March 12, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's basketball program held its annual team banquet on Tuesday night on the main floor of the Breslin Center. Highlighting the award winners, senior Jasmine Thomas was named the team's Player of the Year.
Thomas, an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection, is second on the team with 10.4 points, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals. She is currently 12th in the Big Ten in assists and 13th in steals, while ranking sixth with a 1.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. She has scored in double figures in the last eight games, averaging 15.3 points during that span, capped off by earning All-Big Ten Tournament Team honors in leading MSU to the championship game this weekend.
Fellow senior Courtney Schiffauer took home two awards - the Spartan Hustle and the Best Rebounder. Schiffauer, a two-time captain, leads the Spartans and is 15th in the Big Ten with 6.1 rebounds. She is also second on the team and 15th in the conference with 2.0 offensive rebounds. One of three Spartans to start every game, Schiffauer is also fourth on the team in assists (2.3) and steals (0.9).
Junior Klarissa Bell was recognized as the team's Defensive Player of the Year. A third-team All-Big Ten selection, Bell was always called upon to guard the opposing team's best perimeter scorer. She was a major reason the Spartans held 27 of its opponent's 32 leading scorers below their season average. Bell is second on the team in rebounds and blocks, and third in steals, in addition to leading the team in points and minutes played.
Also collecting two awards tonight was junior Annalise Pickrel, who was named the Most Improved Player and the Sixth Player of the Year. Pickrel, who is averaging career highs in every statistical category, is fifth on the team with 9.1 points this season, after averaging just 2.5 points last season. Her +6.6 point increase is fourth in the Big Ten. Her shooting from the 3-point line has been the greatest reason for her increased success, leading the team and ranking ninth in the Big Ten with 59 3-pointers and a 36.6% 3-point percentage. Entering this season, she had made only 19 3-pointers and shot 30.2% in 59 career games.
Sophomore Kiana Johnson received the Playmaker Award. Johnson is the team leader in assists (4.2), steals (2.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.81), while ranking third in points with 9.2. An honorable mention All-Big Ten, she has led MSU in assists in 14 of her 23 games.
After receiving a 4.0 grade point average in her first semester, freshman Cara Miller received the Spartan Scholar-Athlete Award.
Additional awards given out tonight included Marty Gibbs and Carole Sorenson being named the Most Valuable Supporters and Hannah Goad as the MVP Ball Club Most Spectacular Member.
2012-13 Award Winners:
Player of the Year - Jasmine Thomas
Defensive Player of the Year - Klarissa Bell
Most Improved Player - Annalise Pickrel
Sixth Player of the Year - Annalise Pickrel
Spartan Hustle - Courtney Schiffauer
Best Rebounder Award - Courtney Schiffauer
Playmaker Award - Kiana Johnson
Spartan Scholar-Athlete Award - Cara Miller
Pat Canning Coaches Award - Tracy Nogle
Kim Archer Character Award - Madison Williams
Most Valuable Supporters - Marty Gibbs and Carole Sorenson
MVP Ball Club Most Spectacular Member - Hannah Goad