April 25, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Seniors Victor Ojeleye and Jamar Samuels each captured two awards, while junior Rodney McGruder won the Rolando Blackman Team Most Valuable Player trophy, as the athletics department announced the 2011-12 Kansas State men’s basketball team awards.
Ojeleye was selected the winner of the Porky Morgan Most Inspirational Player, which is named in honor of the longtime K-State athletics trainer (1951-80) for the second consecutive year, while he earned the Keith Amerson Academic Award for the fourth year in a row (sharing it with freshman Brian Rohleder). Ojeleye becomes just the eighth player in school history to win the Porky Morgan Award twice since it began being handed out in 1950 and the first since Clent Stewart in 2007 and 2008. He is the third player (Josh Reid and Clent Stewart) to win the Amerson Award all four years.
Samuels was selected as the third recipient for the “Never Broken” Award given by the 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Riley as well as the Mitch Richmond Mr. Basketball Award. He wins the “Never Broken” Award for the second straight year, which signifies the relationship between the team and its regiment. Samuels is one of just three players (Bob Boozer and Ed Nealy) in K-State history to tally at least 1,200 points and 700 rebounds in a career. He led the Wildcats in double-doubles (eight) and rebounding (6.6 rpg.) in 2011-12, while he was second in scoring (10.0 ppg.) and double-digit scoring games (18).
Ojeleye and Samuels leave K-State as the winningest senior class in school history with 96 victories, including 40 in Big 12 play, guiding the school to four consecutive postseason appearances and three trips to the NCAA Tournament. Both players will graduate from K-State in May.
In addition to his team MVP trophy, McGruder also won the Tex Winter Offensive Player of the Year award. The team leader in nine offensive categories, he averaged a team-best 15.8 points on 46.3 percent shooting as a junior with 5.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals in 32.9 minutes per game. He scored in double figures in 23 of the last 25 games, including his third 30-point game of the season in the NCAA Tournament game vs. Southern Miss on March 15. He was named to the All-Big 12 second team by both the league coaches and The Associated Press.
Junior Jordan Henriquez also collected two awards on the evening, winning the Jack Hartman Defensive Player Award and Ed Nealy Most Improved Player Award. The school’s all-time leader in both single-season (77) and career (146) blocked shots, he averaged 7.6 points on 54.4 percent shooting in 2011-12 with 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 20.4 minutes per game. Henriquez ranked second on the team in field goal percentage, rebounding and double-doubles (three), while he was fifth in scoring. He was also named to the Big 12’s All-Defensive Team by the league’s coaches. He won the most improved award for the second straight season.
Angel Rodriguez and Will Spradling also captured awards, as Rodriguez was chosen the Dean Harris Newcomer of the Year while Spradling repeated as the winner of the Ernie Barrett Hustle Award.
Rodriguez became the first freshman since Steve Henson in 1986-87 to lead the Wildcats in both assists (101) and steals (41), while averaging 8.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per game. One of only two players (Rodney McGruder) to start and play in all 33 games, Spradling averaged 9.3 points, 2.8 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game as a sophomore. He led the team in free throw percentage (82.0) and charges taken (26), while he was second in field goals (93), 3-point field goals (47) and assists (91).
The Newcomer of the Year award is given in honor of Harris, a talented freshman from East St. Louis, Ill., who tragically died in 1974, while the Hustle Award is named for former All-American Barrett.
K-State posted a 22-11 overall record in 2011-12, including a 10-8 mark to finish fifth in Big 12 Conference play, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last five seasons. It was the school’s unprecedented sixth consecutive 20-win season and sixth straight appearance in the postseason.
Fans sold out Bramlage Coliseum for the second consecutive year in 2011-12, becoming one of just 14 schools to draw over 12,000 in paid attendance for every regular season home game over the last two seasons (Kentucky, Syracuse, Louisville, North Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan State, New Mexico, Vanderbilt, Creighton). Fans interested in joining the season ticket wait-list may call the K-State Ticket Office at 800.221.CATS, or visit www.kstatesports.com. Ticket availability will be determined after the season ticket renewal period in June.
2011-12 Kansas State Basketball Team Awards:
Rolando Blackman Team Most Valuable Player: Rodney McGruder
Mitch Richmond Mr. Basketball Award: Jamar Samuels
Porky Morgan Most Inspirational Player Award: Victor Ojeleye
Tex Winter Outstanding Offensive Player Award: Rodney McGruder
Jack Hartman Defensive Player Award: Jordan Henriquez
Dean Harris Newcomer of the Year: Angel Rodriguez
The “Never Broken” Award: Jamar Samuels
Ernie Barrett Hustle Award: Will Spradling
Ed Nealy Most Improved Player Award: Jordan Henriquez
Keith Amerson Academic Award: Victor Ojeleye/Brian Rohleder