Junior also won an award for best touchdown signal.
Humble blog that we are, we couldn't afford to send anyone to cover the event. Thankfully, though, we've got friends in (relatively) high places, and Friend of the Show and Booster Extraordinaire Thrombo Smallwood was on hand to provide a first-hand recap of the festivities. His thoughts:
On foodstuffs: There wasn't a sit-down dinner at this shindig, but there were heavy apps aplenty: tenderloin kebobs, meatballs, ribs, turkey/ham sandwiches, a fruit tray, salmon, spinach and artichoke dip. There was also a dessert table, which sources report was "pretty good," but I didn't partake.
Thrombo's take on the awards, after the jump.
On the awards:
- The Rebounding Effort Award winner was Jae Crowder. Rob Frozena presented it, and cracked a joke about how it was his best offensive category.
- The Sportsmanship Award winner was Jamail Jones. Coach Hank Raymonds' son presented the award and made some odd comments about coaches' salaries. I'm not sure where he was going with it. I kind of stopped listening.
- The Create For Others Award was split between Dwight Buycks and Junior Cadougan. Crowder was the presenter and mentioned they were all roommates. It got a little sappy.
- The Dwyane Wade Legacy of Leadership Award winner was Jimmy Butler. Wade presented the award via video; he didn't announce the winner, but he talked about how much Marquette meant to him, about how much this award means to him, and about the importance of leadership on and off the court. It was definitely cool to see.
- The Best Performance in a Supporting Role Award winner was Marquette broadcaster Steve "The Homer" True. Coach Buzz presented the award and talked about how positive Homer is (never says a bad thing about another person or another team) and how hard he works.
- The Sixth Man of the Year Award winner was Davante Gardner, I think. I don't remember who presented it or, really, anything about this award other than the winner. It's possible (fine: likely) that I was getting another drink at this point.
- The Standard of Academic Excellence winner was Junior Cadougan. Adrian Trice (she's married now, so that should be "nee Trice," but I can't remember her married name) came up and talked about how shy Junior was and the lack of confidence he had coming into Marquette, but now he's blossomed into a great student: always one of the first ones to the academic center, goes out of his way to talk to professors, always the last one to stay at academic center, uses tutors, never late for class or a tutoring session. Pretty powerful. Cadougan got a standing ovation from crowd.
- The Most Improved Player Award went to Chris Otule. Duh. Moving on.
- The Wesley Matthews "Just Today" Award winner was Joe Fulce. Wesley presented the award via video and announced the winner. Sources tell me that Fulce teared up -- hell, I would've -- but I can't verify that.
- The Everyday Tough Award winner was Vander Blue. Vander said he was very proud to win the award because MU is known for toughness. He talked about how Coach Bennett has become like a father to him. Ended by saying he loves MU, loves the coaches, loves the guys he plays with; I'm pretty sure he's not going anywhere.
- The Defensive Player of the Year Award went to Jimmy in the night's second "duh" moment. I mean, was there any doubt after the NCAA run? The most surprising part came afterwards, when Homer got up and said that JFB'd make a better pro than Kemba Walker. That one drew oohs and ahhs from crowd.
- The We Are Marquette Award was won by Rob Frozena. Father Wild presented it, talked about how MU isn't buildings, location -- it's the people. Frozena talked about how proud he was to win because he grew up in Wisconsin, but was never a Badger fan. He's always been partial to Marquette.
- Where Do You Live? 1% Award winner was Erik Williams.
- The Most Valuable Performer Award was split by Jimmy and Darius, but the whole team came up to the podium. JFB and DJO said they couldn't have done it without those guys and the entire MU community. On an unrelated note: I think Lazar was supposed to present this award, but the video staff puked all over themselves and it never showed. I'm telling ya, these college kids have the technical skills of a monkey. In fact, the video stuff was messed up for the rest of the night. Buzz got up and said, in true Buzz fashion: "I'm sorry about that, it will never happen again." Mrs. Smallwood looks over at me and says: "Because their jobs will be posted on the Marquette careers site tomorrow." Ha! That Mrs. Smallwood is hilarious.
- The "Only Now Exists" Award (sounds like a bad Smiths song) winner, in another no-brainer, was Jimmy Butler. Buzz presented it and went on a 20+ minute soliloquy about how he met Jimmy through Joe, who he had recruited to three different schools, and so on. Buzz talked about how hard he worked Jimmy -- he said he was harder on JFB than anyone else he's ever coached -- but said there was no one else he'd want to coach every day in practice.