Calathes picked SEC top newcomer

University of Florida freshman guard Nick Calathes of Casselberry was named the Southeastern Conference’s Newcomer of the Year, as the 2008 Associated Press Southeastern
Conference Awards were announced on Monday.

In addition, Calathes was named second team All-SEC, one of only two freshmen to earn a spot on the team.

Calathes, who last week was named co-SEC Freshman of the Year by the league coaches, has led UF in scoring all season at 15.7 points per game, including 16.9 per game in SEC play. He broke the UF single-season record for assists last Thursday night with four against Alabama and has an SEC-leading 193 assists on the year heading into Wednesday night’s NIT opener against San Diego State (9 p.m., Stephen C. O’Connell Center, ESPN2).

Calathes is the first Gator to receive the award since Anthony Roberson in 2003, and just the fourth UF player ever.

Florida’s All-Time SEC Freshman of the Year Recipients: Ronnie Williams, 1981; Andrew Moten, 1985; Anthony Roberson, 2003; Nick Calathes, 2008.

Named to the first team All-SEC by the Associated Press were: Shan Foster, Vanderbilt; Jamont Gordon, Mississippi State; Richard Hendrix, Alabama; Chris Lofton, Tennessee; Tyler Smith, Tennessee; Devan Downey, South Carolina.

Along with Calathes, the second team included: Charles Rhodes, Mississippi State; Patrick Patterson, Kentucky; Ramel Bradley, Kentucky; Marcus Thornton, LSU; Sonny Weems, Arkansas; Dwayne Curtis, Ole Miss.

Player of the Year was Vanderbilt’s Shan Foster while Coach of the Year went to Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl.

(UF SID contributed to this report)