Top Honor to Clemente

Junior Denis Clemente was named the winner of the Rolando Blackman Team Most Valuable Player to highlight festivities at the annual Kansas State men's basketball banquet held Tuesday night.

Other winners included Jacob Pullen as the Tex Winter Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year; Darren Kent as the Mitch Richmond Mr.

Basketball; Dominique Sutton as the Jack Hartman Defensive Player of the Year; Chris Merriewether as the Porky Morgan Most Inspirational Player; Jamar Samuels as the Dean Harris Newcomer of the Year; Luis Colon with the Ernie Barrett Hustle Award and Victor Ojeleye with the Keith Emerson Academic Award.

Clemente led the team in a number of categories in 2008-09 en route to being named Phillips 66 Newcomer of the Year and second team All-Big 12 by the league coaches.

A starter in 32 games, he averaged a team-best 15.0 points on 40.5 percent shooting with a team-high 3.5 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 29.8 minutes per game. Clemente also ranked among the top-15 in five Big 12 categories and among the top-15 in six Big 12-only categories. He scored in double figures a team-high 23 games, including five 20-point contests and two 30-point games.

He tied the Big 12 single-game mark set by former Wildcat Michael Beasley with 44 points against No. 11 Texas on Jan. 31.

Pullen, who was the winner of the Dean Harris Newcomer of the Year Award a year ago, was one of only two players to start in all 34 games this past season. An honorable mention All-Big 12 selection, he averaged 13.9 points on 38 percent shooting to go with 3.2 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 30.2 minutes.

The team's lone senior, Kent completed his career as one of the most improved players in Big 12 this past season. He averaged 9.0 points on 40.9 percent shooting with a team-best 5.8 rebounds in 23.0 minutes per game.

Regularly assigned to the opponent's top offensive threat, Sutton helped the Wildcats hold their opponents to 66.6 points per game on just 41.9 percent shooting. He averaged 7.5 points on 48.5 percent shooting with 5.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.0 assists in 22.9 minutes per game.

A redshirt freshman, Samuels proved to be one of the top sixth men in the country, averaging 8.3 points on 51.4 percent shooting with 4.7 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game. Merriewether was selected the recipient of the team's oldest award, the Porky Morgan Most Inspirational Player, which is given in honor of K-State's head athletic trainer for nearly 30 years.

One of only two players to start in all 34 games, Colon averaged 4.4 points on 47.7 percent shooting with 4.7 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per game

A first-year walk-on, Ojeleye appeared in 15 games this past season. He averaged 1.1 points on 40 percent shooting with 1.3 rebounds in 3.9 minutes per game.

Kansas State completed the 2008-09 season with a 22-12 overall record, including a tie for fourth place in the Big 12 with a 9-7 mark. The

Wildcats advanced to the postseason for the third straight season, where they lost in the second round of National Invitational Tournament (NIT) to San Diego State, 70-52, on March 20.

The team has now posted three consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in over 25 years, while the nine conference wins are the second-most in the Big 12 era.

2008-09 Kansas State Basketball Team Awards:

Rolando Blackman Team Most Valuable Player:
Denis Clemente

Mitch Richmond Mr. Basketball Award:
Darren Kent

Porky Morgan Most Inspirational Player Award:
Chris Merriewether

Tex Winter Outstanding Offensive Player Award:
Jacob Pullen

Jack Hartman Defensive Player Award:
Dominique Sutton

Keith Amerson Academic Award:
Victor Ojeleye

Ernie Barrett Hustle Award:
Luis Colon

Dean Harris Newcomer of the Year:
Jamar Samuels


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