Bearcats Recall Standout Season at Basketball Banquet|
April 4, 2012
CINCINNATI – The players and coaches who helped Cincinnati to its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2001 were recognized Wednesday evening at the Bearcats’ 2011-12 men’s basketball banquet at The Original Montgomery Inn.
Six Bearcats earned accolades with seniors Dion Dixon and Yancy Gates, as well as junior Cashmere Wright and sophomore Sean Kilpatrick earning multiple awards. Head coach Mick Cronin also was honored by the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees.
Eight awards were distributed to well deserving players:
-Dixon and Gates shared the Most Valuable Player award. Gates also claimed the Top Rebounder award while Dixon was recognized for joining the 1,000-point club.
Dixon averaged a career-high 13.0 points this season while becoming the school’s all-time leader in games played with 137. He finishes his career ranked 22nd on UC’s scoring list with 1,281 points.
Gates grabbed a career-high 8.9 rebounds this season, tying for fourth in the BIG EAST Conference. He became the first player in school history to lead UC in rebounds in each of his four seasons. His 916 rebounds are ninth-most in school history. Gates, who finished his career 14th on the UC scoring list with 1,485 points, also became only the sixth player in school history to compile more than 1,400 points and 900 rebounds. Gates led the Bearcats in rebounding in 22 of his 31 games. He also was named to the BIG EAST Championship All-Tournament team.
-Wright received the Character and Leadership award as well as the Assists Leader award. Wright led UC, averaging 4.6 assists during the season and owned a 2.31-to-1 assist to turnover ratio during the last 29 games. He also set the single-season steals record with 74, ranking fourth in the league and 35th in the nation with 2.0 steals per game. He averaged 4.7 assists per game in the NCAA Tournament and scored in double figures in 14 of the last 20 games of the season. He finished the season averaging 10.9 points. Wright also was named to the BIG EAST Championship All-Tournament team.
-Kilpatrick claimed the Three-Point Shooting award and the Free-Throw Shooting award. The Second Team All-BIG EAST selection shot 37.6 percent from beyond the arc, tying for 11th in the league. He shot 75 percent from the foul line during the season, but made 87 percent of his free throws (20 of 24) over the last 12 games of the season. He led the BIG EAST with 92 three-pointers this season, including 2.43 per game. He led UC in scoring, averaging 14.3 points.
-Junior Jaquon Parker earned the Most Improved Player award. He averaged a career-best 9.4 points and 5.6 rebounds this season, making a career-high 24 starts. His 5.6 rebounding average ranked second on the squad. He averaged 12.4 points and 7.4 rebounds during the last eight games of the season, second on the team in both categories. He led the Bearcats in rebounding in both the BIG EAST Championship (9.3) and NCAA Championship (7.7).
-Sophomore Justin Jackson claimed the Defensive Player of the Year award. Jackson recorded 61 blocks on the season, the most by any player during the Mick Cronin era. He ranked fifth in the league, averaging 1.65 blocks. He also averaged 5.1 points and 4.5 rebounds this season.
The Bearcats finished the season 26-11 overall, defeating eight ranked teams while reaching the BIG EAST Championship title game for the first time in school history. UC set school records for conference wins (12) and best finish (tying for fourth).