Rod Barnes Named SEC Coach of the Year By League's Coaches

March 5, 2001

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Ole Miss' Rod Barnes was named the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year in a vote by the league's coaches, the conference office announced Monday.

Senior Rahim Lockhart was selected to the coaches' All-SEC first team, while Justin Reed was named the league's Freshman of the Year and also earned SEC All-Freshman Team accolades. Reed became Ole Miss' first-ever SEC Freshman of the Year selection and was the only unanimous choice to the league's All-Freshman Team.

"I appreciate this tremendous honor," said Barnes, who has a 62-33 record in three seasons at Ole Miss. "I don't see this just as an individual award, but one that is a positive reflection on the entire Ole Miss basketball program--the players, coaches and staff. The Southeastern Conference is the best basketball league in the nation with outstanding teams, players and coaches. I feel especially honored to have received this recognition from my peers.

"It was also great to see Rahim and Justin receive honors for all the hard work they put in this year. Both players are very deserving of the awards they received, and they will tell you that they would have never received these honors without the help of their teammates. I am very proud of them and this team."

Barnes is the first SEC Coach of the Year selected by the league's coaches since Lee Hunt shared the honor with Kentucky's Joe B. Hall in 1983. This season, the Satartia, Miss., native guided Ole Miss to a 23-6 overall record, an 11-5 SEC mark and the 2001 SEC Western Division title. The 23 victories are a school record, and this year's SEC West championship is the program's third in the last five years.

Lockhart, a native of Mendenhall, Miss., was named to the All-SEC first team along with Alabama's Rod Grizzard, Florida's Udonis Haslem and Brett Nelson and Kentucky's Tayshaun Prince. Lockhart leads the Rebels in scoring (12.9 ppg), rebounding (8.3 rpg), field goal percentage (.576), blocks (43) and steals (44). Lockhart is the fourth player in Rebel history to be named to the coaches' All-SEC first team, as Joe Gibbon was a first team pick in 1957, Ansu Sesay in 1997 and 1998 and Keith Carter in 1999. Coaches' All-SEC picks were not made on a first-team and second-team basis from 1958-92.

A Jackson, Miss., native, Reed was the sixth player in Ole Miss history to garner SEC All-Freshman Team accolades. Tim Jumper (1988), Joe Harvell (1990), Dondi Flemister (1991), Anthony Boone (1995) and Keith Carter (1996) were former Rebels who also earned All-Freshman Team honors from the league. Reed is second on the team in scoring (11.4 ppg) and rebounding (5.7 rpg), and led the team in scoring in SEC games only with a 12.6 average.

Joining Reed on the SEC All-Freshman Team were Alabama's Gerald Wallace, Kentucky's Gerald Fitch and Jason Parker and Vanderbilt's Matt Freije.

Prince was selected the league's Player of the Year.

 

 

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