March 8, 2010
USC sophomore forward Nikola Vucevic was named the Pac-10 Conference Most Improved Player of the Year it was announced today (March 8) by Commissioner Larry Scott. In addition, Vucevic was named All-Pac-10 Second Team and honorable mention on the Pac-10 All-Defensive team, Dwight Lewis was selected honorable mention All-Pac-10 and Marcus Johnson was named honorable mention on the conference All-Defensive team.
Vucevic led the Pac-10 in rebounding at 9.4 per game and became USC's first conference rebounding champion since Jaha Wilson led the league with a 10.1 average in the 1994-95 season. Vucevic posted 10 double-doubles this season and averaged 10.7 points per game, after averaging 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds as a freshman. The native of Bar, Montenegro led USC in rebounding in 22 of 30 games and registered seven or more rebounds in all but four games. Vucevic also finished second on the team with 39 blocks for an average of 1.3 per game, sixth-best in the Pac-10.
The senior Lewis was named All-Pac-10 honorable mention for the first time as he led USC in scoring with a 13.8 average, 11th-best in the conference. Lewis led USC in scoring each of the last two seasons and ends his career 10th on the school's all-time points scored list with 1,460 and ninth in three-point baskets made at 149. Lewis also played 133 games as a Trojan, more than any other men's basketball player in USC history.
Johnson was named honorable mention to the Pac-10 All-Defefensive team as he led the Trojans' tough defense with 42 steals for a 1.5 steal per game average, sixth in the Pac-10. The senior also averaged 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, both third-best on the Trojans. USC's defense led the conference in fewest points per game allowed (57.2) and opponent's shooting percentage (38.4).