April 15, 2013
Columbia, Mo. -
Missouri's 2012-13 basketball team got together one last time on Monday night as the program hosted its annual awards banquet on the floor of Mizzou Arena.
Head Coach Frank Haith and his staff passed out 12 awards, highlighted by the 2013 Most Valuable Player honor, which was won by senior forward Laurence Bowers.
"It's just a special night and hard for me to believe this is the last event I will have here in this building," Bowers said after the ceremony. "There are so many great memories in this place. So many great teammates, so many great games, and I just want to thank the fans for their support over the last five years. To Coach Haith and his staff, I want to thank them for everything. This has been such an incredible experience."
In addition to the MVP honor, Bowers was also honored with the Sharp-Shooter award for leading the club in three-point percentage (.389) and the Iron Man Award for his relentless work in the strength and conditioning program.
Alex Oriakhi also brought home three awards. The senior transfer won the Ultimate Teammate Award as voted on by his teammates and was the team's Rim Protector Award winner for leading the club in blocked shots (54). He also won the Chairman of the Boards award for pacing the team in rebounding (286).
"This was the perfect place for me to finish my career," Oriakhi said. "The people here just opened their arms and welcomed me in like family. Missouri is a special place to me. I'm just so glad I can call myself a Missouri Tiger."
Jabari Brown won two awards, being named the Outstanding Student-Athlete for his work on the court and in the classroom, and the Impact Player Award recipient for his immediate impact as a newcomer this year. Brown finished second on the team in scoring (13.7) and led all Tigers in scoring in SEC play averaging 14.6 points.
appropriately won the team's Playmaker Award. Pressey finished his career with 580 assists, tops all-time at Mizzou, and paced the SEC in assist average (7.1). He also ranked third on the team in scoring (11.9) and tops in steals (61).
"Words can't express what the University of Missouri means to me," Pressey said. "This place is so special. The teammates, the coaches, the support staff, and the fans, this is my home. I'm on to a new chapter, but Mizzou helped shape me into the person I am today and I want to thank Coach Haith for being more than just a basketball coach to me. He was like a second father figure."
Corey Haith was voted the club's Most Improved Player by his teammates and junior wing Earnest Ross appropriately won the team's Stat Stuffer Award for his overall impact on the team this season. Ross, who will be a senior on next year's club, ranked among team leaders in three-point makes (49), three-point percentage (.377), rebounding (5.0), steals (42) and assists (39).
A final award went to junior forward Tony Criswell, the Tiger in Charge Award. Criswell earned the honor for leading the team in charges taken, but also his team-first attitude in practice and in the games.
For more information on Missouri Basketball, please visit our website, mutigers.com.
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