ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- With senior Graham Brown (Mio, Mich./Mio-AuSable HS) receiving six awards and fellow senior Daniel Horton (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill HS) receiving five awards including the BILL BUNTIN MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD, the University of Michigan men's basketball team honored the outstanding efforts and achievements of its players at the 45th annual U-M Basketball Awards Celebration on Sunday (April 9) at Crisler Arena.
Brown highlighted the evening as he received six awards, including the STEVE GROTE HUSTLE AWARD for the fourth straight year, the THAD GARNER LEADERSHIP AWARD for the second year in a row, and the TRAVIS CONLAN SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD for the second time in his career. Brown shared the sportsmanship honor with fellow senior Amadou Ba (Mauritania, West Africa/ Bridgton Academy, Maine), who received the Conlan award for the third straight year.
In his senior season, Brown started all 33 games and played in a career-best 24.7 minutes per game, which earned him a share of the IRON MAN AWARD, along with Horton. Brown averaged 5.1 points and a career-best 7.3 rebounds in his final campaign. He had 10 games with 10 or more rebounds, posted two double-doubles, and broke Indiana's 28-year-old Assembly Hall record with 21 rebounds, which helped him receive the LOY VAUGHT REBOUNDING AWARD. Brown was also honored with the BODNAR AWARD FOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT as he is on pace to graduate this April with a degree in general studies.
Horton earned the MVP award for the second time in his career after a stellar senior campaign as he finished the season with career bests in points (17.6), assists (5.27), steals (1.94), field goal percentage (44.7), three-point field goal percentage (39.4) and free throw percentage (90.1). For his defensive play he was honored with the WAYMAN BRITT OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER AWARD, and after starting all 33 games and averaging a team-leading 34.1 minutes per game he shared the Iron Man Award with Brown.
After Horton compiled a career-best single-season tally of 174 assists (5.2), he was given the GARY GRANT AWARD FOR MOST ASSISTS, and after posting the second-best single-season free throw percentage mark (90.1) in U-M history, just the second Wolverine to shoot 90 percent, he was given the AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING FREE THROW SHOOTING. Horton, who finished ninth in the nation in free throw shooting, had two streaks of 42 consecutive free throws made and set the Crisler Arena record going 13-for-13 against Indiana (March 4).
Senior Chris Hunter (Gary, Ind./West Side HS) was awarded the RUDY TOMJANOVICH MOST IMPROVED PLAYER AWARD. Known as the Wolverines' sixth man all season, Hunter continued to show his value throughout his senior campaign with his play and his late season comeback from a knee injury. He played in 30 games with seven starts and averaged 8.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. Hunter, who started seven of the last games, was the catalyst for the Wolverines' run in the NIT as he scored in double figures in four of the five games.
The evening also featured Nathan Zandt receiving the OUTSTANDING MANAGER AWARD and the recognition of three of the Wolverines fan base. Pat Hatch received the TRUE BLUE AWARD, which is given to the Wolverine program's most outstanding fan, and Nick Benson and David Stuart received the IT'S GREAT TO BE A WOLVERINE FAN AWARD, which is given to the most outstanding Maize Rage fan member.
Michigan closed the 2005-06 season with a heartbreaking loss in the NIT championship game against South Carolina. However, the Wolverines recorded a 22-11 overall record, the second 20-plus win season in the last three years, with an 8-8 mark in Big Ten play in head coach Tommy Amaker's fifth season.
2005-06 Award Winners
|Daniel Horton ||Bill Buntin Most Valuable Player Award|
|Graham Brown ||Thad Garner Leadership Award|
|Daniel Horton ||Wayman Britt Defensive Player Award|
|Graham Brown ||Steve Grote Hustle Award|
|Chris Hunter ||Rudy Tomjanovich Most Improved Player Award|
|Graham Brown ||Loy Vaught Rebounding Award|
|Amadou Ba |
|Travis Conlan Leadership Award|
|Daniel Horton ||Gary Grant Award for Most Assists|
|Graham Brown ||Bodnar Award for Academic Achievement|
|Daniel Horton ||Award for Outstanding Free Throw Shooting|
|Graham Brown |
|Iron Man Award|
|Nathan Zandt ||Outstanding Manager Award|
|Pat Hatch ||True Blue (Outstanding Michigan Basketball Fan Award)|
|Nick Benson |
|It's Great To Be A Michigan Wolverine Fan|
(Outstanding Maize Rage Fan Award)
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423