HARTFORD, Conn. - Temple's Fran Dunphy was named the American Athletic Conference coach of the year and SMU guard Nic Moore was named the league's Most Valuable Player in voting by the league's 11 head coaches.
Dunphy has blended in guards Will Cummings and Quenton DeCosey with transfers Jaylen Bond and Jesse Morgan to improve the Owls from 9-22 last year to 22-9 this season. Temple's 13-game improvement came into the week as the third-largest jump in Division I.
Dunphy won the Atlantic 10 award in 2010 and '12 when the Owls played in that conference. The Ivy League did not award a coach of the year during Dunphy's successful tenure at Penn (1989-2006).
Moore, a junior guard, led SMU to its first conference title since the Mustangs won the 1993 Southwest Conference, a league that has been defunct for 19 years. Moore is fourth in the AAC in scoring (14.1), second in assists (5.3) and tops in three-point shooting (42.9).
Connecticut freshman swingman Daniel Hamilton was named rookie of the year and teammate Pat Lenehan, a senior, was the top scholar-athlete.
- Ed Barkowitz