Nevada Basketball Announces Team Awards at Postseason Banquet
On Wednesday night over 600 University of Nevada supporters attended the celebration of the men’s basketball team’s outstanding season and run to the Sweet 16 at the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino.
On Wednesday night over 600 University of Nevada supporters attended the celebration of the men’s basketball team’s outstanding season and run to the Sweet 16 at the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino. The 600 is the largest attended postseason men’s basketball dinner. Numerous standing ovations and applause accompanied each team award announcement, which was magnified when head coach Eric Musselman stepped to the microphone.
The Wolf Pack used two amazing comebacks to defeat Texas and Cincinnati to reach the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The Pack went 15-3 in Mountain West play and won back-to-back outright MW titles, just the second team in conference history to accomplish the feat. Overall, the team went 29-8 and tied the school record with 29 victories. The Pack spent eight weeks in the top 25 and were ranked 20th in the final USA Today Coaches Poll.
Musselman earned his first MW Coach of the Year honor after leading the Pack to a second regular season title. The USBWA selected him as their District VIII Coach of the Year and the NABC honored him as their District 17 Coach of the Year. It was the second year in a row Musselman earned the USBWA honor.
Junior Cody Martin received The Hunt Award on Wednesday night. The award goes to the player who worked hardest on and off the court, including getting in extra hours in the gym and working hard in the classroom. In his first season at Nevada, he was named the MW Defensive Player of the Year, to the MW Defensive Team and MW second team. Playing in 36 games, he averaged 14 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 1.7 steals and 4.7 assists per game. After the injury to Lindsey Drew he switched positions to point guard and led the team with flawless perfection.
The Rock Award, presented to the player who shows strength, consistency, sacrifice and toughness throughout the season, went to junior Jordan Caroline for the second year in a row. Caroline averaged 17.7 points and team-high 8.6 rebounds per game. He earned first-team All-Mountain west honors, was a first-team NABC District 17 selection and a USBWA District VIII team honoree.
Senior Hallice Cooke and junior Lindsey Drew shared the Most Inspirational Award. In his lone season at Nevada Cooke started the final 12 games and played in all 37. He averaged 4.7 points and 1.5 assists per game. He battled through adversity to play his senior season losing his father Robert who passed away in 2016 and his mother DeLayne, is now cancer free after breast surgery. Hallice was told his playing career was over after arriving on campus and being diagnosed with a growth on his heart. He was later cleared to play and enjoyed his last collegiate season as the Pack put together a season to remember.
Drew played in 27 games with 26 being starts before a ruptured achilles tendon sidelined him for the final 10 games of the season. An All-MW Defensive Team selection he averaged 8.1 points and 4.3 assists per game. After surgery, he along with his mother Sharon drove to Las Vegas so he could be with his teammates at the MW Championships. Not allowed to fly he did not attend the first two games of the NCAA Tournament but was able to make the trip to Atlanta and sit on the bench at the Sweet 16 to provide support to his teammates.
For the second year in a row Josh Hall earned the Most Improved Award. The sophomore hit the winning shot in the Pack’s comeback 75-73 victory over Cincinnati to reach the Sweet 16. In all three NCAA Tournament games he scored in double figures to averaged 13 points per game. On the season he averaged 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
Junior Caleb Martin earned the Closer Award given to the player that finishes the game strong down the stretch. His 3-pointer with 54 seconds remaining versus Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament tied the game at 73 after the Pack had trailed by 22. In overtime in the NCAA first round victory, he scored nine of the Pack’s 19 points making all three of his shots from behind the arc as the Pack won 87-83. He was selected as the MW Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and to the All-MW first team. In addition he was first-team NABC District 17 selection and USBWA District VIII honoree. Additional honors included Associated Press honorable mention All-America, Lute Olson All-America team selection and the USBWA District VIII Player of the Year. He averaged a team-high 18.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Senior Kendall Stephens, was recognized with the Pack’s Record Setter Award. Stephens set the school and MW record making 126 3-pointers while his 73 in conference action established new school and conference marks. He averaged 13.1 points and shot 44.3 percent from behind the arc. The MW conference coaches selected him to their third team.
The Rock Award – Jordan Caroline
The Hunt Award – Cody Martin
Most Inspirational Award – Hallice Cooke and Lindsey Drew
Most Improved Award – Josh Hall
Closer Award – Caleb Martin
Record Setter Award – Kendall Stephens