Hopson lands 1st team honors
Junior guard Mac Hopson earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference and All-Newcomer team honors as the 2008-09 WAC men’s basketball postseason award winners were announced Sunday as selected by the league’s nine head coaches.
Hopson is Idaho’s second all-WAC selection and the first honored as a first-team all-conference selection since Gordon Scott during the 1999-2000 season in the Big West. Hopson helped Idaho to a third-place finish by averaging 16.8 points, 5.7 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.9 steals in 16 WAC games. The junior ranked first in the conference for steals and assists, fourth for assist/turnover ratio (1.9) and sixth in scoring.
The first team is led by Utah State senior forward Gary Wilkinson, who also was voted the WAC’s player of the year. Nevada’s Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson and New Mexico State’s Jahmar Young were also first team selections.
Utah State’s Stew Morrill was coach of the year.
UI’s Newlee top WAC coach
The Western Athletic Conference announced its women’s basketball yearly honors for the 2008-09 season, with Idaho coach Jon Newlee taking coach of the year honors.
The Vandal women were picked to finish last in the coaches poll and eighth in the media poll at the beginning of the season, but 27 games later, Idaho is 13-14 overall, 10-6 in WAC play and tied for third in the conference in Newlee’s first season.
Vandals junior guard Derisa Taleni was voted newcomer of the year by the league’s coaches. Taleni was joined on the All-WAC second team by sophomore Yinka Olorunnife, who was also selected to the All-Defensive Team. Shaena-Lyn Kuehu, the WAC’s top freshman scorer, rebounder and 3-point shooter, earned a spot on the WAC All-Freshman Team.
A-Rod to have hip surgery
Alex Rodriguez will have arthroscopic hip surgery today and is expected to miss six to nine weeks. The Yankees slugger will need further surgery after the season.
The diagnosis by Dr. Marc Philippon on Sunday was yet another jolt to Rodriguez during a tumultuous month in which the three-time A.L. MVP admitted using steroids from 2001-03 while with Texas.
Philippon spoke from Vail, Colo., on a conference call with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. Philippon, a noted hip specialist with the Steadman Hawkins Clinic, will perform the procedure.
Philippon is confident in the “85-90 percent range” that Rodriguez will be able to play through the entire regular season.
The decision eliminates the option of Rodriguez treating the injury with rest and rehab and playing through the season without surgery.