FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas officially closed the 2001 basketball season with its annual awards banquet at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center on Monday.
The event, in front of a crowd of approximately 500, was hosted by radio play-by-play announcer Mike Nail and included a highlight video of the season.
Head coach Nolan Richardson, who will enter the 2002 season just five wins short of career victory No. 500, re-capped the season in which Arkansas was 20-11, finished second in the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas recovered from an 0-3 SEC start to record 20 wins for the 12th time in Richardson’s 16 years and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in 14 years.
Assistant head coach Mike Anderson and assistants Brad Dunn and Wayne Stehlik presented most of the awards.
In a vote of the players, junior guard Jannero Pargo was voted the team’s Most Valuable Player. The Neosho (Kan.) Community College transfer earned all-SEC honors after averaging 12.3 points for the season and a team-high 14.2 points in conference play. Pargo ranked among league leaders with 1.5 steals (seventh), his .420 three-point percentage (third) and 2.37 three-point goals per game (tied for third).
The sportsmanship award went to sophomore forward Carl Baker of Palestine, Ark. Baker missed four games in the middle of the season, including UA’s 0-3 start in the SEC, but helped the Hogs go 11-5 following his return.
The academic award went to junior Dionisio Gomez of Panama City, Panama , who is a two-time member of the SEC’s Academic Honor Roll.
The Eric Poerschke “Mr. Razorback” award went to senior Brandon Davis of Camden, Ark. Davis, the only senior on the club, was recognized for his work on and off the floor, including his involvement in community activities.
Junior guard T.J. Cleveland of Birmingham, Ala., received the assist award for leading the team (83) and the Hogman Award for “giving up his body for the team.”
Sophomore forward Joe Johnson of Little Rock picked up three awards for leading the team in scoring (14.2 ppg), rebounds (6.4 rpg) and minutes played (873).
Sophomore center Larry Satchell of Waco, Texas, who started the last 16 games of the year and led the team with 45 blocked shots, was named the Most Improved Player.
Sophomore guard Charles Tatum of Midland, Texas, was voted the Defensive Player of the Year, and Tatum and Pargo shared the award for best free throw percentage. Tatum made 20-of-21 for a .952 percentage while Pargo was 43-of-49 for 87.8 percent.