ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team honored the efforts and achievements of its players and staff at the 48th annual U-M Basketball Awards Celebration this evening (Monday, April 13) at the Four Points Sheraton.
The night was highlighted by sophomore Manny Harris(Detroit, Mich./Redford HS), who asked to share his second straight BILL BUNTIN MOST VALUABLE PLAYER with junior DeShawn Sims(Detroit, Mich./Detroit Pershing HS).Harris also earned the GARY GRANT AWARD FOR MOST ASSISTS after leading the team in assists (4.4) and the AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING FREE THROW SHOOTING after he led the Wolverines and set the U-M sophomore record (86.3 percent).
Harris, who was an All-Big Ten first team selection by the Big Ten coaches and media, recorded career bests in almost every statistical category in his second season. Harris led U-M in scoring (16.9), rebounding (6.8), assists (4.4), steals (1.2), minutes (32.9), three-point field goals (52) and free-throw percentage (86.3 percent). He scored 590 points during the campaign to become the sixth U-M sophomore, 27th Big Ten sophomore and 43rd Wolverine to eclipse 1,000 career points. Harris, who posted six double-doubles, is one of two Big Ten players to rank among the top 10 in scoring, rebounding and assists. He also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors and was a Wooden Award Mid-Season Top 30 candidate.
Sims was awarded the RUDY TOMJANOVICH MOST IMPROVED PLAYER AWARD and the LOY VAUGHT REBOUNDING AWARD after grabbing a career-best 238 boards for a 6.8 per-game average. Throughout his third season, he continued to improve, averaging a career-best 15.4 points and career-best 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting a career-best 50.5 percent from the field.
Sims, who was named an All-Big Ten second teamer by the Big Ten media and a third team selection by the Big Ten coaches, became the 23rd U-M junior and the 44th Wolverine to score 1,000 points after posting his first 500-plus point season (540). He led U-M with 30 games scoring in double figures and had a career-best 29 points against Purdue on Feb. 26. He had five double-doubles, including posting the first 20/20 game in 31 years after having exactly 20 points and a career-best 20 rebounds against Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 22.
In addition to the banquet highlighted by farewell speeches, fifth-year senior C.J. Lee(Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland HS) was named the WAYMAN BRITT OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER and shared the THAD GARNER LEADERSHIP AWARD with fellow fifth-year senior David Merritt(West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield HS). Merritt was also given the STEVE GROTE HUSTLE AWARD. Rounding out the awards for the senior class was senior Jevohn Shepherd(Toronto, Ontario, Canada/West Hills Collegiate), who was given the TRAVIS CONLAN SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD.
Freshman Zack Novak(Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton HS) received two awards on the evening. First, he was given the BODNAR AWARD FOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT for his work off the court in the classroom and also earned the IRON MAN AWARD for his work on the court. The newcomer played in 34 games with 22 starts while averaging 6.7 points and 3.5 rebounds and leading U-M with 52 three-point field goals. For his play off the bench, senior/junior Zack Gibson(Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc HS) was given the SIXTH MAN AWARD for the second consecutive season.
Michigan closed the 2008-09 campaign with the 22nd 20-plus win season in program history (21-14 overall, 9-9 Big Ten). The Wolverines garnered their 21st NCAA Tournament appearance, advancing to the second round. During the season, Michigan defeated four top-25 teams, including two wins over top-five programs and set U-M single-season records for free-throw percentage (75.7 percent), three-point field goals made (305) and three-point field goals attempted (912).
2009 Michigan Basketball Celebration Awards
|Bill Buntin Most Valuable Player||Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims|
|Thad Garner Leadership Award||C.J. Lee and David Merritt|
|Rudy Tomjanovich Most Improved Player||DeShawn Sims|
|Steve Grote Hustle Award||David Merritt|
|Travis Conlan Sportsmanship Award||Jevohn Shepherd|
|Wayman Britt Outstanding Defensive Player||C.J. Lee|
|Sixth Man Award||Zack Gibson|
|Iron Man Award||Zack Novak|
|Bodnar Award for Academic Achievement||Zack Novak|
|Gary Grant Award for Most Assists||Manny Harris|
|Loy Vaught Rebounding Award||DeShawn Sims|
|Award for Outstanding Free Throw Shooting||Manny Harris|
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423