April 11, 2012
SEATTLE - The Washington Husky men's basketball team culminated its season with the annual awards banquet in Alaska Airlines Arena on Wednesday night and sophomore guard Terrence Ross took home MVP honors.
Ross, who indicated on April 1 his intention of entering the 2012 NBA Draft, was named the 950 KJR Most Valuable Player after averaging a team-high 16.4 points per game, including 25.0 points in the NIT Tournament. Ross was among Pac-12 leaders in numerous categories, including: scoring (4th), rebounds (6.4 rpg, 6th), blocks (0.9 bpg, 13th), steals (1.3, 12th), 3-PT makes (2.1 pg, T8th), 3-pt FG% (.371, 14th) and defensive rebounds (5.1, 3rd).
Several players earned multiple awards during the evening's ceremony. Redshirt-freshman Desmond Simmons walked away with three awards including the Wurster Award, Industrial Award and 101 Club Scholar Athlete. The Wurster Award goes to the team's top hustler and the Industrial Award goes to the hardest worker.
Simmons sports a 3.0 cumulative grade point average - including a 3.1 during the season - and will share the 101 Club Scholar award with Brendan Sherrer. Sherrer, who also was named the team's Brandon West Walk On Award winner, made the Dean's List after a 3.68 GPA during the season. He sports a 3.1 GPA and plans on attending dental school.
Junior Aziz N'Diaye was the only other winner of multiple awards. He earned the Harshman Award as the team's top rebounder and was the John Meyers Defensive Player winner.
Senior Darnell Gant earned the Hec Edmundson Most Inspirational award, perhaps one of the teams most prestigious honors, for a second-straight season.
Freshman Tony Wroten was the squad's Most Improved Player. He set numerous team freshman records, including most points (559), assists (130) and steals (66).
Junior Abdul Gaddy was named the Playmaker of the Year. He led the team and was second in the conference in assists (182) and assist to turnover ratio (2.4). Gaddy's 182 assists were the third most in UW single-season history. He will enter his senior year 8th all-time with 312 career assists.
Freshman Martin Breunig earned the Coaches Award.
Following the awards presentation, Ross and Wroten thanked the Husky fans and their teammates for a great ride and helping them achieve their dreams of playing in the NBA next season. Both players declared for the 2012 NBA Draft earlier this month.
Up next were the graduating seniors: Tyreese Breshers, Brendan Sherrer and Darnell Gant. Breshers opened by saying he was a man of few words, but then captivated the crowd with his speech. He disclosed to a hushed crowd that he had to retire from basketball due to heart disease. Despite not being able to play basketball ever again, let alone even workout, Breshers said it was tough, but he remained at Washington to earn his degree and support his teammates. The entire room stood with approval and gave Breshers one final Husky send off.
Sherrer, a Husky fan favorite, talked about how much he grew in his three years on the squad and how important basketball has become in his life. He touched on the friendships he forged and the experiences he never knew he would have when he first stepped foot on campus as a freshman. Sherrer will graduate in the fall and then hopes to attend dental school.
Gant wrapped up the speech portion of the evening with another captivating goodbye to Husky fans. Gant joked he was a 17th-year senior and that his time at Washington was one of growth. He continued a theme from all the speeches...thanking the academic staff for the support and helping him succeed in school. Gant earned his degree in drama last June.
The program was wrapped up with the video highlights from the year. It was another great year for the Huskies and it was concluded with a great sendoff for the team. The final message on the video expressed the sentiments of those in attendance and Husky fans everywhere: Bring on 2012-13!
2011-12 Washington Men's Basketball Team Awards:
KJR MVP: Terrence Ross
Most Improved: Tony Wroten
Harshman Award: Aziz N'Diaye
Wurster Award: Desmond Simmons
Industrial Award: Desmond Simmons
101 Club Scholar Athlete: Brendan Sherrer and Desmond Simmons
Playmaker of the Year: Abdul Gaddy
John Meyers Defensive Player: Aziz N'Diaye
Coaches Award: Martin Breunig
Hec Edmundson Most Inspirational: Darnell Gant
Brandon West Walk On Award: Brendan Sherrer