Seniors share MVP

After working together for two years ensuring the continuing success of Arizona basketball, Rick Anderson, Jason Gardner and Luke Walton were named the Arizona men's basketball tri-most valuable players as part of the team awards presented Sunday night at the annual awards banquet at the Westin La Paloma.

TUCSON, Ariz. - Anderson, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound senior forward from Long Beach, Calif., is averaging 9.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists through 26 games played this year. A starter in 24 of those 26 appearances, Anderson has 14 double-figure games and three double-doubles to his credit in 2002-03. An outstanding shooter, Anderson ranks third on the squad with a 54.1 field goal percentage, a figure that ranked sixth in the Pac-10 Conference. He is the Wildcats' second-leading rebounder (6.1 rpg) and shot blocker (21).

Gardner, a 5-foot-10, 191-pound senior guard from Indianapolis, Ind., is averaging 14.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists through 27 games this season. He averages a team-best 34.3 minutes per game, shoots 41.2 percent from the field, including 35.8 percent from three-point range. Gardner has scored in double figures in 21 of 27 games and has passed out at least five assists in a game 15 times in 2002-03. He is the only Arizona player to register at least one double-figure point, rebound and assist game this season. He is a finalist for both the Naismith and Wooden Player of the Year awards. He was also honored with the Most Assists, Most Steals and Captains awards.

Walton, a 6-foot-6, 245-pound senior forward from San Diego, Calif., is averaging 10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists through 23 games. He has three double-doubles to his credit, while shooting 40.8 percent from the floor and 39 percent from behind the arc. Walton has 12 double-figure games to his credit this season. He also received the Captains award.

Hassan Adams, a 6-foot-4, 201-pound freshman guard from Los Angeles, Calif., was named co-outstanding freshman after posting averages of 9.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. A starter in five of 27 appearances this season, Adams is shooting 47.2 percent from the floor and averages 18.1 minutes per game.

Andre Iguodala, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound freshman forward from Springfield, Ill., earned co-outstanding freshman honors after averaging 6.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Iguodala ranks fourth on the team in rebounds (5.0 rpg), third in assists (53) and blocked shots (16) and second in steals (37). He leads all UA freshmen in minutes played with 505.

The awards presented at the banquet were as follows:

Most Valuable Player:			Rick Anderson, Jason Gardner, Luke Walton
Best Defensive Player:			Salim Stoudamire
Most Improved Player:			Channing Frye
Outstanding Freshman:			Hassan Adams, Andre Iguodala
Coaches Award:				Rick Anderson
Mr. Hustle:				Chris Rodgers
Most Inspirational:			Isaiah Fox
Captains Award:				Rick Anderson, Jason Gardner, Luke Walton
Academic Award:				Jason Ranne
Golden A:				Jason Ranne
Most Rebounds:				Channing Frye
Best Free Throw Percentage:		Salim Stoudamire
Most Assists:				Jason Gardner
Most Steals:				Jason Gardner

The top-ranked Wildcats (25-2 overall, 17-1 Pac-10) are next in action on Thursday, March 13, against UCLA in the quarterfinals of the 2003 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. PST and can be seen nationally on Fox Sports Net.

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