Vitale: 2002-03 All-Conference teams, awards

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Florida, Kentucky lead All-SEC honors


March 11
As a kid growing up, I used to argue with my buddies about All-Star teams. Did you like Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays in center field? Those two were superstars and Hall of Famers.

The same can be said when talking about the SEC and Big 12 this season. You can argue and argue all day long, as those are the nation's two premiere conferences in 2002-03.

All-SEC Team, Awards
Keith Bogans -- Kentucky
Matt Bonner -- Florida
Jarvis Hayes -- Georgia
Ron Slay -- Tennessee
Maurice Williams -- Alabama
Player of Year
Ron Slay, Tennessee
Diaper Dandy of Year
Anthony Roberson, Florida
Coach of Year
Tubby Smith, Kentucky

Coming up with my All-SEC team was not easy.

Let's start with Florida forward Matt Bonner, who has come up with big play after big play this season. Yes, the Gators' diaper dandies (Anthony Roberson and Matt Walsh) have come up with key baskets, but Bonner has been hitting consistently all year long. He can beat you inside and he can hit the trifectas.

Staying with the senior class, Kentucky has been brilliant all season long, and guard Keith Bogans has had a solid year. He has been the Wildcats' catalyst, getting the job done on both ends of the court. Kentucky has great balance, but Bogans has been the standout and the key to one of the nation's premier squads.

You can't leave off Georgia forward Jarvis Hayes. His scoring ability has made the Bulldogs a team heading to the field of 65.

At the point-guard slot is a maestro man who has been up and down a bit. But Alabama's Maurice Williams can still deliver the rock in the clutch.

Tennessee forward Ron Slay has been a star all season long. You can't fault him for the Vols' recent slide. Slay has been scoring and rebounding all season. He also gets my nod as SEC player of the year in a close call.

If I'm looking for a sixth man, I would go with Auburn's Marquis Daniels, one of the league's top scorers all season.

My diaper dandy of the year goes to Florida's Anthony Roberson, a clutch player who hit seven trifectas in an earlier win over Georgia.

The coach of the year is a lock. What a sensational job Tubby Smith has done with that team at Kentucky, baby! He led the Wildcats to an unblemished 16-0 record in SEC play (26-3 overall).

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