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Durant named writers' player of the year

March 27, 2007 at 3:58 PM

ST. LOUIS, March 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Basketball Writers Association voted Texas's Kevin Durant the college player of the year and Washington State's Tony Bennett coach of the year.

Durant is the first freshman to win the Oscar Robertson Trophy, as the player of the year award is called, and first member of the Big 12 Conference to claim the honor since it was created in 1959.

Durant averaged 25.8 points and 11.1 rebounds a game in leading the Longhorns to a 25-10 record. The team twice lost games to Kansas, one that would have given Texas a share of the Big 12 regular-season title, and the other for the league tournament title. But Durant had 32 points in the first contest and 37 points in the second.

Bennett just completed his first season as Washington State coach after taking over for his father, Dick. He was voted winner of the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award for becoming the first coach to take a team from last place in the Pac-10 one year to an NCAA Tournament berth the next. The Cougars were 25-7 in 2006-07.

The basketball writers' awards will formally be given at an award breakfast Friday in Atlanta.

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