Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ray McCallum Jr. named Detroit Titans MVP; Bruinsma, Howard Jr. among other team honorees

University of Detroit Mercy 2012-2013 men's basketball post-season awards:

Ray McCallum Jr. won the Robert Calihan Most Valuable Player Award after a standout junior campaign. The point guard led the team in scoring, assists and steals for the third straight season and became just the 11th Titan to surpass 1,600 points in a career. McCallum was named the Horizon League Player of the Year along with earning All-First Team recognition after averaging 18.7 points per game, which ranked 35th nationally. McCallum also earned Lute Olson All-America Team honors and a place on the NABC District 12 First Team. The junior was the first Titan to earn All-American honors since Willie Green in 2003.

Junior Evans Bruinsma won the Dave DeBusschere Most Improved Award. The forward averaged 21.5 minutes per game off the bench while averaging 5.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Bruinsma started the last six games of the season for the Titans and averaged 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, including 15 points against Wright State in the Horizon League semifinals. 

Bruinsma was also tapped the William Ebben Academic and Athletic Excellence Award winner for the second straight season, while Ugochukwu Njoku earned the Frank R. Gerbig, Sr. Sportsmanship Award honors. Njoku played in every game in his first season with the Titans and finished tied for the team lead with 20 blocked shots.

Sophomore forward Juwan Howard Jr. collected the Norm Swanson Top Newcomer Award. Howard started the first 27 games of the season and averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, before an injury sidelined him for the final two weeks. The Western Michigan transfer finished fifth on the team in scoring and scored a season-high 18 points against then-No. 3 and eventual Final Four finalist Syracuse. Howard also scored the Titans first 11 points against Toledo, before finishing with 16 points and six rebounds.

The Larry Doyle Most Dedicated Titan Award went to senior Nick Minnerath for a second straight year. He returned from a season-ending knee injury to have his best season. The senior forward was named to the All-Horizon League First Team and finished fifth in the league in scoring with 14.6 points while also leading the Titans on the boards with 5.9 rebounds per game. 

The Most Courageous Award went to junior guard Jason Calliste, who led the Titans in 3-point field goals made (73) and free throw shooting percentage (83.4), while finishing second on the team with 44 steals and third in scoring with 14.4 points per game. 

Year-end award winners:

Robert Calihan MVP: Ray McCallum
John R. Kirwan Leading Scorer: Ray McCallum
Dave DeBusschere Most Improved: Evan Bruinsma
Frank R. Gerbig, Sr. Sportsmanship: Ugochukwu Njoku
William Ebben Academic and Athletic Excellence: Evan Bruinsma
Norm Swanson Top Newcomer: Juwan Howard, Jr.
Larry Doyle Most Dedicated Titan: Nick Minnerath
Most Courageous Award: Jason Calliste

Most Assists:  Ray McCallum
Most Deflections: Ray McCallum
Most Charges:  Nick Minnerath
Top Defensive Player:  Nick Minnerath
Highest FG percentage: Doug Anderson
Highest FT Percentage: Jason Calliste

1,000-Point Recognition: Ray McCallum (1,618) and Jason Calliste (1,107)

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