Two weeks after their season ended in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden, BYU basketball players, coaches and others celebrated the season with their annual awards banquet on Tuesday night at the Provo Marriott. The team's two leading scorers, Tyler Haws and Brandon Davies, shared the Outstanding Player Award and seniors Davies, Brock Zylstra and Craig Cusick were honored with framed jerseys. Davies, of course, had just returned from playing in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, where he led his team to the championship (3-0) and was named the PIT MVP. He averaged 20.7 points and 9.3 rebounds in the three games, while shooting 67.6 percent from the field. Here are the Cougars' other award winners Tuesday night: Most Improved Player: Josh Sharp Sixth Man Award: Nate Austin Cougar Playmaker Award: Matt Carlino Coaches' Award: Craig Cusick Best Conditioned Perimeter Player: Tyler Haws Best Conditioned Post Player: Brandon Davies Competitive Spirit Award: Brock Zylstra Also, Davies, Haws and Zylstra received awards for being team captains. Coach Dave Rose told the gathering that the Cougars' NIT run "was as fun and exciting a postseason run that I've been associated with" and said BYU played its best basketball of the year in wins over Washington, Mercer and Southern Mississippi. "One thing that I will always remember about this team is that they had so many chances to come apart and to blame themselves, blame each other, blame our staff, but it was always the opposite. We came together," Rose said. The coach thanked the players for their dedication, determination and sacrifice.
Not much was said about the makeup of the team next season, but at least one new face will be joining the Cougars (besides the high school seniors who signed last November and won't immediately leave on church missions, Eric Mika and Luke Worthington).
The spring signing period for basketball (and some other sports) begins today and continues until May 15. BYU is expecting to sign Skyler Halford, a point guard from Salt Lake Community College who played high school basketball at Timpanogos High in Orem.