ATLANTA — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got off to a shaky start, but he was carrying Georgia by the end of the season.
The sophomore guard was named Southeastern Conference player of the year by The Associated Press on Monday, adding to the award he received last week from the league’s coaches.
Caldwell-Pope was a unanimous choice to the All-SEC first team, joined by Florida forward-center Erik Murphy, Alabama guard Trevor Releford, Tennessee guard Jordan McRae and Kentucky forward Nerlens Noel.
LSU forward Johnny O’Bryant was voted to the AP’s second team.
Florida’s Billy Donovan was picked as coach of the year after leading the Gators to the regular-season championship and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament. Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson, who led the SEC in scoring and established himself as one of the league’s most brazen players, was honored as newcomer of the year.
Caldwell-Pope ranked second to Henderson at 18.5 points per game despite a sluggish start that contributed to Georgia winning just two of its first nine games. Coach Mark Fox said his 6-foot-5 guard and another sophomore, forward Nemanja Djurisic, “were two of the problems early in the year. Those guys did not play well.”
But Caldwell-Pope improved his shooting and wound up averaging more than twice as many points as anyone on the team. He also led the Bulldogs in rebounding (7.1) and had seven double-doubles, including a career-best 32 points and 13 rebounds in the final game of the season, a loss to LSU in the SEC tournament.
TOP SCORER SUSPENDED: James Madison suspended scoring and rebounding leader Rayshawn Goins for the first half of the Dukes’ NCAA tournament first-round game against LIU Brooklyn on Wednesday.
Goins was arrested Sunday on charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing justice. He’s averaging 12.7 points and 7.4 rebounds.
GEORGETOWN (Ky.) 90, LSU SHREVEPORT 88: In Kansas City, Mo., Monty Wilson’s 3-pointer with two seconds left lifted Georgetown past LSU Shreveport in the semifinals of the NAIA Division I men’s tournament.
Tevin Hall’s pair of free throws with nine seconds left gave LSUS (27-7) the lead, but Wilson converted just before the buzzer to send No. 13 seed Georgetown to a title-game matchup with Southwest Assemblies of God on Tuesday.
Brandon Davis paced LSUS with 31 points and 13 rebounds. Rodney Milum added 21, and Aaron Jones and Hall each had 11.
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