ATLANTA - The Southeastern Conference announced its 2011 coaches postseason awards on Tuesday where senior forward Sam Muldrow became the first player in South Carolina history to be named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Muldrow also earned All-Defensive Team honors, while point guard Bruce Ellington was named to the All-Freshman Team.
Muldrow was selected as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year after a career season in 2010-11. Muldrow enters Thursday's SEC Tournament action with 96 blocks, while he leads the SEC and ranks fourth in the nation with 3.3 blocks per game. In league play Muldrow blocked 3.9 shots per outing, while also leading the Gamecocks with 13.0 points and 7.9 rebounds. This season he has led the team or shared the team lead in scoring five times, in rebounding 13 times and in blocked shots 24 times. He has seven double-doubles this season and five 20-point games, including a career high of 24 points vs. Tennessee on March 3. He became South Carolina's all-time leader in blocked shots vs. Georgia on Feb. 12.
Ellington earns the first All-SEC selection of his career, while he becomes the first Gamecock to be named to the All-Freshman team since the 2008 season. He has started all 29 games of his rookie campaign entering tournament play, and leads the team with 13.0 points per game. He has scored seven 20-point games and one 30-point effort, while he has led the team or shared the team lead in scoring 10 times, in assists 17 times and in steals nine times.
South Carolina opens up SEC Tournament play against Ole Miss on Thursday. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. ET at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The contest will be televised on the SEC Network (check local listings).
A complete list of the 2011 SEC Men's Basketball postseason awards follows.
SEC All-Defensive Team
Delvon Johnson, Arkansas - F, 6-9, 220, Sr., Chicago, Ill.
DeAndre Liggins, Kentucky - G, 6-6, 210, Jr., Chicago, Ill.
Reginald Buckner, Ole Miss - F, 6-8, 233, So., Memphis, Tenn. Sam Muldrow, South Carolina - F/C, 6-9, 222, Sr., Florence, S.C.
Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt - F, 6-7, 225, Jr., Norrkoping, Sweden
SEC Coach of the Year: Billy Donovan, Florida
SEC Player of the Year: Chandler Parsons, Florida
SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Riley Benock, Mississippi State
SEC Freshman of the Year: Terrence Jones, Kentucky
SEC Sixth-Man of the Year: Brian Williams, Tennessee
SEC Defensive Player of the Year: Sam Muldrow, South Carolina