April 17, 2011

OXFORD, Ohio—Senior forward Nick Winbush (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) and freshman guard Antonio Ballard (Jeffersonville, Ind./Jeffersonville) and Julian Mavunga (Indianapolis, Ind./Brownsburg) also were multiple award winners.

Winbush was named the Holdie Wilson Spirit Award winner, which is given to a player who best demonstrates an unconditionally positive spirit. He also took home the Randy Gunlock Scholar-Athlete Award and received his Honorable Mention All-MAC certificate.

Winbush, Mock and Ballard were recognized as team captains for the 2010-11 season with the Charlie Coles Captain’s Award.

For the second-straight year, Mock was named the Marshall North Award winner, which is presented to the player who best exemplifies the virtue of loyalty—to the University, team and coaches—and whose personal sacrifice of time, effort and energy contribute materially to the advancement of the record of the team.

Ballard earned the Jamie Mercurio Award, which is given to the player who exemplifies courage, determination and perseverance. He battled injury throughout his entire career but continually persevered and was regarded as one of the best players in the Mid-American Conference this year. Despite suffering a season-ending injury at Central Michigan on Jan. 27, Ballard remained a visible presence and vital contributor to the team through the remainder of the season.

Mavunga was named the William Rohr Most Valuable Player. A First-Team All-MAC selection and NABC All-District 14 Second Team pick, Mavunga was the only MAC player to rank among the top 10 statistical leaders in points (16.1), rebounds (9.5) and assist (3.3) per game in MAC-only games. Mavunga, who also received his First-Team All-MAC medal, also earned the Wayne Embry Rebound Award. He averaged a team-leading 8.2 rebounds per game on the season and led the MAC in conference-only games in rebounding. Although an award has been given in past years for the most rebounds, this is the first year it is given in the name of Miami great Wayne Embry, the most prolific rebounder in program history.

In the 36 times the Richard Shrider Defensive Player of the Year Award has been given out since 1968 (the award was not given from 1984 to 1991), Rollins became the first freshman to capture honor. Despite being sidelined by injury for nine games, he led Miami in steals and was a consistent defensive presence for the RedHawks. Rollins, who started 19 games and averaged 27.6 minutes per game over 24 games for the RedHawks, was named the Arthur and Olga Adkins Newcomer of the Year and also earned the Dr. Terry Hunt Free Throw Award. He hit a team-leading 83.7 percent of his free throws for the season, missing on just seven attempts the entire season.

The Darrell Hedric Most Improved Player Award went to sophomore guard Orlando Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio/Princeton). Williams played in all 33 games, making 30 starts for the RedHawks. He averaged 9.8 ppg for Miami and hit a team-leading 39.6 percent of his 3-point field goals.

The RedHawks (16-17; 11-5 MAC) finished with the second-best MAC record and made the program’s 25th postseason appearance with its selection to the 2011 College Basketball Invitational.

A recap of the award winners:
Nick Winbush
Jamie Mercurio Award (courage): Nick Winbush
William Rohr Most Valuable Player: Julian Mavunga