February 28, 2013, Saskatoon, SK (ISN) – University of Saskatchewan men’s basketball athletes Stephon Lamar and Ben Baker were honoured by the Canada West Thursday with major awards.
Lamar, a third-year point guard from San Diego, California, was named the Canada West Most Valuable Player, while Baker, a third-year guard from Saskatoon, was handed the Canada West Top Defensive Player award.
Lamar’s highlight reel season included leading the Canada West in scoring with 22.9 points per game and sitting fourth with 105 assists. He finished fourth in the conference with 59 three-pointers in his first season in the CIS averaging 32.8 minutes per game. Lamar finished second in the country in scoring and fifth in assists. He was also named a Canada West First Team All-Star for his efforts.
Missing just one game, the third year Arts & Science student from San Diego, California, scored 30 or more points in five of the 21 games he played this year including a 40-point night and a 37-point night in the regular season.
“Stephon has made a profound impact on our team in his first season in the Canada West,” said Huskie head coach Barry Rawlyk. “The combination of his playmaking abilities and his ability to score has forced all of our opponents to centre their defensive focus on trying to contain him. Despite this, he has continually led our team statistically in almost all categories. Also of note is his value as a leader to the team. His courage and competitive drive has served as a model for his teammates, and his charismatic nature promoted him to a leadership role immediately. Stephon has also made his mark as a rebounder and at the defensive end of the floor, making him a truly well rounded player. He is an outstanding young man, and an excellent choice as the Canada West’s Most Outstanding Player.”
It is the third straight season that a Huskie has been named MVP. Jamelle Barrett won the honour in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.
Guard Ben Baker turned heads in his third season with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies being named the Canada West Defensive Player of the Year.
Helping the No. 7 ranked Huskies to a 16-6 record and first place in the conference’s prairie division for the second straight year, the Kinesiology student finished fifth in the conference with 47 steals and 13th in rebounds with 7.4 per game. The 6-3 Saskatoon native accumulated 36 offensive rebounds and 127 defensive rebounds. He also helped the Huskies hold opponents to averaging just 77.8 points per game.
Also a threat to score, Baker averaged 13.4 points per game in his 33.3 minutes per game.
“Ben has proven to be an integral part of our team’s success throughout the season by making an impact in all aspects of the game,” said Huskie head coach Barry Rawlyk. “However, his tenacity at the defensive end of the floor and his willingness to defend our opponents best players every game is where he has displayed his greatest value to our team. His versatility as a defender has allowed us to utilize him in guard every position on the floor, and he has successfully limited every opposing player he has been assigned to guard. Ben is known across the Canada West for his grittiness and competitive spirit, and is an outstanding choice as Defensive Player of the Year.”
Saskatchewan’s season came to a close after an upset loss to the University of Fraser Valley Cascades in a Canada West quarter-final series. The Huskies finished first in the conference’s Prairie Division with a 16-6 record.
Both Lamar and Baker are in the running for the awards at the CIS level. Lamar is also now eligible to be named a CIS All-Canadian. Both will be announced at the CIS awards ceremony at the CIS Championship March 8-11 in Ottawa.