UCLA Men's Basketball Announces 2008 Honors at Annual Banquet
By Bruin Basketball Report
UCLA freshman center, Kevin Love, the Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year, was given the Coach John Wooden Award as the Bruins' Most Valuable Player Monday night at UCLA's annual Hoopsters Awards/Dinner Banquet held at the Beverly Hilton.
A first team All-American, Love led the Bruins in scoring (17.5 ppg ranked seventh in the Pac-10), and in rebounding (10.6 rpg ranked second in the league). Love is the first freshman to earn the honor outright in UCLA history and just the second all-time, joining Jason Kapono, who shared the title with Jerome Moiso and Earl Watson in 2000.
During the evening's festivities, Love was also given the Seymour Armond Memorial Award (Most Valuable Freshman) and the Gerald A. Finerman Award (team rebounding leader).
Sophomore guard Russell Westbrook also was a three-time award winner, receiving the UCLA Alumni Association Award (team assist leader) after averaging 4.3 apg, which ranked fifth in the Pac-10. Westbrook also averaged 12.7 points per game, which ranked 17th in the league. He was also given the Bruin Bench Basketball Award for Most Improvement in All-Around Play and Mental Attitude. Westbrook, the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, shared his third honor with junior forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, the Irv Pohlmeyer Memorial Award (Outstanding Defensive Player). Mbah a Moute, an honorable mention All-Pac-10 and honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic selection, averaged 8.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in 2007-08.
Junior guard Darren Collison earned the Bob "Ace" Calkins Memorial Award (Free Throw Champion) for the second straight year by shooting 87.2 percent (102-for-117) from the charity stripe. That percentage led the Pac-10 Conference, ranked 20th nationally and was seventh all-time on UCLA’s single season charts.
Josh Shipp and James Keefe shared the Bruin Hoopsters J.D. Morgan Memorial Award (Outstanding Team Play). Shipp, a junior guard/forward, finished fourth on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg) and third in assists (2.1 apg) and steals (1.3 spg). Keefe averaged 2.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per game during his sophomore season that was shortened due to shoulder surgery on Aug. 10, 2007 (played in 25 of the team’s 39 games).
Senior center Lorenzo Mata-Real was given the UCLA Faculty Athletic Representative Award (Academic Achievement and Team Contribution). He averaged 3.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in his final collegiate campaign.
Junior forward/center Alfred Aboya was given the Elvin C. "Ducky" Drake Memorial Award for Competitive Spirit, Inspiration and Unselfish Contributions for the second straight year. Aboya, a second team Pac-10 Conference All-Academic selection, averaged 2.9 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in his third season with UCLA.
(photo credit: AP)
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