Friday’s Houston Sports Notebook

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: December 18, 2008

Sports HOUSTON — A brief look at some of the most recent news and notes involving area and national sports figures.

– Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers became the first freshman to win the Pac-10 Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year Award. The Lamar Consolidated product rushed for a Pac-10 freshman record 1,253 yards, highlighted by a 186-yard game in the Beavers upset of then No. 1 ranked USC.

– The University of Houston Cougars extended the contract of first-year football coach Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin led the Cougars to a 7-5 record and a berth in the Armed Forces Bowl. Sumlin was given a new five-year deal by UH Athletic Director Dave Maggard.

– University of Oklahoma Sooners sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford became the first Heisman Trophy winner since 2003 this past weekend, edging out Texas Colt McCoy and Florida’s Tim Tebow. Bradford has passed for 4,464 yards, 48 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and has a 186.3 passer rating.

– Former Madison High School and Texas Longhorns football star Vince Young returned home to face the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. This was the first time in his career that he was on the field as a backup. He is healthy and just waiting for an opportunity to get back in the starting lineup.

– Former Houston Rockets and New York Knicks guard Cuttino Mobley retired from the NBA because of a heart disease that he said has gotten worse. Doctors told him that he would face significant risks if he kept playing.

– Florida’s Tim Tebow captured the Maxwell Award for the best-all-around player in college football. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy won the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

– Rice senior wide receiver Jarett Dillard was named to the Walter Camp second-team All-American, earning that distinction for the second time. He was a second-team All-American in 2006.

– The SWAC recently announced it’s All-Conference team. Among the top overall vote-getters were Prairie View running back Donald Babers (222 carries, 1,085, 11 touchdowns), Jackson State DE Marcus Benard, Texas Southern WR William Osbourne and Grambling State DB Jeffrey Jack (74 tackles, 45 solo, INT, 2 blocked kicks).

– Houston junior pitcher Wes Musick has been named to the Preseason Watch List for the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate baseball player in conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual induction festivities.

– The Atlanta Dream selected Sancho Lyttle from the Houston Comets in the WNBA’s Comets dispersal draft last week. New York, Los Angeles, Connecticut, Detroit, Seattle, and San Antonio all passed on selecting any players from the Comets team.

– Rice senior quarterback Chase Clement was named the first recipient of the C-USA Most Valuable Player Award. Clement has completed 296-of446 passes for 3,812 yards and 41 touchdowns with just seven interceptions while leading the Owls to a share of the C-USA West title and a berth in the Texas Bowl.

– Owls head football coach David Bailiff has been named the C-USA Coach of the Year as selected by the league’s 12 head coaches. The Coach of the Year honor highlights a year that has featured Bailiff leading the Owls to a 9-3 overall record and a berth in the Texas Bowl against Western Michigan on December 30th.

– Also, Clement won the 2nd Annual Underdog Award, given to the nation’s best Mid-Major college football player.

– The 2009 NBA All-Star balloting presented by T-Mobile announced it’s first returns. Dwight Howard (Orlando), LeBron James (Cleveland), Kevin Garnett (Boston), Dwayne Wade (Miami), Allen Iverson (Detroit), and Samuel Dalembert (Philadelphia) are among the Eastern Conference vote leaders.

– Tim Duncan (San Antonio), Amare Stoudemire (Phoenix), Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers), Chris Paul (New Orleans), Yao Ming (Houston), and Shaquille O’Neal (Phoenix) lead the Western Conference voting.