Georgia sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been named the 2013 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year by the league’s 14 head basketball coaches.
Also, reserve guard Charles Mann was named to the Coaches’ SEC All-Freshman Team.
Caldwell-Pope, a 6-5 guard from Greenville, Ga., leads the Bulldogs and ranks second in the SEC in scoring at 18.0 points per game. He ranks among the SEC leaders in nine of the 13 statistical categories. He has led Georgia in scoring in 28 of 31 regular-season games, and in rebounding in 15 games. He is one of just nine players in all of NCAA Division I to have scored in double figures in each of his team’s games.
Caldwell-Pope has earned a reputation as clutch performer. In the last five minutes of SEC games this season, he averaged 5.4 points (projects to 43.2 points over a 40-minute game), shooting 65 percent from the field, 63 percent from 3-point range and 83 percent from the free-throw line. He scored 31 percent of his total of 332 points in SEC play during the last five minutes.
Mann, a 6-4 guard from Alpharetta, Ga., has started at point guard in eight of Georgia’s 31 games this season. He leads the Bulldogs in assists with 87, ranks second behind Caldwell-Pope in free-throw attempts with 156 and is third in scoring at 6.5 points per game. Twice he has scored his season high of 18 points, most recently on March 2 in the Bulldogs’ second win over Tennessee.
The only other Bulldog selected Southeastern Conference Player of the Year is Dominique Wilkins. In 1981Wilkins also won the award as a sophomore , then given by the Associated Press and United Press International.
The Bulldogs begin play in the SEC Tournament second round on Thursday against LSU. Tipoff in Nashville, Tenn., is slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT). Can Caldwell – Pope and Mann maintain their point production through the SEC Tourney? Tells us what you think.