March 10, 2008
UCLA freshman center Kevin Love has been selected Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year by vote of the league's coaches. He was also named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Sophomore guard Russell Westbrook was named the Pac-10's Defensive Player of the Year.
Love is only the second freshman in league history to win the award, which started in 1975-76. The other freshman was California's Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1996.
This is the seventh time a Bruin has captured the award. Junior Arron Afflalo won the award last season, Ed O'Bannon won it in 1995, Kenny Fields in 1983, David Greenwood in 1978 and 1979 and Marques Johnson in 1977.
Love is also the third Bruin in the last four years to win the Freshman of the Year Award. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute won it in 2006 and Jordan Farmar earned it in 2005. Other Bruins to capture that award include Jason Kapono (co-winner) in 2000, Baron Davis in 1998, Don MacLean in 1989 and Pooh Richardson (co-winner) in 1986.
The Defensive Player of the Year award won by Westbrook was re-instituted this season. It was previously presented in 1984 through 1986 with UCLA's Nigel Miguel winning it in 1985.
Love was also named to the five-man All-Pac-10 first team.
Junior guard Darren Collison was named second-team All-Pac-10 and was also named to the All-Defensive Team. Westbrook was named third-team All-Pac-10 and joined Collison on the All-Defensive team.