BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU's men's basketball program celebrated its 2012-13 season, which included a Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship and the program's 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance and 41st 20-win season, with a banquet and awards ceremony Monday night.
The banquet was a combined celebration with WKU's women's basketball program and featured highlight videos, speakers and stories throughout the night. It was held in the Jackie and Jackie Harbaugh Stadium Club at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
During the awards portion of the evening, George Fant and T.J. Price shared the prestigious Clem Haskins Most Valuable Player Award, named in honor of WKU's three-time All-American athlete and former head coach. The sophomore duo led WKU all season, finishing one-two in points per game, and Price was named the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Price was also an All-Sun Belt Conference Second Team selection at the conclusion of the season, and Fant earned third-team honors. Fant earned the Clem Haskins Most Valuable Player Award as a freshman in 2011-12 as well.
Fant also took home the Bobby Rascoe Defensive Player of the Year Award in recognition of his defensive prowess.
Junior Brandon Harris earned two awards on the evening, taking home the John Oldham Most Improved Player Award and the E.A. Diddle Award, recognizing leadership, character, loyalty, ability and love for fellow man. The E.A. Diddle Award was initiated by the Bowling Green Civitan Club in honor of Mr. Diddle in 1971.
Freshman Aleksejs Rostov earned the Darel Carrier Free Throw Accuracy Award after shooting 83.3 percent from the charity stripe this season, the Ralph Crosthwaite Field Goal Accuracy Award after leading the team by shooting 56.0 percent from the floor, and he and Caden Dickerson shared the Dixie Mahurin Academic Award.
Dickerson also took home the Jim McDaniels Toughness Award, named after the former Hilltopper great who helped WKU to 62 wins in three seasons thanks in part to his hard work, dedication to the game, willingness to help teammates and overall pride in doing whatever it took to win. Over the past two seasons Dickerson battled through two shoulder injuries, missing significant playing time after each occurrence, but still remains a valuable member of the team and an influential presence in the locker room.
Senior Jamal Crook earned the Dwight Smith Playmaker of the Year Award for the second-straight season, which is named in honor of the former Hilltopper guard who was a driving force in the success of the great WKU teams of the mid- to late-1960s. Crook led the team in assist at over four per game, and he averaged 12.1 points per contest. Crook finished his four-year career with 358 assists, which ranks fourth all-time in Hilltopper history.
For the second-straight year Kevin Kaspar was given the Danny Rumph Outstanding Teammate Award, named in honor of the late Danny Rumph, a Hilltopper from 2003-05 whose toughness and love for his teammates inspired Hilltopper Nation both on and off the court.
The Jones Family Appreciation Award went to M&L Electrical.
2012-13 WKU Men's Basketball Awards
Clem Haskins Most Valuable Player: George Fant and T.J. Price
E.A. Diddle Award: Brandon Harris
Danny Rumph Outstanding Teammate Award: Kevin Kaspar
Ralph Crosthwaite Field Goal Accuracy Award: Aleksejs Rostov
Darel Carrier Free Throw Accuracy Award: Aleksejs Rostov
Dwight Smith Playmaker of the Year: Jamal Crook
Jim McDaniels Toughness Award: Caden Dickerson
John Oldham Most Improved Player: Brandon Harris
Bobby Rascoe Defensive Player of the Year: George Fant
Dixie Mahurin Academic Award: Caden Dickerson and Aleksejs Rostov
Jones Family Appreciation Award: M&L Electrical