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Michigan State Basketball Hands Out Awards At Annual Bust

March 12, 2002

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State Men's Basketball Bust was held Monday evening (March 11) at the Holiday Inn South in Lansing, Mich. Sophomore guard Marcus Taylor (Lansing, Mich.) was named team MVP by both the team and media vote. Junior forward Adam Ballinger (Bluffton, Ind.) also received three awards.

Taylor is Michigan State's leading scorer, averaging 16.8 points per game, while also leading the Big Ten in assists with 5.3 per game. In conference games, he averaged 17.7 points and 5.0 assists per game, becoming just the second player in Big Ten history to lead the conference in scoring and assists. For his efforts, Taylor has been named first-team All-Big Ten, NABC All-District 11 and USBWA All-District V. Taylor received the Chicago Tribune Award as the team MVP and the Charles S. Phillips Award as the media MVP.

Ballinger earned the Chairman of the Boards Award after leading the Spartans in rebounding. With 7.0 rebounds per game, Ballinger ranks third in the Big Ten. Ballinger was also a co-recipient of the Most Improved Player Award, an honor he shares with sophomore center Jason Andreas (Sugarcreek, Ohio). After scoring 127 points in two-plus seasons with the Spartans, Ballinger has emerged as MSU's number two option on offense, scoring 296 points, an average of 11.4 points per game. Last year, as a freshman, Andreas scored a total of 13 points in just 115 total minutes. This season, Andreas averages 14.6 minutes per game and has scored 78 points. Andreas was also recognized as the team's recipient of the Scholar-Athlete Award as he will earn Academic All-Big Ten honors for the second-straight season. Andreas also received the Most Improved Player Award and Scholar-Athlete Award last year.

Junior forward Aloysius Anagonye (Southfield, Mich.) was this year's recipient of the Antonio Smith Glue and Guts Award. This is the second-straight year Anagonye has received this award as he shared it with Andre Hutson last year. Anagonye is the only Spartan to start all 30 games, averaging 7.9 points and 6.3 boards per game, second-best on the team.

Mat Ishbia (Birmingham, Mich.), the lone senior on this year's squad, took home the Inspirational Player Award. Although appearing in just 12 games, Ishbia has taken on the role of player-coach, helping his teammates develop their games.

Freshmen guards Tim Bograkos (Flint, Mich.) and Chris Hill (Indianapolis, Ind.) shared the Unsung Player Award. Averaging 10.4 minutes per game, Bograkos brings energy off the Spartan bench. Although he doesn't look to score much, he is a strong defender and rebounder. Hill entered Michigan State without the fanfare that the other scholarship freshmen received. Still, he has had the best statistical season, scoring 11.1 points per game, to rank third among Big Ten freshmen.

Freshmen Alan Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Kelvin Torbert (Flint, Mich.) were co-recipients of the Best Defensive Player Award. A rarity among highly-recruited freshmen, Anderson and Torbert demonstrated their ability to guard different types of players throughout the season.

Anagonye, Ballinger and Taylor all received Captain's Awards for their service as team captains this year.

The winner of this year's Distinguished Alumnus Award is Gus Ganakas. Ganakas attended Michigan State from 1946-50, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1949 and a master's degree in 1950. In seven seasons as MSU's head basketball coach from 1969-76, he led the Spartans to an 89-84 record. After leaving the coaching ranks, he continued to serve MSU as an administrator until his retirement in 2000. A loyal Spartan, Ganakas remains an active member of the Spartan basketball program as he is in his 16th season providing color commentary on the Spartan Radio Network.

2002 MSU Basketball Bust Awards
Scholar-Athlete Award: Jason Andreas
Unsung Player Award: Tim Bograkos and Chris Hill
Most Improved Player Award: Jason Andreas and Adam Ballinger
Best Defensive Player Award: Alan Anderson and Kelvin Torbert
Inspirational Player Award: Mat Ishbia
Antonio Smith Glue and Guts Award: Aloysius Anagonye
Chairman of the Boards Award: Adam Ballinger
Charles S. Phillips Award (Media MVP): Marcus Taylor
Chicago Tribune Award (Team MVP): Marcus Taylor
Captain's Award: Aloysius Anagonye, Adam Ballinger, Marcus Taylor
Distinguished Alumnus Award: Gus Ganakas



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