March 4, 2012
AUBURN--Junior Frankie Sullivan was presented the most prestigious award, the Paul Lambert/Tommy Joe Eagles Memorial Trophy for Leadership, while senior Kenny Gabriel was named the Most Valuable Player at the 23rd annual Auburn Basketball Awards Banquet on Sunday at The Hotel at Auburn University.
The Lambert-Eagles Memorial Trophy is given in memory of Auburn's 15th head basketball coach, Paul Lambert, who died in a hotel fire on June 6, 1978, in Columbus, Ga., and Tommy Joe Eagles, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack on July 30, 1994, two months after becoming the head coach at New Orleans.
Sullivan is averaging 12.6 points on the season while Gabriel is averaging 12.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. Gabriel, who collected three awards, was also named the Outstanding Defensive Player and Chairman of the Boards Award for rebounding. The Charlotte, N.C., native is ranked second in the SEC with 2.6 blocks, is seventh in the league in rebounding and fourth with 5.7 defensive rebounds per game.
Josh Wallace won the Playmaker Award for the second consecutive season and claimed the Bill Lynn Scholar-Athletic Award. Attending Auburn on an engineering scholarship, Wallace has played in all 30 games and has a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He had a season-high 11 points at Seton Hall and six rebounds and six assists at Arkansas.
Allen Payne garnered the Sonny Smith Sportsmanship Award while freshman Willy Kouassi was presented the Newcomer of the Year Award.
Adrian Forbes earned the Most Improved Player Award as he has played in 28 games, starting six, and shooting 54.0 percent from the floor. Rob Chubb won the Iron Man Ward for starting all 30 games of the season while also recording his first career double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds at LSU.
The Unsung Player Award was presented to Tony Neysmith
, Noel Johnson
and Josh Langford
while the Outstanding Teammate Award went to Dylan Spencer
and T.J. Rice
The final award announced on the evening was the Sixth Man Award that Coach Tony Barbee presented to the Auburn Student Body for its outstanding support throughout the season and making Auburn Arena one of the loudest venues in the SEC. Ten members of The Jungle were in attendance to accept the award.
Auburn has eclipsed last season's overall and SEC wins by going 15-15 overall and 5-11 in the SEC. The Tigers play Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament first round on Thursday at 6:30 pm Central in New Orleans.