Men's hoops honors handed out

The Ole Miss men's basketball team celebrated its 24-win season and NIT Semifinals appearance with its annual awards banquet on Tuesday night at the Oxford Conference Center.

The team, staff and Rebel supporters gathered to celebrate a season that saw the Rebels amass the second-most wins in school history, make their first trip to the Final Four of the National Invitation Tournament and pile up over 25 school records along the way.

Emceed by Ole Miss Radio commentator Pete Cordelli, the night included the players being presented with commemorative NIT watches, a video recap of season highlights and several award presentations.

Dwayne Curtis took home team MVP honors for his outstanding senior season, while head coach Andy Kennedy recognized each senior (Curtis, Jermey Parnell, Brian Smith and Kenny Williams) and noted that their contributions on the court and leadership off the court were the driving forces behind the 2007-08 success.

Defensive Player of the Year honors went to Eniel Polynice, while Curtis grabbed the Leading Rebounder award and Chris Warren was honored as the Newcomer of the Year and presented with the Free Throw Percentage award.

A highlight of the evening came when former Rebel hoopster and current Associate Athletics Director Derek Horne presented Smith with the Denver Brackeen "Ball of Courage," which goes to a player who exhibits the outstanding character and integrity of the late Rebel All-American.

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