Gardner, Walton Named Arizona Co-Most Valuable Players

March 5, 2002

TUCSON, Ariz. - Jason Gardner and Luke Walton were named the Arizona men's basketball co-most valuable players as part of the awards presented Monday night as the team's annual awards banquet held at the Westin La Paloma.

Gardner, a 5-foot-10, 181-pound junior guard from Indianapolis, Ind., is averaging 20.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists through 28 games this season. He averages 38.0 minutes per game, and shoots 42.7 percent from the field, including 39.7 percent from three-point range. Gardner has scored in double figures in 26 of 28 games and had collected at least five assists in a game 17 times in 2001-02. He is a finalist for both the Naismith and Wooden Player of the Year awards. Gardner was also recognized with the Most Steals and Captains awards.

Walton, a 6-foot-8, 241-pound junior forward from San Diego, Calif., 15.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and a Pac-10 Conference-leading 6.4 assists through 25 games. He leads the team with nine double-doubles and a triple-double this season, while shooting 47.7 percent from the floor. Walton has scored in double figures 19 times this season and has five double-figure assist games to his credit. He also received the Most Assists, Most Rebounds, Golden A and Captains awards.

Salim Stoudamire, a 6-foot-1, 176-pound freshman guard from Portland, Ore. was named Outstanding Freshman after posting averages of 12.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists. A starter in 22 of 28 games, Stoudamire leads all UA freshmen in minutes played (30.2 mpg), and is shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from three-point range. He was also awarded the Best Defensive Player, Mr. Hustle, and Best Free Throw Percentage awards.

The awards presented at the banquet were as follows:

Most Valuable Player:		Jason Gardner, Luke WaltonBest Defensive Player:		Salim StoudamireMost Improved Player:		Will Bynum, Channing FryeOutstanding Freshman:		Salim StoudamireCoaches Award:			Isaiah FoxMr. Hustle:			Salim StoudamireMost Inspirational:		Rick AndersonCaptains Award:			Rick Anderson, Jason Gardner, Luke WaltonAcademic Award:			Jason RanneFreshman Academic Award:	Dennis LatimoreGolden A:			Luke WaltonMost Rebounds:			Rick Anderson, Luke WaltonBest Free Throw Percentage:	Salim StoudamireMost Assists:			Luke WaltonMost Steals:			Jason Gardner

The 15th-ranked Wildcats (19-9 overall, 12-6 Pac-10) are next in action on Thursday, March 7, against Arizona State in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. PST and can be seen on Fox Sports Net.

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