Ole Miss Basketball Banquet Held Tuesday Night At Tad Smith Coliseum

April 10, 2001

OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss basketball squad held its annual postseason awards banquet Tuesday at Tad Smith Coliseum, and the 2001 seniors-the winningest class in Rebel history-walked away with most of the hardware. Of the 11 awards presented, the 2001 senior class, which posted 88 victories over the last four seasons, received nine.

Rahim Lockhart, a 2001 All-Southeastern Conference first team pick, was named the team's Most Valuable Player and was also awarded the W.L. "Mr. Bill" Watt honor. The Watt Award is given to the player who perseveres and has a "never-give-up" attitude. Lockhart won the Rebound Award and shared the squad's Best Defensive Player honor with Jason Flanigan.

In addition to being named Best Defensive Player with Lockhart, Flanigan received the Rod Barnes "Heart of a Champion" Award, which is given to the Ole Miss player who-like Barnes-strives for excellence on and off the court. Flanigan, who set the school record for most career games played with 127, began his professional basketball career Tuesday with the Memphis Houn'Dawgs in ABA 2000 playoffs.

Seniors John Engstrom and Jason Holmes also took home honors from Tuesday's banquet. Engstrom, who was named to the SEC Academic Honor for the third straight year in 2001, received the team's Scholar-Athlete Award and was also presented with the C. Leroy Mullins Champion's Heart and Bonnie "Country" Graham awards. The Mullins honors is awarded to a senior student-athlete at Ole Miss who overcomes multiple injuries to continue his or her athletic career, while the Graham recipient is the player who exhibits the most positive attitude on the squad. Holmes, who played an integral role in the Rebels' success in 2000-01, was honored with the squad's Most Improved Player Award.

Junior Jason Harrison was the lone non-senior to be recognized, as he was honored with the Assists and Free Throw awards.

The Rebels finished its most successful campaign in school history in 2000-01 with a 27-8 overall record and an 11-5 SEC mark. Ole Miss won the SEC Western Division title, advanced to the SEC Tournament championship game and earned an NCAA Tournament bid. The Rebels, which advanced to their first NCAA Tournament "Sweet 16," was ranked No. 9 in the final ESPN/USA Today Top 25 poll, the program's highest ranking ever.

2000-01 Ole Miss Basketball Award Winners

Rebound Award - Rahim Lockhart

Assists Award - Jason Harrison

Free Throw Award - Jason Harrison

Most Improved Player - Jason Holmes

Best Defensive Player (tie) - Rahim Lockhart and Jason Flanigan

Most Valuable Player - Rahim Lockhart

Scholar-Athlete of the Year - John Engstrom

W.L. "Mr. Bill" Watt Award - Rahim Lockhart

Bonnie "Country" Graham Award - John Engstrom

C. Leroy Mullins Champion's Heart Award - John Engstrom

Rod Barnes "Heart of a Champion" Award - Jason Flanigan

 

 

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