Going to make an argument or two here and then we can argue about it.
Stanford’s Jeanette Pohlen – Deb Gumbley file photo
I’m going to make two somewhat out-of-the-box picks for Pac-10 postseason awards.
First of all, Stanford’s Jeanette Pohlen should be the Pac-10 Player of the Year.
She ranks in the top five in five categories in the Pac-10 statistics, leading the way in free-throw percentage, 3-pointer percentage and total 3-pointers made.
She’s had an outstanding all-around season as a scorer, distributor and leader.
Oregon State’s Scott Rueck should be the Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
It’s obviously easy to say that Tara VanDerveer should win, for she is coaching the best team in the league.
It might even be easy to see UCLA’s Nikki Caldwell win it, considering the unprecedented nature of the Bruins’ season and their Top 10 ranking for much of the season.
But has any coach in the league had to work harder to coach their team than Rueck.
He started with almost nothing – literally.
He cobbled together a team with open tryouts and preseason recruiting and convincing other athletes from other teams to join the program.
He wondered whether they would win a game. The Beavers have won nine. Two of them in conference play, including last week’s rivalry game against Oregon at Gill Coliseum.
Oregon State has not been a walk-over. The Beavers have been competitive. Eight of their conference losses have come by 10 points or less.
Rueck has done more with less. And that’s an understatement.
He would have my vote. I’m guessing he’s going to have a few others.