Byars, Stallings honored by SEC coaches

Wednesday, March 7, 2007 at 1:00am

Vanderbilt senior Derrick Byars was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, while Commodores coach Kevin Stallings was named Coach of the Year on Wednesday in a voting of league coaches.

Byars ranks as the league's second leading scorer during SEC play, averaging 19.1 points per game and was listed among the league leaders in seven other statistical categories. He helped lead Vanderbilt's (20-10, 10-6 SEC) run to second place in the SEC Eastern Division with several key performances throughout the conference season and posted several clutch performances against ranked opponents.

Byars is the third Commodore chosen as the SEC Player of the Year by the league's coaches, joining forward Dan Langhi in 2000 and center Will Perdue in 1988.

Stallings earned his first SEC Coach of the Year award after overseeing Vanderbilt's remarkable turnaround season.

"One of the most rewarding things that can happen is when you are recognized by your peers," Stallings said. "It's a reflection on the work ethic of our coaching staff. I'm very thankful that my peers in the league thought we did a job that was worthy of this honor."

Stallings becomes the first Vanderbilt coach to earn SEC Coach of the Year honors since Eddie Fogler in 1993.

Vanderbilt guard Shan Foster was named second-team all-SEC by the league coaches.

Check Thursday's edition of The City Paper for more on this story.

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