April 13, 2010
CINCINNATI --- Xavier University held its annual men's basketball awards banquet tonight at the James and Caroline Duff Banquet Center at Cintas Center, honoring a Musketeer squad that finished 26-9, won a fourth straight Atlantic 10 Conference Regular Season Championship and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Xavier and Michigan State are the only teams in all of NCAA Division I that have made the Sweet 16 in each of the last three NCAA Tournaments. Xavier made its fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and its ninth in the last 10 years, including the NCAA Sweet 16 this season and last season and NCAA Elite Eight appearances in 2008 and 2004.
First-year head coach Chris Mack, the Basketball Times Rookie Coach of the Year, has special memories of the annual awards banquet. Mack spoke at last year's awards banquet on April 15, the day he was named head coach of the Musketeers.
Xavier honored a number of players who earned honors this season, including two players that earned All-Atlantic 10 Conference honors. Sophomore Jordan Crawford was named to the Atlantic 10 Conference First Team and senior Jason Love was on the Atlantic 10 Conference Third Team as selected by the 14 Atlantic 10 head coaches.
Crawford received a painted ball commemorating the fact that he passed 1,000 points for his collegiate career, including an XU sophomore record 718 this season.
The first special award of the night was the Ernest A. Staak Memorial Award, which went to junior Andrew Taylor. The Staak Award goes annually to the player who best exemplifies the life of former XU head coach and athletic director Bob Staak's father, including Ernest Staak's unselfish dedication and love of the game of basketball.
Junior Danté Jackson earned the Connie Brown Award, which is given annually to the team's most inspirational player.
Sophomore Terrell Holloway earned the Gordon E. Nead Award, which is given annually to the team's most improved player. Holloway finished second on the team in scoring (12.1 ppg.) and led the team in assists (3.9 apg.), including a 26-point, six-assist game against Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament West Region Semifinals.
Jordan Crawford took home the Lew Hirt Society Coaches Award, which is given annually to the player the coaching staff feels stood out in some significant way during the season. Crawford, a First Team All-Atlantic 10 Conference selection by the A-10 coaches, was named as a Sporting News Third Team All-American and the Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year by Sporting News and foxsports.com. Crawford led the Atlantic 10 in scoring at 20.5 ppg., including 29.0 ppg. for XU's three NCAA Tournament games. For his efforts, Crawford was named to the five-member NCAA Tournament All-West Region Team.
The final special award given tonight was the George E. "Skip" Prosser Award, which was presented to XU's lone senior, Jason Love. The award is presented annually to the player who exemplifies the qualities that Coach Prosser admired. Like Coach Prosser, Love showed great toughness, an untiring work ethic, a burning competitive spirit, and he never backed down from a challenge.
Love was named Second Team All-Atlantic 10 by Sporting News and Third Team All-Atlantic 10 by the A-10 coaches. Love led the team in rebounding at 8.7 rpg. (fifth in A-10) and was third in scoring at 11.8 ppg. Love has been a part of three XU school records over the past four years: most wins in a career (108), most NCAA wins (8) and most NCAA Tournament games (12). Love finished his career with 734 career rebounds, which ranks 12th in Xavier history and also finished high on the all-time career blocks list with 127 career blocks, which ranks tied for fourth in Xavier history with long-time NBA standout Brian Grant (1990-94).
Xavier, which secured its fifth straight 20-win season and its 13th 20-win season in 14 years, was ranked 14th in the final post-tournament ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 25th in the final Associated Press Poll.