EDMONTON – Rookie guard Scott Kellum was named the Canada West Rookie of the Year on Wednesday as the conference released its major award winners ahead of the Final Four in Calgary.
Kellum was solid from the outset for the Vikes this season, starting 16 of Victoria’s 20 Canada West games, averaging 13.2 points per game, and shooting 44.1 per cent from three-point land—good enough for fourth in the conference.
He led Canada West in rookie scoring and will be a key building block for the Vikes as they look to return to the conference’s elite.
“Scott was one of our most consistent players all season,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp. “By the end of the season he was our starting point guard. It is rare to have a first-year player make such significant contributions to the team in their first season.
“His future is very bright if he continues to work hard.”
For a full list of other Canada West major award winners, see below.
Other 2016-17 CW Men’s Basketball Award Winners
Outstanding Player of the Year
Veteran Conor Morgan is the 2016-17 Canada West Men’s Basketball Outstanding Player of the Year after leading the UBC Thunderbirds to a Canada West leading 19-1 record. Playing in 19 games, Morgan was dominant at both ends of the court finishing inside the top five in several key Canada West categories. The Victoria, B.C. product was first in PPG (23.1) and field goals (161), fourth in field goal percentage (56.7 per cent), while also finishing fifth in blocks (28).
Morgan now moves forward as the conference nominee for the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy as the top player in U SPORTS men’s basketball. He is looking to become the first Canada West player to claim the award since UBC’s Josh Whyte in 2010.
“Not only did Conor have a great season statistically by leading Canada West in scoring, he also took on a more advanced leadership role on our team. Conor’s hard work in the off-season made him a more complete player this season, and the results showed.” – UBC head coach Kevin Hanson.
Defensive Player of the Year
In his final year of eligibility, guard Jordan Jensen-Whyte was one of the conference’s most well-rounded players, averaging 15.9 points per game, while drawing tough defensive assignments at the other end of the floor. The Calgary, Alta. native finished eighth in conference steals (35), and finished seventh in Canada West with an assist to turnover ratio of 1.7.
The second team Canada West all-star now moves forward as the conference nominee for the U SPORTS Defensive Player of the Year award.
“Jordan is the consummate team player. He will do anything asked and it all starts at the defensive end of the floor with him. His effort level is contagious and influences the younger players on our team. He has had a remarkable five years at UBC and will go down as one of the top defensive players in school history.” – UBC head coach Kevin Hanson.
Ken Shields Award
German guard Phil Jalalpoor is the Canada West Ken Shields Award winner for 2016-17. The award recognizes a player for excellence in basketball, academics, and community service, Jalalpoor was an All-Canadian in 2015-16, and this season took on the responsibility of serving as a co-captain for the Thunderbirds. The Kinesiology student is a member of the Thunderbird Athletic Council, and also serves as a liaison between the athletics department and UBC’s Equity and Inclusion Office, working as a translator. Jalalapoor also volunteers his time at the Saltus Athletic Academy in Vancouver, introducing youth to the sport of basketball and athletic training.
“Phil’s work ethic on the court is matched by his dedication to his academics. He is the prototypical student-athlete and a role model to his teammates. Through his hard work, Phil was able to attain Academic All-Canadian status. He is leader within the greater UBC community and has a bright future both on and off the basketball court.” – UBC head coach Kevin Hanson.
Coach of the Year
Longtime UBC head coach Kevin Hanson is the Canada West Coach of the Year for a sixth time, following a 19-1 regular season record with the T-Birds. Hanson sports one of the best resumes in recent Canada West men’s basketball coaching history, with a conference record of 270-85 since joining UBC in 2000.
Hanson now moves forward as the Canada West nominee for the Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy as U SPORTS TIMEX coach of the year. Hanson previously won the national award in 2005-06 and 2009-10.
“Kevin Hanson was able to get the most out of his veterans and at the same time develop his younger players in 2016-17. The UBC Thunderbirds had an incredible run throughout the regular season – going 19-1 and finishing with the best record in Canada West.” – UBC athletic director Gilles Lepine.