Buffs Hand Out Team Awards At Season Celebration
BOULDER – University of Colorado men's basketball head coach Tad Boyle announced the team's 2020-21 season awards here Thursday night at the Buffaloes end of season celebration .
McKinley Wright IV received the Chauncey Billups Award as the team's Most Valuable Player. The Chauncey Billups MVP Award is one of five voted on by Colorado men's basketball student-athletes. Eli Parquet won the Best Defender Award and shared the Most Improved Award with Tristan da Silva. Evan Battey repeated as the Most Inspirational Award winner as did Alexander Strating with the Tebo Family P.A.S.S. Award.
In addition, two annual statistical champion awards were recognized. Jeriah Horne won the Stephane Pelle Rebounding Award while Wright earned the newly renamed McKinley Wright IV Assist Award.
Wright is the Chauncey Billups Award recipient for the fourth-straight year, becoming the first to achieve that feat. Wright led the Buffaloes at 15.2 points, 5.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. A three-time All-Pac-12 Conference selection, Wright is the only player in league history with 1,800 points, 600 assists and 600 rebounds.
Wright won the annual assist award for the fourth time. Formerly the Jay Humphries Award, the honor has been officially renamed after Wright, since becoming the program's all-time leader in assists with 683. He shattered Humphries previous record of 562 that had stood for 37 years. Wright also established Colorado career records for double-figure assist games and points-assists double-doubles with 10.
Wright's 182 total assists led the Pac-12 and were the fourth most in NCAA Division I this season. That total is also second on Colorado's single-season list. Wright ends his career with four of the top nine single-season assist totals in team history.
Parquet landed a spot on the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team. He led the Buffaloes in blocked shots with 23 and was second in steals with 26 while drawing the assignment of guarding the opposition's best perimeter player night after night. He owned the team season high in both categories with four steals at Washington on Jan. 20 and four blocks at Washington State on Jan. 23. During conference games, Parquet ranked 12th in steals (1.2 spg) and 13th in blocks (0.8 bpg) on the Pac-12 leaderboard.
In addition to his defensive excellence, Parquet's made considerable improvement in his all-around game. He doubled his scoring and rebounding output from the previous season, averaging 5.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. Parquet shot 48 percent overall from the field including a 42 percent clip from 3-point range – nearly a 10 percent increase in both categories.
Da Silva averaged 2.7 points while shooting 53 percent in just over nine minutes per game as a first-year Buffalo, but displayed his progression during the second half of the season. Over the final 14 games, da Silva averaged 3.9 points and shot 62 percent while delivering some key minutes to the Buffaloes' rotation.
Da Silva scored a career-high 15 points, hitting 6 of 6 from the field in the home win over Oregon State – a team season-best for shots made without a miss. In all he made 10 in a row over a three-game period. Da Silva played double-figure minutes in nine of the final 14 contests.
Horne earned the Stephane Pelle Rebounding Award after leading the Buffaloes with 187. His 5.8 rebounds per game average ranked 12th overall in the Pac-12 while his 4.7 defensive boards per game ranked sixth on the league charts. Horne led the Buffaloes in rebounding 14 times and had four games of double-figure rebounds – both team season-highs.
Battey was voted as the team's Most Inspirational Player for the third time. Colorado's emotional and energetic leader, Battey earned honorable mention to the All-Pac-12 team as a junior averaging 10.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He shot just under 50 percent from the field and 83 percent from the line while leading the Buffaloes in free throws made (104) and attempted (126).
Battey has continued to make a mark off the court as well serving on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Player Development Coalition as well as the Pac-12's Mental Health Task Force. He will enter his senior season as Colorado's active leader in points and rebounds.
Strating repeated as the Tebo Family P.A.S.S. Award selection, in its fourth year overall. Named in honor of Stephen Tebo, a long-time supporter of the Colorado basketball program, the award was created to recognize the player, or players, that best exemplified the virtues of Perseverance, Attitude, Selflessness and Success. Strating is scheduled to graduate in May with dual degrees in Mathematics and Economics.
Colorado finished the 2020-21 season at 23-9 overall and third in the Pac-12 Conference at 14-6. The Buffaloes were the runner up at the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Colorado was No. 9 in the final NCAA NET rankings, No. 22 in the final Associated Press Poll and No. 23 in the final USA TODAY/Coaches Poll.