USC Holds 2013-14 Men's Basketball Awards Banquet Tonight
March 26, 2014
Junior guard Byron Wesley received two awards, including the Sam Barry Most Valuable Player Award, at the 2013-14 USC Men's Basketball Awards Banquet held tonight (March 26) at the Town and Gown on the USC campus. In all, eight different Trojan players received awards for their contributions and efforts during the season.
Wesley led the Trojans in scoring and rebounding this season, averaging 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Wesley was one of six Pac-12 players during the regular season to rank in the top 15 among conference players in scoring and rebounding and the only one to lead his team in both. Wesley has scored 1,167 points in his three-year career to rank 23rd on USC's all-time scoring list. His 533 points scored during the 2013-14 season rank 16th on USC's single-season scoring list. For his efforts this season, Wesley was named the Sam Barry Most Valuable Player recipient, as well as winning the Bob Boyd Award as the top rebounder.
The winner of the Harold Jones Memorial Award as the most improved player was freshman Nikola Jovanovic. The forward from Serbia averaged 8.0 points and 4.4 rebounds and started 24 of USC's 32 games, while appearing in every contest. Jovanovic led all Pac-12 freshmen during the regular season in shooting percentage and was in the top 10 in rebounds and scoring. His .761 free throw percentage ranks eighth and his .516 field goal percentage ranks 10th among Trojan freshmen all-time.
Another impact freshman was Julian Jacobs who was bestowed the John Rudometkin Award for 110% effort. Jacobs averaged 6.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Jacobs' 116 assist rank tied for third on USC's all-time freshman list and his 34 steals rank 10th. Jacobs started 19 of USC's 32 games and ranked second on the team in assists, tied for third in rebounds (140), third in steals and third in blocks (14).
Senior Pe'Shon Howard won the Bill Sharman Award for having the best free throw percentage. Howard made 74 of 96 free throws for a team-leading .771 shooting percentage from the charity stripe. He also led USC with 121 assists and was second in scoring with a 10.8 points per game average.
Omar Oraby was given the Forrest F. Twogood Award for being USC's best defensive player. The senior started 30 of USC's 32 games and averaged 8.2 points and 6.0 rebounds. Oraby ranked second in the conference in blocked shots (72) and 16th in rebounding. Oraby finished his two-year USC career with 119 career blocks which rank fifth all-time by a Trojan.
Sophomore Strahinja Gavrilovic was named the Ernie Holbrook Memorial Award winner as the most inspirational player. Gavrilovic, also from Serbia, averaged 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 30 games, including four starts. He provided energy off the bench and saw his role increase throughout the season.
Senior D.J. Haley was the Ryan Francis Scholarship recipient as being the best example of being a Trojan. The center averaged 3.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 31 games, making three starts. Haley was second on the team with 20 blocks.
Samer Dhillon was named the Dr. James H. Zumberge Academic Award winner as the freshman had a 3.85 GPA in his first year as a Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies major. Dhillon appeared in three games for USC, making one of three shots and grabbing a rebound in four minutes of action.
The following is a list of all of tonight's award winners: