April 11, 2011
Columbia, Mo. - Missouri Basketball hosted its annual team banquet at Mizzou Arena on Monday night. The Tigers celebrated a 2010-11 campaign, which included a 23-win season and a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Staffers handed out 10 awards to the team, highlighted by the Most Valuable Player honor (voted on by his teammates), which was won by Marcus Denmon. Denmon earned first team All-Big 12 accolades this season, averaging 16.9 points on 50-percent shooting from the floor and 45-percent shooting from three-point range. Denmon was named All-District by the United States Basketball Writers Association and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, while earning semifinalist honors for both Wooden and Naismith National Player of the Year.
Laurence Bowers earned three awards overall. The versatile junior won the True Tiger Award for his tremendous work in the Columbia community, while also claiming honors for being the team's Defensive Player of the Year (voted on by his teammates) and top Shot-Blocker. Bowers was named to the Big 12's All-Defensive Team and was an honorable mention all-league pick. He blocked 62 shots overall, the third most in school history and the most-ever by a Tiger junior.
Steve Moore won the team's Most Improved Award. Another award voted on by his teammates, "Big Steve" was one of the team's most important reserves, averaging a career high 11.4 minutes, while blocking a career high 32 shots.
The Tiger Graduate Award went to Justin Safford and Jarrett Sutton. Safford was Missouri's lone senior in 2010-11 and averaged 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds. He made 12 starts in his final season, returning from ACL surgery after his junior year. The Bloomington, Ill., native reached double figures in scoring nine times including 11 points in a win vs. Illinois in St. Louis.
Sutton will return to Mizzou next season, but has been a valuable contributor, both in practice and in games. Sutton played in 13 games and scored a season high four points vs. Central Arkansas and drained a three-pointer in Big 12 play at home vs. Iowa State.
Freshman Phil Pressey won the Tiger Assist Award. Pressey broke the Mizzou freshman record with 117 dimes, topping the previous freshman mark of 109 assists by Jimmy McKinney in 2002-03. Pressey's 3.9 assists per game also topped the freshman mark of 3.5 shared by both Melvin Booker (1990-91) and Travis Ford (1989-90).
Another newcomer, Ricardo Ratliffe, won the Field Goal Percentage Award. Ratliffe ranked among national leaders in field goal accuracy, connecting on 57 percent of his shots, while averaging 10.6 tallies. Ratliffe was named the Big 12's preseason and postseason Newcomer of the Year and was twice honored as the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week (Nov. 29 and Dec. 6). Ratliffe also earned honorable mention All-Big 12 recognition and was selected to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team.
Mike Dixon was the Mizzou Free Throw Award winner. Dixon hit a team-best 82.5 percent of his charity shots and tied for the team lead with 94 free throw makes overall. The Kansas City native finished sixth overall in the Big 12 Conference with his free throw accuracy and it marked the second consecutive season the former Lee's Summit West star led the team in that category. He hit 85.7 percent a year ago. For his career Dixon is an 83.4 percent foul shooter.
Kim English picked up the final honor, claiming the Tiger Pride Award (for most charges taken). English took 13 charges as a junior while also contributing 10.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and a career high 67 assists. English topped 1,000 career tallies in Missouri's 76-70 victory at Iowa State and scored a season high 21 points in the home win vs. Colorado.
2010-11 Team Awards
True Tiger Award - Laurence Bowers
Tiger Pride Award - Kim English
Tiger Assist Award - Phil Pressey
Tiger Field Goal Award - Ricardo Ratliffe
Tiger Free Throw Award - Michael Dixon
Tiger Blocked Shot Award - Laurence Bowers
Tiger Graduate Award - Justin Safford & Jarrett Sutton
** Defensive Player of the Year - Laurence Bowers
** Most Improved - Steve Moore
** Most Valuable Player - Marcus Denmon
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