May 3, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy men's basketball team held its season-ending banquet at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium recently, where team awards were handed out and the three graduating seniors, Ted Connolly, Carlton Smith and Jordan Sugars said their good-byes in emotional fashion.
The first award handed out was the Kevin Sinnett Academic Achievement Award, which is given to the men's basketball player who demonstrates work ethic, commitment and pride in the classroom and in his efforts to represent the team in the academic arena. Jacob Liebert, a sophomore guard from Alamo, Calif., earned the 2012 honor after appearing on both the Commandant's List and Superintendent's List during the fall semester. During the fall semester, Liebert owned a 3.56 GPA while majoring in computer science. He has been a member of the Commandant's List twice during his first three semesters at the Academy.
Isaiah Roberts was awarded the Charles McDonough Most Outstanding Team Player Award, given to the men's basketball player whose performance, ability and statistics had the greatest impact throughout the season. Roberts, a sophomore guard from Pennsauken, N.J., averaged 7.1 points per game, 1.9 assists per game, 1.5 rebounds per game and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 45.8 percent from the field, a team-best 32.4 percent from three-point-range and 70.0 percent from the free throw line. In league games only, he upped his scoring average to 8.1 points per game and made 40.0 percent (6-of-15) of his three-point attempts. Roberts played his best late in the season, setting new career highs in points in three of the last four games. He tallied a then-career-high 18 points against Colgate on Feb. 18, then two games later surpassed that total with a 19-point effort against Bucknell on Feb. 25 in the regular-season finale. In the Patriot League Tournament loss to Bucknell on Feb. 29, Roberts then had his finest game in a Navy uniform with 20 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds while making 7-of-10 field goal attempts including 3-of-4 from three-point range. Over the last four games of the season, Roberts averaged 16.0 ppg, 2.5 apg, 2.8 spg and 1.8 rpg while shooting 24-of-44 (.545) from the field and 14-of-19 (.737) from the free throw line.
The Paul Evans Most Improved Player Award is given to the player that has demonstrated an extraordinary work ethic, an unparalleled desire to be the best Navy basketball player he can be and a measurable improvement in key year-over-year statistics. Senior Carlton Smith
(Rochester, N.Y.) was given the award after averaging career highs in points (2.4 ppg) and rebounds (1.6) while shooting 56.4 percent from the field. Smith saved his best for last, tallying career highs in points (12) and rebounds (8) in his first career start -- a setback to NCAA Tournament Third Round participant Lehigh on Feb. 22. For his career, Smith shot 57.7 percent from the field and of his 52 career rebounds, 31 were on the offensive glass. He also blocked nine shots during his career.
Given to the men's basketball player of the graduating class that has done the most for the team over his playing career, Jordan Sugars received the David Robinson Award. Sugars, a senior guard from Winchester, Va., was second on the team in scoring (11.4 ppg), third in rebounding (4.7 rpg), fourth in assists (31), third in steals (29) and first in minutes played (911) and three-pointers made (44). Sugars finished his career as one of seven players, and the first during the Patriot League era, to score 1,200 career points and grab at least 600 rebounds. Sugars finished 14th on the career scoring list (1.346), 10th on the career rebounds list (624), fourth on the career three-pointers made chart (199) and ninth on the career minutes played list (3,238). He was a second-team all-Patriot League selection following the 2010-11 season.
The highest honor bestowed upon a Navy basketball player, the Rear Admiral Ronald Marryott Award is given to the player that embodies what a Navy basketball player is about. He plays for Navy while demonstrating a commitment to character, to leadership and to his teammates. Senior Ted Connolly (Wexford, Pa.) was given the award after playing in 19 games with seven starts. Connolly, who will head to Coronado, Calif., upon commissioning for BUD/s training after receiving the Special Warfare assignment of Navy SEAL, provided outstanding leadership and toughness on and off the court during the season. His seven starts this year came during the Patriot League slate and he finished his career with a 1.24 assist-to-turnover ratio.
For the upcoming 2012-13 season, head coach Ed DeChellis will return three starters and eight other players that appeared in at least 16 games during the 2011-12 campaign.
# GO NAVY #