Robinson, Abram Named Team MVPs at U-M Banquet
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Highlighted by senior Bernard Robinson Jr. (Washington, D.C./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]) and sophomore Lester Abram (Pontiac, Mich./Northern HS) receiving 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 43rd annual U-M Basketball Banquet on Tuesday (April 13) at Crisler Arena.

 
Robinson
 
Abram
 
In all, 10 players and one manager received awards and recognition for their contributions to the program. Both Robinson and Abram earned four awards on the night, while sophomore Graham Brown (Mio, Mich./Mio-AuSable HS) received two honors. Senior Colin Dill (Saginaw, Mich./Birmingham Country Day), senior/junior J.C. Mathis (Brooklyn, N.Y./John F. Kennedy HS), junior/sophomore Dani Wohl (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield HS), sophomores Sherrod Harrell (Kalamazoo, Mich./Central HS) and Amadou Ba (Mauritania, Africa/Bridgton Prep [Maine]) as well as freshmen Courtney Sims (Roslindale, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) and Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS) each were also honored at the banquet.

Robinson, who was named the team MVP for the second time in his career, made the most of his final season in Ann Arbor as he helped lead the Wolverines to the 2004 NIT championship. Along the way, he led the Wolverines in rebounding (5.7), earning him the LOY VAUGHT REBOUNDING AWARD and in assists (3.8), earning him the GARY GRANT AWARD FOR MOST ASSISTS. In addition, he led the Maize and Blue in steals (1.8), nearly doubling his single-season career best with 64, and in minutes (32.2) for the entire 34-game schedule. For the second straight season, Robinson earned the WAYMAN BRITT OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER AWARD after his stellar play against the Wolverines' top opponent player.

Abram, who shared MVP honors with Robinson, continued his collegiate playing growth in his second season as he led the Wolverines in scoring (13.1), perimeter player field goal percentage (49.0), three-point field goal percentage (41.2) and free throw percentage (84.3), earning him the AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING FREE THROW SHOOTING. Abram was awarded the IRON MAN AWARD for the second straight season and shared the TRAVIS CONLAN SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD for his sacrifices on and off the floor. He played in 31 games and averaged 29.5 minutes per contest.

Mathis, a repeat honoree, and Dill shared the THAD GARNER LEADERSHIP AWARD. Mathis and Dill were both elected captains for the 2003-04 campaign and both earned Academic All-Big Ten honors along the way. Dill played in 24 games in his four-year career, while Mathis played in 26 games in his first season with the Wolverines, averaging 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds a game.

In his first of two awards on the night, Brown was a tri-recipient of the TRAVIS CONLAN SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD, along with Ba and Abram. Brown played in all 34 games, starting 28 contests. He averaged 4.6 points and 4.1 rebounds as he continued to be the Wolverines' workhorse in the post. He also collected a career-high 26 steals, doubling his freshman year performance. In addition, Brown received the STEVE GROTE HUSTLE AWARD for the second straight year.

Sims and Petway shared the RUDY TOMJANOVICH MOST IMPROVED PLAYER AWARD. Sims, who was the only Wolverine to start all 34 games, was a bright spot in his first season. He averaged 7.7 points and 4.7 rebounds, but it was his defense in the post that earned him Big Ten All-Freshman honors. He led the Big Ten in blocked shots with 68 total, becoming the first freshman to lead the conference in swats since Penn State's Calvin Booth did it in 1996 and the first Wolverine to lead since the conference started keeping track of the record in 1990.

Petway also shined in his first season as he provided a spark off the bench in his 33 games. He averaged 3.9 points and 3.4 rebounds and had 28 blocks. But it was his crowd-raising dunks that had people talking, with 33 of his 55 total field goals coming on dunks.

Wohl, an Academic All-Big Ten selection and sports management and communications major, was awarded the BODNAR AWARD FOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT for the second straight year for his efforts in the classroom. Matt Duprey was honored at the ceremony as well, garnering the MOST OUTSTANDING MANAGER AWARD for his contribution and dedication to Michigan basketball.

The Wolverines took home the 2004 NIT championship and finished 23-11 overall with an 8-8 record in Big Ten play in head coach Tommy Amaker's third season.


2004 Michigan Basketball Banquet Award Winners

Lester Abram
Bernard Robinson Jr.
Bill Buntin Most Valuable Player Award
Colin Dill
J.C. Mathis
Thad Garner Leadership Award
Bernard Robinson Jr.     Wayman Britt Outstanding Defensive Player Award
Graham Brown
Sherrod Harrell
Steve Grote Hustle Award
Dani Wohl Bodnar Award for Academic Achievement
Brent Petway
Courtney Sims
Rudy Tomjanovich Most Improved Player Award
Bernard Robinson Jr. Loy Vaught Rebounding Award
Lester Abram
Amadou Ba
Graham Brown
Travis Conlan Sportsmanship Award
Lester Abram Award for Outstanding Free Throw Shooting
Bernard Robinson Jr. Gary Grant Award for Most Assists
Lester Abram Iron Man Award
Matt Duprey Outstanding Manager Award

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423


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