EAST LANSING, Mich. – Sophomore guard Gary Harris was recognized as the Most Valuable Player at the 2014 Men’s Basketball Awards Banquet on Monday, March 10. He was the MVP choice by his teammates and media, receiving the team vote for the second-straight year.
In addition to MVP honors, Harris also split the John E. Benington Best Defensive Player Award with junior Branden Dawson. Harris also shared the award last year with senior Keith Appling. He leads the team with 54 steals and sits at third in the Big Ten, averaging 1.9 per game. In conference play, he is second in steals with 2.3 per game.
Despite missing nine games with a broken hand, Dawson leads the team with 8.4 rebounds per game. He was MSU’s leading rebounder in 14 of the 21 games he has played this season. His 1.4 steals per game average ranks second on the team, as does his 1.0 blocks per game average.
Dawson was also the recipient of the Antonio Smith Glue and Guts Award and the Jumping Johnny Green Chairman of the Boards Award. Also receiving the Glue and Guts Award was Keith Appling who leads the team with 133 assists and ranks third in scoring (12.8 ppg). Senior Adreian Payne shared the Chairman of the Boards Award with Dawson as he averages 7.5 rebounds per game.
For the second-straight season, sophomore Denzel Valentine was the recipient of the Unsung Player Award. He is one of just two Spartans to play in all 31 games for the Spartans and has started the last 23 games straight. Receiving Most Improved Player honors, he is second on the team with 3.9 apg and third in rebounds (6.0 rpg) and steals (32). He was also the winner of the Stephen G. Scofes Inspirational Player Award and shared the Chairman of the Boards Award honors with Dawson and Payne. He ranked seventh in the Big Ten in rebounding (6.4 rpg) in conference games, as Dawson and Payne missed several games due to injury.
Receiving this year’s Scholar-Athlete Award is redshirt sophomore Colby Wollenman. The walk-on from Big Horn, Wyo., also shares the Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award with redshirt junior Keenan Wetzel. As members of the scout team, both players have appeared in nine games each.
2014 Michigan State Basketball Banquet Award Winners:
MVP (Team & Media Vote) - Gary Harris
Scholar-Athlete Award - Colby Wollenman
Unsung Player Award - Denzel Valentine
Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award - Colby Wollenman/Keenan Wetzel
Most Improved Player Award - Denzel Valentine
John E. Benington Best Defensive Player Award - Gary Harris/Branden Dawson
Stephen G. Scofes Inspirational Player Award - Denzel Valentine
Antonio Smith Glue and Guts Award - Keith Appling/Branden Dawson
Jumping Johnny Green Chairman of the Boards Award - Branden Dawson/Adreian Payne/Denzel Valentine
Senior Manager Award (2) - Andrew Henk , Ben McNally