Miles Bridges, others earn awards at team banquet
MSU men's basketball gathered on the Breslin Center floor Monday night for its annual banquet to celebrate the 2016-17 season. Awards were handed out for individual success. Here is the list of award winners.
Most Valuable Player: Freshman forward Miles Bridges
Bridges averaged 16.6 points per game as a true-freshman and scored 20-plus points in eight games this season. His high of 33 points against Purdue University on Jan. 24, set the single-game scoring record for a freshman. Bridges notched seven double-doubles and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week five times. On March 6, he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year as well.
He was voted team MVP by his coaches and the media.
Jumping Johnny Green Chairman of the Boards Award: Miles Bridges
For his work on the glass, Bridges earned the Jumping Johnny Green Chairman of the Boards Award. He led the team with 8.3 rebounds per game, fifth best in the Big Ten. He ended the regular season with 199 rebounds, which is fourth-most by a freshman in school history. He achieved these numbers despite missing seven games with a foot injury.
Stephen G. Scofes Inspirational Player Award: Junior guard Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn Jr.
Nairn has now won the Stephen G. Scofes Inspirational Player Award three-straight years. He played in all 31 games this season and started in 26 of them. His 112 assists was second-best on the team and his assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.12 was second-best in the Big Ten, No. 13 in the nation.
John E. Benington Best Defensive Player Award: Fifth-year senior guard Eron Harris and sophomore guard Matt McQuaid
Harris and McQuaid shared the John E. Benington Best Defensive Player Award. Harris was unable to contribute for the final four games of the season with a knee injury suffered against Purdue.
Most Improved Player Award: Freshman forward Nick Ward and senior guard Alvin Ellis III
Ward averaged 13.6 points per game this season and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week four times. Ward finished with a 58.7 field goal percentage, second-best in the Big Ten. He is also tied for fourth in the Big Ten in blocks with 1.6 blocks per game. His 50 blocks were the third most in the Big Ten and second most by a freshman in school history behind Deyonta Davis's 64 blocks during the 2015-16 season.
Ellis averaged 6.7 points and three rebounds per game this season. During his four years, Ellis never averaged more than three points and 1.5 rebounds per game. He scored 207 points this season, just two points shy of his first three years combined.
Scholar Athlete Award: Redshirt-senior forward Matt Van Dyk
Van Dyk is an agribusiness major and was awarded all-academic Big Ten honors 2015-16 season.
Unsung Player Award: Matt Van Dyk
Van Dyk played double-digit minutes in 11 games this season and started in four games during Bridges's injury.
Antonio Smith Glue and Guts Award: Eron Harris
For his toughness and effort, Harris was awarded the Antonio Smith Glue and Guts Award. Smith was a former MSU athlete and part of the "Flintstones." He gradated in 1999, one year before MSU won the NCAA National Championship in 2000.
Tim Bograkos Walk-on Award: Redshirt-freshman Conner George
George played in eight games this season for nine total minutes. He made 1-for-2 shots this season and grabbed three rebounds. His work ethic in practice has been noted several times by head coach Tom Izzo.