March 11, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - As the Michigan State women's basketball team awaits its NCAA Tournament fate, the program held its annual banquet on Tuesday night on the main floor of the Breslin Center.
It was a night of celebration, as the program honored its 2014 Big Ten Regular Season Championship, as well as recognizing its senior class of Klarissa Bell and Annalise Pickrel. Pickrel and redshirt freshman Aerial Powers highlighted the night's honors by sharing the team's Player of the Year award.
Pickrel, who also shared the Spartan Hustle Award with Powers, is currently second on the team in points (12.4) and rebounds (6.9), while also leading the team in blocks (1.2). Those three marks are all career highs. Pickrel earned her first All-Big Ten honor this season, being named to the second team by the coaches and an honorable mention choice by the media.
Powers took home three awards tonight. In addition to the Player of Year and Spartan Hustle awards she shared with Pickrel, Powers also received the Best Rebounder Award. She became the first Spartan freshman to be named First-Team All-Big Ten earlier this month, after putting together one of the best freshman seasons in program history. Powers leads the team in points (13.4), rebounds (8.0), offensive rebounds (2.1) and steals (1.8), while also fourth in assists (2.4) and blocks (0.6). She is the only freshman in the nation to have totaled at least 400 points, 200 rebounds and 75 assists.
Bell was the recipient of the Defensive Player of the Year Award for the second-straight season, as she led the Spartan defense that led the Big Ten in conference games in point allowed, field goal percentage defense, 3-point field goal percentage defense and 3-pointers allowed. Bell was named to the five-player Big Ten All-Defensive Team, in addition to being an honorable mention all-conference choice.
Juniors Jasmine Hines and Becca Mills each earned one award tonight, as Hines was named the Sixth Player of the Year and Mills was the Most Improved Player. For the season, Hines is averaging 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in only 14.1 minutes, and is second on the team with a 48.5% field goal percentage. However, she has picked up her play of late, posting 8.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in 22.3 minutes over her last six games. Meanwhile, Mills is averaging career highs with 10.1 points and 5.6 rebounds, while leading the team and ranking sixth in the Big Ten, shooting 50.6% from the floor. An honorable mention All-Big Ten selection, she has averaged 13.2 points over her last nine games.
Freshman Tori Jankoska earned her first career award, accepting the Playmaker Award. Jankoska has made the most of her first season in East Lansing, currently second on the team in points (12.4) and steals (1.2), while also leading the squad in 3-pointers (2.0) and 3-point field goal percentage (37.1%). Her 3-pointers are the second-most by a Spartan freshman and already ninth on the MSU single-season list. Since rejoining the starting lineup over the last 12 games, Jankoska leads the team in scoring (14.0), assists (3.5), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9) and 3-pointers (2.2).
For the second-straight season, sophomore Cara Miller was the Spartan Scholar-Athlete Award winner. Miller has posted a 3.95 grade-point average, while majoring in accounting.
Representing our terrific fan base, the Fast Break Club board members were named the Most Valuable Supporters, and Ayden McNichol was the MVP Ball Club Most Spectacular Member.
2013-14 Award Winners:
Player of the Year - Annalise Pickrel and Aerial Powers
Defensive Player of the Year - Klarissa Bell
Most Improved Player - Becca Mills
Sixth Player of the Year - Jasmine Hines
Spartan Hustle - Annalise Pickrel and Aerial Powers
Best Rebounder Award - Aerial Powers
Playmaker Award - Tori Jankoska
Spartan Scholar-Athlete Award - Cara Miller
Pat Canning Coaches Award - Branndais Agee
Kim Archer Character Award - Anna Morrissey
Most Valuable Supporters - Fast Break Club Board Members
MVP Ball Club Most Spectacular Member - Ayden McNichol