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Seniors claim 11 awards at UC team banquet

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Seniors Justin Jackson (Cocoa Beach, Fla./Arlington Country Day), Sean Kilpatrick (Yonkers, N.Y./White Plains HS/Notre Dame Prep [Mass.]), Titus Rubles (Dallas, Texas/Blinn College) and David Nyarsuk (Juba, South Sudan/Mountain State University [W.Va.]) claimed 11 of 12 awards handed out at the University of Cincinnati mens basketball banquet Tuesday at the original Montgomery Inn.

The annual event celebrated the accomplishments of the 2013-14 Bearcats squad that claimed a share of the American Athletic Conference regular-season championship, a 27-7 overall mark and the programs fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.

Jackson was recognized with five honors sharing the Most Valuable Player Award with Kilpatrick and Rubles; sharing the Top Defensive Player Award with Rubles; and claiming the Most Improved Player Award, the Leading Rebounder Award (7.3) and the High Deflections Award (246).

Kilpatrick also received the Leading Assists Award (2.5 per game) and the Three-Point Shooting Award (34.8 percent). Nyarsuk was honored with Teammate of the Year honors and freshman Kevin Johnson (Cincinnati, Ohio/Summit Country Day) earned the Free-Throw Shooting-Percentage Award (.867).

Kilpatrick and Jackson end their careers at Cincinnati with 101 victories second most in program history (Steve Logan was part of 111 wins from 1999-2002). The senior class compiled the best four-year record (101-39) of any group during the Cronin coaching era while registering four 20-win seasons and three campaigns with at least 26 wins. Kilpatrick and Jackson competed in four NCAA tournaments, including UCs 2012 NCAA Sweet 16 run. The group also reestablished the Bearcats in the national rankings with appearances in the Associated Press Top 25 each year, including the programs highest ranking of the Cronin era at No. 7 earlier this season.  

During a standout 2013-14 campaign, Kilpatrick earned First Team All-America accolades from the AP, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, USA Today and Basketball Times. He also received Second Team All-America recognition from the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the United States Basketball Writers Association. Kilpatrick was also one of 15 players considered a finalist for the Wooden Award and Oscar Robertson Trophy and one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy.

A unanimous First Team All-American Athletic Conference selection, Kilpatrick led the conference and ranked 18th in the nation in scoring (20.6 points per game) and led the league in three-pointers per contest (2.7). He led the Bearcats in scoring in their final 20 games of the season and in 31 of 34 contests on the year. He tied the school record for career three-pointers (313 also achieved by Deonta Vaughn from 2006-10) and finished his career second in scoring with 2,145 points behind only Oscar Robertson (2,973 from 1958-60).

Jackson was named the American Defensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year award. Named to the Driesell Defensive All-America Team, Jackson ranked 11th nationally with 99 blocks on the season third most in school history. His 2.91 blocks per game average led the conference and ranked 20th in the nation. 

Jackson also ranked among the league leaders in rebounds (fourth at 7.3), field goal percentage (sixth at .532), steals (seventh at 1.6) and points (24th at 11.1). His statistics during the 2013-14 campaign were vastly improved from his junior season when he averaged 3.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while shooting 41.8 percent from the field. His 246 deflections during the season were a team high. Jackson also finished his career with 219 blocks, fourth most in school history.

Jackson and Rubles were two of the top nine rebounders in the American this season. Rubles averaged 7.3 points and ranked ninth in the league at 6.8 rebounds per contest. He was one of only five league players to rank among the league Top 10 in both offensive rebounds (ninth at 2.5) and defensive rebounds (ninth at 4.3). Rubles ranked second on the team in rebounds while listing third in points, assists (2.0) and steals (1.3). He ranked fifth in the league in rebounds (7.4) during league play.

Information courtesy UC Athletics

 

 

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