Xavier Honored Its Stars at Men's Basketball Banquet
April 19, 2006
CINCINNATI--- Xavier University honored its men's basketball team tonight at its annual awards banquet at the James & Caroline Duff Banquet Center at Cintas Center.
Xavier, 21-11 overall under second-year Head Coach Sean Miller, won the 2006 Atlantic 10 Conference Championship and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament. It marked Xavier's fourth Atlantic 10 Championship all-time and its third in the last five years, although it was the first time an XU head coach has led XU to an Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship without a senior starter. The Musketeers recorded their ninth 20-win season in the last 10 years and their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last six years.
Junior forward Justin Cage (Indianapolis, Ind.) was honored tonight with the "Connie Brown Most Inspirational Player Award." Cage won the 2006 Atlantic 10 Championship Most Outstanding Player award after averaging a team-high 14.3 ppg. while shooting 72.4 percent from the field for XU's four games. Cage was also named to the Atlantic 10 Conference All-Defensive Team by the coaches for a second straight year.
Sophomore guard Stanley Burrell (Indianapolis, Ind.) and senior forward Brian Thornton (Louisville, Ky.) were honored as the co-award winners of the "Lew Hirt Society Coach's Award." Burrell, a member of the 2005-06 Atlantic 10 Conference Second Team, led the team in scoring for the second straight year at 14.4 ppg. Burrell also led the team in assists with 105 (3.3 apg.). Thornton led XU in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocks before suffering a season-ending injury in XU's 21st game. Despite his shortened season, Thornton still earned Second Team Academic All-American, First Team All-Atlantic 10 and A-10 Men's Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year honors.
Junior forward Justin Doellman (Union, Ky.) was presented the "Ernest A. Staak Memorial Award" for unselfish dedication and love of the game for the second consecutive year. Doellman led the team in rebounding for the second straight year (10th in the Atlantic 10 at 6.7 rpg.), blocks (6th in the A-10 at 1.6 bpg.) and steals (7th in the A-10 at 1.6 spg.) and was second on the team in scoring (11.0 ppg.).
Sophomore forward Josh Duncan (Cincinnati, Ohio) earned the "Gordon E. Nead Award" as the team's most improved player. Duncan, who started the final 11 games of the season, earned a spot on the Atlantic 10 All-Championship team after averaging 11.5 ppg. and 4.5 rpg. for Xavier's four-game sweep.