, the league announced.

Grayson, a senior who went to Archbishop Chapelle High School, was third on the team at 9.7 points per game and second in rebounding at 6.3. She led the team in steals (56), free throw percentage (.800) and minutes per game (29.0).

Blagg, a sophomore from San Antonio, was second in points per game (10.5) and fourth in rebounds per game (4.0). She was the C-USA freshman of the year last season.

As the No. 2 seed, the Green Wave (22-7) opens the C-USA tournament Thursday against No. 6 seed Tulsa or No. 11 Rice in Tulsa, Okla.