NORMAN, Okla. The University of Oklahoma men’s basketball team celebrated its first season under head coach Jeff Capel with an awards banquet Monday evening on the Bruce Drake Practice Court at Lloyd Noble Center. Approximately 400 fans observed the presentation of 12 different honors, each one named after former Sooners.
Senior Nate Carter, who earned third-team All-Big 12 accolades after averaging team highs of 16.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per conference game, was given the "Wayman Tisdale Most Valuable Player Award." Carter set a school record for consecutive free throw makes (37) and led the Big 12 with his .865 season free throw mark.
The theme of the night was commitment. Capel emphasized the notion throughout the banquet, alluding to the requirement of hard work from the staff, the student-athletes, the fans and everyone associated with the program. At one point during his presentation Capel said to those in attendance, "We look forward to accomplishing some special and incredible things together here at Oklahoma." The word "together" was stressed.
Oklahoma finished the year with a 16-15 record and tied for seventh place in the Big 12 at 6-10. It was OU’s 26th straight winning season (no Big 12 school boasts as many consecutive winning campaigns). Defensively, the Sooners thrived all year. OU held opponents to just 59.6 points a game, the program’s lowest figure in 29 seasons. Opponents shot just .406 from the field on the year, the second-lowest mark since 1960-61.
The awards were presented in the following order:
The Alvan Adams Award for Academic Excellence
The Brent Price Connection to the Community Award
The Eduardo Najera Award for Intensity and Toughness
The Tim McCalister Iron Man/Most Minutes Award
The Mookie Blaylock Outstanding Defensive Player Award
The Stacey King Award for Team Leadership
The Choo Kennedy Award (Rebounds Leader)
The Wayman Tisdale Most Valuable Player Award