Xavier thanked its loyal season ticket holders tonight and handed out some team awards.
April 29, 2014
CINCINNATI - Xavier University held its Men's Basketball Season Ticket Holder Reception tonight at Cintas Center to celebrate Xavier's first season in the BIG EAST Conference and its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in nine years. The annual team awards were given out at this event and fans heard from Xavier head coach Chris Mack and Athletic Director Greg Christopher.
Xavier, 21-13 overall and tied for third in the BIG EAST Conference at 10-8, defeated Marquette in the BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinals in its first-ever BIG EAST Tournament win. Xavier, one of only 13 schools to make at least eight NCAA Tournaments in the last nine years, secured its eighth 20-win season in the last nine years.
There were numerous other milestones reached this season. Mack became just the fourth XU head coach to reach 100 career wins. Sophomore Semaj Christon joined the Xavier 1,000 Point Club, while junior Matt Stainbrook and senior Isaiah Philmore also passed 1,000 points for their collegiate careers.
Mack passed out several special awards. The first special award of the night was the Ernest A. Staak Memorial Award, which went to graduate student Erik Stenger. 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 Matt Stainbrook earned the Connie Brown Award, which is given annually to the team's most inspirational player. Stainbrook, an honorable mention All-BIG EAST selection was named to the men's basketball Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Scholar-Athlete Team. Stainbrook led XU in rebounding at 7.4 rpg. (fifth in BIG EAST).
Redshirt freshman Jalen Reynolds won the Gordon E. Nead Award, which is given annually to the team's most improved player. Reynolds had an XU freshman record-tying 16 rebounds to go with a career-high 17 points on Feb. 25 vs. St. John's.
Junior Dee Davis took home the Lew Hirt Society Coach's Award, which is given annually to the player the coaching staff feels stood out in some significant way during the season. Davis led Xavier and was second in the BIG EAST in assists at 4.7 apg.
The final special award given tonight was the George E. "Skip" Prosser Award, which was presented to sophomore Semaj Christon for the second year in a row. The award is presented annually to the player who exemplifies the qualities that Coach Prosser admired. Like Coach Prosser, Christon showed great toughness, an untiring work ethic, a burning competitive spirit and he never backed down from a challenge. Christon, XU's leading scorer at 17.0 ppg., earned First Team All-BIG EAST Conference and All-BIG EAST Tournament honors this past season.