Howland Earns Second National Coach of the Year Honor (Collegehoops.Net)

April 7, 2006, the web's most popular independent college basketball site, announced the remainder of their 2006 postseason awards today. Ben Howland, coach of national runner-up UCLA was named the 2006 Coach of the Year. Fellow Final Four participant George Mason was named the 2006 Program of the Year for their impressive run through the NCAA Tournament. A complete list of postseason awards is included below: Coach of the Year

Ben Howland, UCLA
From beginning to end, 2005-06 was a magical season for the UCLA Bruins. It began with an 11-1 start, continued with a Pac-10 regular season title, was followed by a Pac-10 Tournament title, and culminated with a run to the NCAA Tournament Finals. All of this occurred despite a continual string of injuries, including the season-ending loss of starter Josh Shipp. This improbable success falls firmly on the shoulders of Ben Howland, who has almost personally turned around this West Coast Power. After going 10-19 in the season before his arrival, the Bruins have improved from 11, to 18, to 32 wins. Program of the Year

George Mason
Even before their surprising run to the Final Four, George Mason was already having an impressive season. The Patriots finished tied atop the CAA with a 15-3 record, finished the regular season with an RPI of 26, and a non-conference RPI of 30. After a disappointing loss to Hofstra in the CAA Tournament, including an unfortunate punching incident by senior guard Tony Skinn, the Patriots were sweating out an NCAA Tournament bid. However, Coach Jim Larranaga's handling of this situation, and their monster-slaying NCAA Tournament run makes them worthy of being 2006 Program of the Year. Most-Improved Player

Joakim Noah, Florida Noah, who blossomed into a media darling during Florida's National Championship Run, exemplifies the Most-Improved Player award. After averaging just 9 minutes per game in 2004-05, Noah exploded with averages of 14.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, and 2.4 bpg. Impressively, he put up these numbers in just 24.9 mpg and is primed to improve once again with full starters minutes next year. Conference of the Year

Missouri Valley Conference This award goes to a conference that features impressive top-to-bottom team success, an exciting conference race, challenging scheduling, and a lack of off-the-court distractions. The MVC had a banner year this season with four NCAA Tournament bids, six teams in the RPI Top 40, the sixth overall conference RPI rating, and two teams in the Sweet Sixteen. All in all, this was one of the easiest postseason awards to give in 2006. All-Favorite Team

G Kyle Lowry, Villanova
G Mike Gansey, West Virginia
F Brandon Roy, Washington
F Adam Morrison, Gonzaga
F Glen Davis, LSU
Whether because of sheer physical talent, basketball savvy, impressive hustle, and a sterling personality, the All-Favorite Team is for players who make it fun and exciting to be college basketball fans.

- For a complete list of CHN postseaon awards, including All-Americans and All-Rookie Teams, visit

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