SPRINGFIELD, MO - For just the sixth time in Missouri State's Division I era, the recipient of the team's player of the year honor is a repeat winner. Senior Kyle Weems, who led the Bears in scoring and rebounding this season while earning All-MVC first-team honors, was announced as MSU's Coors Player of the Year on Monday evening (April 9) at University Plaza at the team's annual awards banquet.
Weems joins fellow multiple winners Winston Garland (1986-87), Johnny Murdock (1993-94-95), Danny Moore (1997, 99), Kevin Ault (1998, 2000), and Blake Ahearn (2006-07) on the list of the program's all-time greats.
The Coors award has been given annually since 1982-83, the year Bears athletics moved to NCAA Division I. The award is jointly sponsored by Coors of the Ozarks and the Adolph Coors Company of Golden, Colo. The award carries with it a $1,500 scholarship to the Missouri State general scholarship fund in each sport in the name of the winner. Coors also sponsors Player of the Week honors. The weekly and yearly selections are selected by representatives of Missouri State media outlets.
The Topeka, Kan., native finished No. 2 on the Missouri State career scoring list (1,868) and tops in program history in games played (134) and double-figure scoring games (110). He also finished among the Bears' all-time top five performers in rebounds (844), minutes (3,981), field goals (681), field goal attempts (1,550), three-pointers (240), three-point attempts (641), blocked shots (114) and steals (146). He is the only player in Missouri Valley Conference history to score 1,800 points, collect 800 rebounds and hit 200 three-pointers. He was a six-time MVC Player of the Week, 24-time Coors Player of the Week, and three-time all-conference honoree.
Also Monday, senior Isaiah Rhine (C, Versailles, Mo.) was selected as the 2011-12 recipient of the Guy Thompson Award. The award is presented annually to the men's basketball senior player who demonstrates outstanding character, leadership, athleticism and academic success. The Thompson Award is given in honor of former MSU registrar and long-time basketball public address announcer Guy Thompson.
Rhine earned MVC Scholar-Athlete second team honors this season after playing 27 games, including two starts. His 55 points this season was a career best for a season, and he played in 105 career games during his four seasons at MSU.
Conference award winners Weems, Rhine, Anthony Downing (Jr., Atchison, Kan.), Caleb Patterson (Sr., Ames, Okla.), Nathan Scheer (So., Washington, Mo.), Michael Bizoukas (Sr., Munster, Ind.) and Jarmar Gulley (Jr., Beaumont, Texas) were also honored and presented certificates from the Missouri Valley Conference office.
Weems was named to the All-MVC first team and claimed MVC Player of the Week once this season. Including an All-MVC second-team honor as a sophomore, Weems became a three-time all-conference pick.
Rhine and Scheer were both named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete second team, while Patterson landed a spot on the MVC Most-Improved Team. Downing was a four-time MVC Newcomer of the Week and earned MVC All-Newcomer distinction, while Bizoukas and Gulley each claimed MVC Newcomer of the Week honors twice each.
Other team awards presented were: Assists Award: Michael Bizoukas; Rebound Award: Kyle Weems; and Charges Taken Award: Keith Pickens.
The MSU Coors Players of the Week were also recognized for their contributions this season as follows.
2011-12 Coors Players of the Week
Nov. 6, 2011 at Nevada Caleb Patterson
Nov. 13, 2011 at Arkansas State, Emporia State Michael Bizoukas
Nov. 20, 2011 Tulsa Caleb Patterson
Nov. 27, 2011 at Oral Roberts, at New Mexico Jarmar Gulley
Dec. 4, 2011 Oklahoma State, at UALR Kyle Weems
Dec. 11, 2011 Kennesaw State Kyle Weems
Dec. 18, 2011 TAMCC, vs. West Virginia, vs. St. Mary's Caleb Patterson