Vanderbilt’s Jeffery Taylor, John Jenkins and Festus Ezeli earned all-conference recognition Tuesday when the Southeastern Conference announced its coaches’ awards.
Taylor a junior forward, was the conference’s only player named to the all-defensive team in addition to the first or second all-conference teams. He also was an All-SEC second team selection. He was recognized with the same two awards in 2010 and was an all-freshman choice in 2009.
“This is a great honor and something to be proud of,” Taylor said.
Taylor was the Commodores’ second-leading scorer, at 14.5 points per game, and leader in steals with 30.
Jenkins was the only Commodore named to the eight-player first team, which included players from seven different universities. Kentucky, with freshmen Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight, was the only school with more than one first-team selection. Jones was the Freshman of the Year.
Jenkins led the conference in scoring at 19.4 points per game and in 3-point field goals made (89).
Ezeli, in his first year as a starter, joined Taylor on the second team. He set a school record with 80 blocked shots and averaged 12.9 points and 6.2 rebounds.
“It’s a great individual accomplishment,” Ezeli said. “It proves to you that hard work can pay off.”
Regular-season champion Florida claimed the top individual honors as Chandler Parsons was named Player of the Year and Billy Donovan was named Coach of the Year. Parsons became the first UF player to win the award, and Donovan, third all-time in the SEC for wins (355) was named the top coach for the first time.
Tennessee’s Brian Williams was named Sixth Man of the Year.
“I feel like we’re well represented and those guys are very deserving of the awards they received," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. “I know they would like to give credits to the rest of their teammates, as well, because those things aren’t done on an individual basis.
"We’re really happy for all three of them."