Men's Hoops Holds Awards Banquet

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

April 21, 2009

NORMAN, Okla. - More than 500 fans gathered on the Lloyd Noble Center floor Tuesday evening at the men's basketball team's annual year-end banquet to celebrate one of the best seasons in school history.  Head coach Jeff Capel reflected on a 30-6 campaign that saw the Sooners reach the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight, and distributed the 12 player awards that are mostly named after former OU greats.

Sophomore Blake Griffin, the consensus national player of the year, collected a team-high four honors and was the recipient of The Wayman Tisdale Most Valuable Player Award.

"This is a night to celebrate our three seniors, but we're also here to pay tribute to a player who had one of the best seasons in the history of college basketball," said Capel, referencing Griffin's year of averaging 22.7 points and a nation-leading 14.4 rebounds a game.

Senior Taylor Griffin took home three honors while senior Austin Johnson and junior Beau Gerber were each presented with two awards.

Toward the end of the evening, Taylor Griffin, Johnson and Omar Leary, the team's three seniors, each addressed the fans one final time inside the building they called home for the past few years.  Feature videos on each senior, as well as one on Blake Griffin that drew an emotional response from the projected No. 1 NBA Draft pick, were shown on two large projection screens.

2008-09 OU Men's Basketball Postseason Banquet Awards

The Brent Price Connection to the Community Award: Blake Griffin
The Roy Marler/Hollis Price Most Inspirational Award: Beau Gerber
The Eduardo Najera Award for Intensity and Toughness: Tony Crocker
The Mookie Blaylock Outstanding Defensive Player Award: Taylor Griffin
The Stacey King Award for Team Leadership: Taylor Griffin
The Harvey Grant Award for Commitment and Overall Improvement: Orlando Allen
The Darryl "Choo" Kennedy Leading Rebounder Award: Blake Griffin
The Terry Evans Assists Leader Award: Austin Johnson
The Alvan Adams Award for Academic Excellence: Beau Gerber
The Tim McCalister Iron Man Award for Most Minutes: Blake Griffin
The Wayman Tisdale Most Valuable Player Award: Blake Griffin
The Senior Appreciation Award: Taylor Griffin, Austin Johnson and Omar Leary