April 20, 2014

Hooper picked by Tulsa in the WNBA draft

Nebraska basketball All-American Jordan Hooper was chosen by the Tulsa Shock with first pick of the second round in the 2014 WNBA Draft. Hooper, the 13th overall pick, becomes the latest in a string of WNBA draft picks for Coach Connie Yori. Since 2007, five Huskers have been chosen in the three rounds of the WNBA Draft. Hooper is the first Husker to ever be picked in the second round.

Hooper was the 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year. The three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection also earned her second career spot on the Big Ten All-Tournament Team after leading Nebraska to its first-ever conference tournament title. The school-record holder with 295 career three-pointers, Hooper is the only Husker and just the second Big Ten player in history to achieve the combined milestones of 2,300 points and 1,100 rebounds.

“I am so excited about being picked in the draft and getting a chance to pursue the next stage of my basketball career,” Hooper said. “I love that Tulsa is in the Midwest and is about the closest of any WNBA team to Nebraska, so fans from my hometown of Alliance and fans across the state of Nebraska, especially here in Lincoln, might get some chances to watch me play in person.”

McDermott adds to his post season awards collection

After two consecutive seasons of being an award finalist, the third time was a charm for Creighton University senior Doug McDermott, as he was named winner of the 2014 Naismith Trophy for Men’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T.
The Atlanta Tipoff Club made the announcement earlier tonight during the AT&T National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Guardians of the Game Awards Show at the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas. The other finalists for the 2014 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T included University of Arizona junior Nick Johnson, Duke University freshman Jabari Parker and University of Louisville senior Russ Smith.
McDermott was one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy in 2013 and 2012, but saw Trey Burke (University of Michigan) and Anthony Davis (University of Kentucky), respectively, take home the award.
First created in 1969, UCLA’s Lew Alcindor claimed the inaugural award.
During the current season, McDermott averaged 26.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in leading the Bluejays to a 27-8 record, and a second-place finish in the BIG EAST, Creighton’s first season in the conference.  With 3,150 points and 1,088 rebounds, McDermott is one of only three men in NCAA history with 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. After earning Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year (POY) honors as a sophomore and a junior, he claimed the 2014 Big East POY award, making him just the third player in NCAA history to win POY honors in multiple conferences.
“With Doug you have to reflect not only on the current season but also his entire career to appreciate the full impact he had on college basketball,” said Eric Oberman, Atlanta Tipoff Club Executive Director. “He’s got all the intangibles to make him a tremendous all-around player, and he showcased those attributes this season. It’s an
honor for us to call him a Naismith Trophy winner.”
“Doug has been the ultimate team player since arriving at Creighton four years ago, and there’s no one happier about his individual success than his teammates,” said his father and head coach, Greg McDermott. “He has experienced tremendous acclaim for his play on the court, and to do so while also serving as a role model for so many people makes recognition like the Naismith Trophy so special.”
McDermott was chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, which based its selection on individual performances throughout the 2013-14 men’s college basketball season, and by fans, who were eligible to vote via a desktop and mobile device voting program from March 24 through April 5. For the 10th consecutive year, fans have contributed to the selection of the Naismith Trophy for Men’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T.  The fan vote accounts for 25 percent of the vote total. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti& Wynne, LLP.  HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States.
“We’d like to congratulate and thank each of this year’s nominees for their commitment to superior athletic performance, sportsmanship and leadership; and a special thank you to the fans who again helped select the winner,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T. “It’s an honor to welcome three-time finalist Doug McDermott into the elite company of Naismith Trophy recipients. His passion for the game has shown throughout his collegiate career.”
Other notable Naismith Trophy alumni include a pair of three-time winners in Bill Walton (1972, ‘73, ‘74) and Ralph Sampson (1981, ‘82, ‘83), as well as Michael Jordan (1984), Kevin Durant (2007) and Blake Griffin (2009). The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s best player.
The Naismith Trophy is the 13th different honor for McDermott as National Player of the Year this season, joining the USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy, the John R. Wooden Award, Lute Olson Award, CBSSports.com, Sporting News, USA Today, NBCSports.com, BleacherReport.com, Basketball Times and Dick Vitale. McDermott also won the Senior CLASS Award on Thursday, which takes into account his work on the court and in the classroom and community.

Miles wins coach of the year award

University of Nebraska basketball Tim Miles was honored Friday afternoon, as he was named the winner of the 2014 Jim Phelan Award.

The second-year Nebraska coach received the award at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet in Dallas. Miles becomes the first Nebraska men’s basketball coach to earn a national coach-of-the-year award.

He is the second Big Ten coach to receive the honor, joining Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan in 2008. The award has been presented annually since 2003, and other past honorees include Dana Altman, John Calipari, Tony Bennett and Mike Brey.

Miles was chosen from a stellar group of 15 finalists which included Billy Donovan (Florida), Gregg Marshall (Wichita State), Sean Miller (Arizona), John Beilein (Michigan) and Greg McDermott (Creighton).

“I am truly humbled and honored to receive this award,” Miles said after the banquet. “It was an honor to be a finalist with some of the great coaches around the country. Hopefully it is a sign that people around the country are taking notice of what we are doing at Nebraska.”

“It is really an award for our whole program,” Miles said. “Not only for our players and coaches, but all of the staff members who work behind the scenes every day to help us build Husker basketball.”

Miles turned around the fortunes of the Husker basketball program, as he guided Nebraska to a 19-13 record and the school’s first NCAA appearance since 1998. The Big Ten Coach of the Year by the conference coaches, Miles led the Huskers to an 11-7 Big Ten mark after the Huskers were picked 12th in the preseason poll. Nebraska’s fourth-place finish was its best finish since 1998, while the 11 conference wins were the program’s highest conference win total since the 1965-66 season. After a 1-5 start in conference action, Nebraska won 10 of its final 12 Big Ten games, including wins at No. 9 Michigan State and No. 9 Wisconsin, the first time since 1994 that NU knocked off a pair of top-10 teams in the same season.

The Jim Phelan Award is presented to the nation’s top Division I coach. The award is named in honor of Jim Phelan, who coached his entire career at Mount Saint Mary’s University. When he retired, he amassed 830 wins during his 49-year coaching career.

Creighton’s Doug McDermott wins 2013-14 Oscar Robertson Trophy, adds Lute Olsen Award

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott as the winner of the 2013-14 Oscar Robertson Trophy, annually presented to the National Player of the Year. The announcement was made at a news conference today at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, site of the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
McDermott will be officially presented the Oscar Robertson Trophy by its namesake, the legendary Oscar Robertson, on Mon., April 14 at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards gala at National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
A three-time USBWA All-American and two-time USBWA District VI Player of the Year, McDermott was chosen as the national player of the year based on regular-season performance. He is just the 18th player to earn three-time All-America honors from the USBWA and the first since Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina (2007-09)
The Big East Player of the Year finished a remarkable collegiate career with 3,150 points, fifth-most in NCAA history. He leads the nation in scoring (26.7) and shot 52.6 percent from the field, including 44.9 percent from three-point range, and 86.4 percent from the free-throw line. He also averaged 7.0 rebounds per game. Twice this season — and four times in his career — he was named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week by the USBWA. On March 8, in a 45-point performance against Providence on Senior Night, McDermott passed Oscar Robertson on the NCAA’s career scoring list and became just the eighth player to score 3,000 career points. Playing for his father, coach Greg McDermott, he scored 30-plus points in 13 of 35 games while averaging 33.7 minutes per game in a 27-8 season.
The Oscar Robertson Trophy is voted on by the entire membership of the association, which consists of more than 900 journalists. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA’s first player of the year in 1959 and was the consensus national player of the year as a sophomore in 1958, the year before USBWA started giving its player of the year award. The USBWA renamed the award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.

Creighton forward Doug McDermott picked up his third National Player of the Year honor of the day on Friday, and 12th overall, as he earned the Lute Olson Award that is given annually by CollegeInsider.com. McDermott, who also earned a similar accolade in 2012 after his sophomore season, is the first two-time recipient of the honor.

The Lute Olson Award is presented annually to the nation’s top Division I player who has played at least two seasons with his respective team. Freshmen and first-year transfers can be named to the All-America team, but are not eligible to receive the Player of the Year honors.  The award is named in honor of coaching great Lute Olson, who won 780 games in 34 seasons, 24 of which were spent at the University of Arizona. During that stretch he led the Wildcats to 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, four Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 1997.

Creighton’s Wragge finishes fifth at the NCAA three-point contest

Creighton sharpshooter Ethan Wragge took fifth place at the State Farm College 3-Point Championships on Thursday night at Moody Coliseum on the campus of SMU in Dallas, Texas.

Wragge made 13-of-25 shots, in addition to four “money balls” that counted double, for a first round score of 17. Surprisingly, it wasn’t enough to advance.

The top four finishers advanced to the semifinals. The NCAA recordholder in three-point baskets, Travis Bader (Oakland), led the way with 23. Joining him in the semi’s were Marshall Henderson (Mississippi) with 20, Brady Heslip (Baylor) with 19 and Akeem Richmond (East Carolina) with 18.

Besides Wragge, other players that did not advance were Andre Dawkins (Duke) with 14, Billy Baron (Canisius) with 13 and Luke Hancock (Louisville) with 9.

Bader topped the field in the semifinal round with 22, while Heslip was second with 19. Not advancing were Richmond (12) and Henderson (12).

In the final, Heslip defeated Bader, 18-14.