Slay wins big at banquet

Ron Slay -- who else? -- was named Most Valuable Player Saturday night at the Tennessee basketball team's annual awards banquet.

Slay, pegged a third-team All-American by The Associated Press, led the SEC in scoring at 21.2 points per game. He is the first UT player to do so since Allan Houston turned the trick in 1993.

In addition, Slay earned the Chairman of the Boards Award as the team's top rebounder. His 78 rebounds-per-game average ranked third in the SEC. His 6.24 defensive rebounds average was tops in the league.

Slay, who bounced back from a torn ACL that wiped out the last half of his 2001-02 season, also won the Ricky Burchfield/David Moss Most Courageous Award. He previously won Dick Vitale's Comeback Player of the Year Award for all of college hoops.

Other award winners were: Jon Higgins (Coaches Award for best defensive player), Brandon Crump (Lowell Blanchard Award for most improved player), C.J. Watson (Most Assists Award), Thaydeus Holden (Free Throw Shooting Award) and Zach Turner (Team Before Self Award).

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