MHERST, Mass. - The UMass basketball team held its annual Awards Banquet on Monday night at the Campus Center. Sophomore Rashaun Freeman (pictured) was the big winner as he was awarded the Team MVP, Scoring and Rebounding Awards. More than 125 were in attendance as the 2004-05 season was remembered.
The Milt Cole Award which goes to a person for lifetime contribution to the UMass basketball program was awarded to Howie Davis. The UMass alum served as Sports Information Director at his alma mater from 1980-1993. He has continued to serve the schook as the team's official scorer while going to work in various roles in the region. He has been a professor on campus in the Sports Management program as well as teaching at Springfield College. He also served the Basketball Hall of Fame as Director of Media Relations.
Here's a look at the award winners from the 04-05 season:
JULIUS ERVING SCORING AWARD - Is named for one of the best basketball players of all-time. Erving played two season at UMass, averaging 26.3 points. In fact his two seasons are the top two single scoring marks, too.
Rashaun Freeman captured the Julius Erving Scoring Award as he led the team in scoring in 15 of the 28 games. He scored in double figures 22 times and scored more than 20 points on seven occasions. With his team-high average of 15.4 points. He would finish 6th in the Atlantic 10 in scoring.
RICK PITINO ASSIST AWARD - Is named after the current Louisville coach, who became the first coach ever to lead three different schools to the Final Four. He played for UMass from 1971-74 and averaged 5.2 Assists...which is the third best career average in school history.
Maurice Maxwell was named the winner as he led the team in assists 13 times this season, He racked up five or more, nine times. With his 3.8 assists per game, he not only led the Minutemen but finished seventh in the A-10.
JIM LAUGHNANE FREE THROW AWARD - Is named for Jim Laughnane, who lettered as a player in the early 60's. He was the team's athletic trainer for many years.
Chris Chadwick received this award as he was a vital cog in the UMass starting line-up this year. He started 23 games, averaging 4.9 points and 2.1 assists a game. In his second season with the Minutemen, this senior made 15 straight free throws at one time during the year. Had he had a few more attempts, his 81.3 percent would have ranked him third in the Atlantic 10.
LOU ROE REBOUNDING AWARD - Is named for UMass' all-time leading rebounder Lou Roe, who finished his career with 1,070, and was a first team All-American in 1995.
Rashaun Freeman took home this award as he led the team in rebounding in 18 games this season. He had 10 or more in six different games, collecting a season high 17 against Rhode Island. He averaged 7.8 rebounds a game and finished fifth in the A-10.
SKIP CONNORS ACADEMIC AWARD - Is named for Skip Connors, who lettered in both 1983 and 1984. The award goes to the top student athlete on the team.
Tim Collins, a senior, who will graduate in May with a degree in Sport Management won this award. He's a member of the Commonwealth College, the school's honors program and has had only one grade in his academic career that hasn't been an A or a B and has a cumulative grade point average of 3.5. On the court, he's a walk-on, who served his first two seasons as a team manager and then became a player in his final two years...earning a start in his final home game of his career against Duquesne.
DERRICK CLAIBORNE MR. HUSTLE AWARD. - Is named for Derrick Claiborne who played from 1974-78 and finished his career as a 1,000 point scorer.
Jeff Salovski earned this award as a freshman who provided a spark to the team and the crowd. Averaging three points and 2.4 rebounds, while shooting nearly 50 percent. He was the first front court player off the bench. Against Xavier, he scored a career high 21 points and had a team high nine rebounds.
JOHN MURPHY MOST INSPIRATIONAL AWARD - is named for John Murphy, who averaged 15 points a game and is one of UMass' 1,000 point scorers.
Art Bowers claimed this award as he averaged 8.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. He scored in double figures in 10 games...getting a career high 21 points against Rider and another 18 against Rhode Island.
JIM McCOY MOST IMPROVED AWARD - Is named for UMass' all time leading scorer with 2,374 points. He was Coach John Calipari's first recruit and was instrumental in UMass' rise in the 90's.
Stephane Lasme won this honor, as he became a force on both the offensive and defensive ends. His scoring average went from 3.2 to 6.3 points. His rebounding average went from 3.4 to 5.3. His free throw percentage went from 44% to 72%. His best game of the year came at St. Bonaventure, where he scored a career high 18 points on 6-6 shooting. He had 10 rebounds and four blocks.
RAFER GILES SIXTH MAN AWARD - Is named after Rafer Giles, who scored over 1,000 points in his career. He got to the 1,000 mark while only starting 49 of 115 games in his career, which spanned from '87-'91.
Jeff Viggiano collected this award, as he was extremely productive off the bench, doing all of the little things to help his team win. He averaged 4.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. He played both small and power forward...battling through an ankle injury that cost him seven games in the middle of the season. His best game came in the nationally televised win over UConn, scoring 12 points, on 5-of-6 shooting. But it was his defense on the games final play that caused the last Husky shot to miss...and secured victory for the Minutemen.
ALEX ELDRIDGE COACHES AWARD - Is named for another 1,000 point scorer, who was a mainstay from '74-'78.
Lawrence Carrier was the first of two winners. He was a first year player who improved tremendously as the season went on. He finished the year averaging 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds. He scored double figures in three of the last six games, 11 against Florida State, 11 at Dayton, and a career 17 against LaSalle in the A-10 Tournament.
Anthony Anderson was the second winner as a senior, as he earned his final year because he worked hard in the classroom. Battling through injuries at the end of the season, he finished the year averaging 10.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists. He also made 40 percent of his three pointers, to lead the team. He finished his UMass career ranked 19th in scoring with 1,211 points, 2nd in both threes made with 275 and three attempted with 705. He leaves UMass number seven in assists with 367 and number three in steals with 150.
JACK LEAMAN DEFENSIVE AWARD - Is named for the winningest coach in UMass Basketball history. He won 217 games in 13 years as head coach. His teams won eight Yankee Conference titles in an eight-year span and also was the color commentator for 10 seasons on the radio broadcasts.
Stephane Lasme as won this award as he was a force, leading the team with 72 blocked shots for an average of 2.6 per game. The number was second in the A-10. He set a career high of 7 against Rhode Island. His average of 5.3 rebounds was second on the team. In addition to playing great team defense, this sophomore held La Salle's Steven Smith, the A-10 Co-Player of the Year to just 12 points and five rebounds while making just 2 of 11 shots.
MARK DONOGHUE MOST PRODUCTIVE AWARD - Is named for Mark Donoghue who graduated in 1977. He was player who had numbers in every category. Averaging 14 points, eight rebounds, while shooting 52 percent from the floor.
Maurice Maxwell was this year's most productive player, as he was second on the team in scoring at 11.4 points, led the team in assists, steals, and minutes played. He reached double figures 16 times, had five or more rebounds six times and five or more assists eight times. The George Washington game may have been his best all-around game, scoring a career best 20 points. He made 7-of-12 shots, including 3-of-5 from three point range. He also had five rebounds, five assists, and a season high two blocks.
GEORGE "TRIGGER" BURKE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER - Is named for George Burke, who led the Minutemen in scoring in the '54-'55 season with 17.6 points...Burke's career best 34 against Rhode Island in '55 still stands in the top 20 in single game points.
Rashaun Freeman was named the MVP as he was honored by the Atlantic 10 on its first team. He led the league in field goal percentage, making 54% of his shots...he finished sixth in the A-10 in scoring at 15.4 points. He was fifth in rebounding at 7.8, and 15th in free throw shooting at 65 percent. He ended the year with seven double-doubles. He had some spectacular games, scoring 18 to go with eight rebounds against UConn and had 27 points and 15 rebounds at George Washington.