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March 18, 2010

UBC’s Whyte named player of the year

Photo credit Murray McComb

OTTAWA (CIS) – Fourth-year University of British Columbia guard Josh Whyte was named CIS player of the year in men's basketball, Thursday night.

The Calgary native became the fourth UBC recipient of the Mike Moser memorial trophy since the inception of the award in 1974-75. Kyle Russell was honoured in 2002-03, while J.D. Jackson was a back-to-back winner in 1990-91 and 1991-92.

Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mbkb

Other CIS major award winners announced during the All-Canadian Banquet at the Marriott Hotel in Ottawa were Cape Breton forward Phillip Nkrumah of Malton, Ont., who was named the nation's top defensive player; Brock guard Clinton Springer-Williams of London, Ont., who received the Dr. Peter Mullins trophy as rookie of the year; UBC's Kevin Hanson of Vancouver, who captured a second Stuart W. Aberdeen memorial trophy as coach of the year; and Dalhousie's Andrew Sullivan of Riverview, N.B., who received the Ken Shields award recognizing his excellence in basketball, academics and community involvement.

The 2010 CIS championship, hosted by Carleton University, gets underway Friday at Scotiabank Place in the nation's capital and culminates Sunday at 6:30 p.m. with the gold-medal final, live on TSN2.

MIKE MOSER MEMORIAL TROPHY (player of the year): Josh Whyte, UBC

One of the premier guards in the country, Whyte was among the Canada West leaders in numerous statistical categories in 2009-10 finishing fourth (13th CIS) in scoring with 19.1 points per game, sixth in both field goal percentage (53.8) and assists (4.2), and fifth in steals (2.4). He also maintained the second-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the conference at 1.7 and chipped in with five rebounds per outing, putting up all of these numbers while playing only 28.8 minutes per contest. The 6-foot-2 senior led or tied for the team lead in scoring eight times in 18 league games and had a team-high in assists on nine separate occasions. He scored a season-high 28 points twice and tallied more than 20 points six times during the regular season.

Behind Whyte's stellar play, the Thunderbirds enjoyed one of the best seasons in program history. UBC was ranked first or second in each of the 14 national coaches' polls this year and posted a 17-1 record for a CIS-best .944 winning percentage in conference play. The combination of his playmaking and finishing on offence was a big reason why UBC ranked second in Canada West in scoring (85.8 points per game) and first in field goal percentage (47.4) and scoring margin (+17.7). One of the top defenders in the league, Whyte also anchored a T-Bird squad that held opponents to a league-low 38.0% field goal shooting and 68.1 points per game.

A first-time all-Canadian and three-time Canada West all-star, Whyte represented Canada at the 2009 Summer Universiade in Belgrade, Serbia. Prior to joining UBC last season, he played for the Victoria Vikes in 2006-07 after starting his collegiate career with Mount Royal College of the ACAC.

"Josh has had an outstanding year for us. After representing Canada at the FISU Games last summer, he came home with new inspiration and dedication to basketball," said UBC head coach Kevin Hanson. "He has made himself stronger and fitter and this has paid off with big dividends. He has been our leader on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, our most inspirational player, and has led our team in almost every statistical category. Josh has frequently elevated his game at crucial times for us and has the ability to take over games. He has had a huge impact on our team's success."

St. Francis Xavier point guard Christian Upshaw of Halifax, McGill guard Matthew Thornhill of Ile Bizard, Que., and Ottawa guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe of Toronto were the other finalists for the Moser trophy.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Phillip Nkrumah, Cape Breton

Nkrumah is the first Caper to be named CIS defensive player of the year since the inception of the award in 2004-05. He was also the AUS nominee a year ago, when he was a second-team all-Canadian.

This season, the fourth-year power forward led the Atlantic conference in defensive rebounding (6.3 per game), ranked third in both rebounds (8.1) and steals (2.6) per game, and finished 11th in blocked shots (1.1). His solid play, which included six "double-doubles", helped the AUS regular season and playoff champion Capers average a CIS-leading 95.1 points per contest while holding their opponents to 76.5 points per night, good for third place in the Atlantic. As a team, CBU also led the league in blocked shots and steals.

The 6-foot-4 senior, who also chipped in offensively this season with 11.7 points per outing, was a member of the Canadian development national team that competed in the Belgrade Universiade last summer.

"Phil is one of likely only a few players in CIS who can guard every position on the floor 1 through 5," said Cape Breton head coach Jim Charters. "He is a terrific rebounder whose anticipation skills allow him to deflect and steal many passes. His strength and quickness have helped him become one of the top post defenders in the country."

UQAM guard Éric Côté-Kougnima of Gatineau, Que., Lakehead guard Greg Carter of Ottawa and Thompson Rivers forward Greg Stewart of Kamloops, B.C., were also in the running for defensive-MVP honours.

DR. PETER MULLINS TROPHY (rookie of the year): Clinton Springer-Williams, Brock

Springer-Williams became the second Badger in as many years to claim the Dr. Mullins trophy as CIS rookie of the year, following current teammate Didi Mukendi.

The 6-foot-4 freshman, who plays both guard and forward, was sensational in his university debut as he topped all CIS rookies with 21.2 points per game, which was good for sixth overall in the nation and third in Ontario. He ended up in the OUA Top 10 in three other offensive categories placing fifth in field goals made (143), fourth in free throws made (121) and eighth in free throw percentage (82.3). He also reached double figures in scoring in 30 of 31 overall contests for the Badgers including 13 games with 20 points or more, six with 30 or more, and a season-high 40-point performance in his final outing of the campaign against Laurier.

Named an OUA West first-team all-star, Springer-Williams moved into the Brock Top 10 in three single-season categories including scoring average, points and free throws made. He became just the third rookie in school history to lead the team in scoring joining Mukendi and current head coach Ken Murray.

"Clinton has had one of the best seasons I have seen by a rookie in my 30-plus years of coaching," Murray said. "He has clearly shown people across the country his pure athleticism and scoring ability."

Acadia forward Owen Klassen of Kingston, Ont., McGill point guard Olivier Bouchard of Montreal and Alberta guard Jordan Baker of Edmonton were the other nominees for the Dr. Mullins trophy.

STUART W. ABERDEEN MEMORIAL TROPHY, presented by Coaches of Canada: Kevin Hanson, UBC

A four-time Canada West coach of the year in his 10 seasons at the helm of the Thunderbirds, Hanson first received the Aberdeen trophy back in 2005-06. Before him, Bruce Enns was the only UBC coach to capture the award, doing so on three occasions (1995-96, 1990-91, 1989-90).

This season, Hanson's T-Birds were ranked first or second in each of the 14 weekly national polls, earning eight first-place nods. UBC claimed its fifth straight Pacific Division crown and finished first overall in Canada West thanks to a 17-1 mark and a CIS-best .944 winning percentage, en route to a seventh CIS championship berth in eight years.

The 'Birds were impressive on both sides of the ball in 2009-10. They finished second in Canada West scoring offence (85.8 points per game) thanks in part to their league-leading 47.4 field goal percentage and second-best 16.4 assists per game. They were equally strong on defence, allowing a conference-low 68.1 points per game and holding their opponents to a league-low 38.0% field goal shooting, including only 29.7% from three-point land. UBC forced its opponents into making more than 20 turnovers per night, picked up 10 steals per contest, and was one of the league's best rebounding teams, hauling in 42.2 boards per duel. Thanks to these remarkable stats, the T-Birds owned the conference's best scoring margin at +17.7.

It was also a milestone year for Hanson, who picked up his 500th win at the collegiate/university level. He reached that mark after a combined 19 years at the helm of Langara College and UBC.

Hanson has been involved with Canada Basketball for several years. He led the national development team to Universiade bronze in 2003 in Korea and was also the head coach of Canada's entry at the 2005 FISU Games in Turkey.

Cape Breton's Jim Charters, UQAM's Olga Hrycak and Lakehead's Scott Morrison were also finalists for the Aberdeen trophy.

KEN SHIELDS AWARD (outstanding student-athlete / community service): Andrew Sullivan, Dalhousie

Sullivan became the second Dalhousie student athlete to receive the Ken Shields award. Former Tiger Shawn Plancke was honoured in 1996-97.

On the court, the 6-foot guard ended his five-year university career with 391 assists, the second most in program history. A team captain the past three seasons, he averaged 10.1 points per game in 2009-10 and finished sixth in the Atlantic conference in assists (4.89 per game) and 15th in steals (1.28 per game).

Over his first four years at Dalhousie, the environmental engineering student has been recognized as an Academic all-Canadian, Dean's List Scholar and Sexton Scholar. In the fall of 2009, he was chosen as a Dalhousie nominee for the Rhodes' Scholarship and continued through the process as one of the final eight nominees in Eastern Canada. Recently, he was chosen for the university's prestigious Governor's Award which is awarded annually by the Board of Governors to a student who contributes to the school in an outstanding fashion in the area of leadership and student life.

Despite a demanding schedule within the Faculty of Engineering and as a varsity athlete, Sullivan is a regular community volunteer. He has worked as a basketball camp counsellor and instructor and has been a fixture in volunteer initiatives over the years including the Terry Fox Run, the Running and Reading program at St. Joseph A. McKay School, the Canada Games Wheelchair Basketball Test Event, and the Hoops for Hope game. Last June, he was able to leave his co-op placement with the Department of National Defence for four weeks to travel to Uganda to work in a small village. He fundraised to pay for his trip in addition to organizing a donation of sporting equipment for the children at the AIDS orphanage and school where he was volunteering. While in Uganda, he led the construction of a basketball hoop for the children, ensuring a legacy for the school and children.

"Without question, Andrew is the most impressive student-athlete I have been around in eighteen years of post-secondary coaching," said Dalhousie head coach John Campbell. "Andrew has been a role-model on and off the basketball floor during his time at Dalhousie and I have no doubt that he will continue to have success in all of his personal and professional endeavours."

Simon Fraser guard Kevin Shaw, a business administration student from North Vancouver, was also nominated for the Ken Shields award.

ALL-CANADIAN TEAMS

The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Thursday.

Joining Whyte on the first squad were AUS most valuable player Upshaw, OUA East MVP Gibson-Bascombe, OUA West player of the year and McMaster forward Keenan Jeppesen of Stoney Creek, Ont., as well as CIS scoring champion Showron Glover of Saskatchewan, a guard from Fresno, California.

Upshaw returns from last year's first CIS team, while Gibson-Bascombe was a member of the second unit in 2008-09. Glover led the nation this season with a superb 28.1 point-per-game average.

The second all-Canadian team for '09-10 is comprised of Quebec MVP Thornhill, Carleton forward Kevin McCleery of Ottawa, Calgary forward Ross Bekkering of Taber, Alta., Saint Mary's guard Joel Haywood of Vancouver, and Western Ontario forward Andrew Wedemire of Sarnia, Ont.

Bekkering had also received a second-team nod a year ago.

Joining Springer-Williams on this season's CIS all-rookie squad were Klassen, Bouchard and Baker, as well as Laurentian guard Emanuel Pasquale of Victoria.

2009-2010 CIS MEN'S BASKETBALL AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS

Mike Moser memorial trophy (player of the year):
Josh Whyte, UBC

Defensive player of the year:
Phillip Nkrumah, Cape Breton

Dr. Peter Mullins trophy (rookie of the year):
Clinton Springer-Williams, Brock

Stuart W. Aberdeen memorial trophy (coach of the year), presented by Coaches of Canada:
Kevin Hanson, UBC

Ken Shields award (outstanding student-athlete / community service):
Andrew Sullivan, Dalhousie

First Team

Position - Athlete - University - Year - Hometown - Faculty

Guard Josh Whyte UBC 4 Calgary, Alta. Access Studies
Guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe Ottawa 5 Toronto, Ont. Social Science
Point Guard Christian Upshaw StFX 4 Halifax, N.S. BA
Guard Showron Glover Saskatchewan 4 Fresno, CA Arts & Science
Forward Keenan Jeppesen McMaster 5 Stoney Creek, Ont. Business - MBA

Second Team

Forward Kevin McCleery Carleton 5 Ottawa, Ont. Law
Forward Ross Bekkering Calgary 5 Taber, Alta. Haskayne Business
Guard Matthew Thornhill McGill 4 Ile Bizard, Que. Management (Finance)
Guard Joel Haywood Saint Mary's 3 Vancouver, B.C. Arts
Forward Andrew Wedemire Western 4 Sarnia, Ont. Health Sciences

All-Rookie Team

G / F Clinton Springer-Williams Brock 1 London, Ont. Psychology
Guard Jordan Baker Alberta 1 Edmonton, Alta. Arts
Forward Owen Klassen Acadia 1 Kingston, Ont. Kinesiology
Point Guard Olivier Bouchard McGill 1 Montreal, Que. Management
Guard Emanuel Pasquale Laurentian 1 Victoria, B.C. COMP

-CIS-

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