Illini wrap up 2011-12 season at 90th annual basketball banquet
Freshman Abrams named team MVP
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[April 11, 2012]
-- A sellout crowd of 500 attended the 90th annual Illinois
Men's Basketball Banquet on Tuesday evening, an event once again
sponsored by the Champaign-Urbana Kiwanis Club.
Freshman Tracy Abrams earned team MVP honors, as voted on by his
teammates. Abrams played in all 32 games and took over the role as
starting point guard midway through the season. The rookie started
19 times and averaged 4.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists on
the year. Abrams becomes the first true freshman to receive Illinois
MVP accolades and the first freshman since Cory Bradford was named
team MVP during his redshirt freshman season in 1999.
Brandon Paul collected three awards, winning the Matt Heldman "Matto"
Award for having the highest season-long total in a number of hustle
statistics, the Ralf Woods Free Throw Trophy for leading the team
with 74.8 percent shooting from the free-throw line in Big Ten play,
and the Lou Henson Award, given to the player who takes the most
charges on the year. Paul received both the Matto Award and Woods
Free Throw Trophy for the second consecutive season.
Sophomore Meyers Leonard claimed two awards, receiving Most
Improved Player, as voted on by the coaches, and the Illini
Rebounders Award, for leading the Orange and Blue with an average of
Junior D.J. Richardson won the Orange Krush 3-Point Award for
leading the Illini with 71 3-point baskets, while sophomore Joseph
Bertrand received the 6th-Man Award as chosen by the staff.
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Receiving special recognition at the banquet were seniors Sam
Maniscalco and Jean Selus. Maniscalco won the Kenny Battle Most
Inspirational Player Award, as selected by his teammates.
2011-12 Fighting Illini basketball awards:
Award: Meyers Leonard
Ralf Woods Free
Throw Trophy: Brandon Paul
3-Point Award: D.J. Richardson
Lou Henson Courage
Award: Brandon Paul
Matt Heldman "Matto"
Award: Brandon Paul
Kenny Battle Most
Inspirational Player: Sam Maniscalco
Player: Meyers Leonard
Most Valuable Player: Tracy Abrams
[Text from Fighting Illini
news release received from the University of Illinois]