Basketball Awards Handed Out

Junior Da'Sean Butler was named Most Valuable Player of the WVU men's basketball team at the squad's 2008-09 banquet, held Sunday afternoon at the Waterfront Place Hotel.

Butler, a native of Newark, N.J., led the Mountaineers in scoring at 17.1 points per game and was second in rebounding at 5.9 boards per contest. He garnered second team all-Big East honors and posted one of the best performances in Coliseum history with 43 points against Villanova.

Other award winners were Devin Ebanks (Most Improved), Cam Thoroughman (Unsung Hero), Kevin Jones (Sixth Man), Alex Ruoff (Best Defender and Team Man) and Darryl Bryant (Charge Leader).

Ebanks, a true freshman, had the most sustained upward improvement arc of any player over the season. He finished the year averaging 10.5 points and a team-best 7.8 rebounds per game. He blocked 25 shots and made 47% of his shots from the field.

Thoroughman continued to provide toughness and grit inside for West Virginia - qualities that were much needed by the height-challenged Mountaineers. He grabbed 76 rebounds, with more than half of them coming on the offensive end.

Jones, like Ebanks, steadily improved throughout the year, and although he had a tough tournament performance, set himself up for even more minutes next year. He provided great shooting and steady play off the bench, and finished the year averaging 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He also shot a team best 49.5% from the field, with many of those successful shots coming on an assortment of mid-range jumpers.

Ruoff, the lone senior on the team, was the squad's best defender. He snared 55 steals , and was the team's best free throw shooter (79.8%) and second best three-point marksman (37.3%).

The Mountaineers finished the 2008-09 season at 23-12, advancing to the Big East semifinals for the second year in a row and earning their fourth NCAA appearance in the last five years.

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