McCants receives MVP at banquet

CHAPEL HILL --- Sophomore forward Rashad McCants was voted Most Valuable Player and junior guard Jackie Manuel was selected the team's best defensive player at the University of North Carolina's annual awards banquet Tuesday evening at the Smith Center.

McCants led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring with 20.0 points per game. The Asheville, N.C., native scored 20 or more points 17 times, shot 48 percent from the floor for the year and averaged 21.6 points in the 16 regular season ACC games. McCants hit a number of memorable shots throughout the 19-11 season for Carolina, including a game-winning three-pointer to beat No 1 ranked and eventual national champion Connecticut on January 17. A first-team All-ACC selection, McCants also had game-clinching three-pointers against Maryland and Florida State, two three-pointers in the final four minutes in a 71-64 win at NC State and had 27 in the season-ending NCAA Tournament second round loss to Texas.

McCants hit a team-leading 78 three-pointers, shot 74.8 percent from the free throw line, averaged 4.6 rebounds per game and was second on the Tar Heels with 53 steals. Tuesday evening the third-team Associated Press All-America also received the Jimmie Dempsey Award, which is presented to the team's overall statistical leader.

Manuel received the Carmichael-Cobb Award as the team's best defender. Earlier this year, he was one of five players selected to the All-ACC Defensive Team as selected by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

Manuel also won the Foy Roberson Award as the Tar Heels' Most Inspirational Player.

Other award winners Tuesday included sophomore guard Wes Miller, who received the Rick Sharp Award as the player who contributed the most behind the scenes; Phillip McLamb, a senior from Charlotte, who won the athletic director's scholar-athlete award; and Reyshawn Terry, who won the Butch Bennett Award as the freshman who best exemplifies determination, sportsmanship and sacrifice for the good of the team.

Statistical award winners were sophomore guard Raymond Felton (highest free throw percentage, .810, and most assists, 213); sophomore center Sean May (highest rebounding average, 9.8); and sophomore forward David Noel (highest field goal percentage, .562).

The evening was capped by senior speeches by McLamb, Burlington, N.C., native Jonathan Miller and Greensboro, N.C., native Damien Price.


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