Tribe hands out end-of-the-year awards

  • Danny SumnerThe William and Mary men's basketball team handed out its yearly awards at its annual banquet recently. Junior Danny Sumner highlighted the award winners, claiming the team's most valuable player honors.

    Courtesy photos

    Danny Sumner
The William and Mary men's basketball team handed out its yearly awards at its annual banquet recently. Junior Danny Sumner highlighted the award winners, claiming the team's most valuable player honors, while both senior Peter Stein and junior David Schneider took home three awards each.

Sumner finished the year averaging 13.4 points per game to go along with 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest. The Fairfax, Va., native led the Tribe in scoring on a team-best 15 occasions, while also recording a pair of double-doubles on the year. He finished the year ranked No. 12 in the CAA in scoring, No. 13 in 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage and No. 14 in field goal percentage.

Sumner became the first Tribe player in nearly 40 years to score 20-plus points in five straight games during the 2008-09 season. During the stretch, he scored a career-best 30 points to go along with 11 rebounds against Navy, becoming the first W&M player since 1961 to register a game of at least 30 points and 10 rebounds. For his efforts, he was named CAA Player of the Week and also garnered Liberty Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament honors as well during the season. In the Tribe's regular season finale against Drexel, Sumner knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer with 29 seconds remaining to give the College the Senior Night victory.

For the second straight season, Stein walked away with the W&M awards for toughness and defense. He also added the Mark Batzel Award, which is given to the player that displays leadership, determination, mental toughness and heart, while having the ability to instill those qualities in his teammates, to his haul of awards. Stein finished his senior season with a team-best 25 charges taken to go along with averages of 5.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest. He appeared in all 30 W&M contests, garnering 22 starts. Stein finished his career ranking the Tribe all-time best in games played, minutes played, blocked shots and field goal percentage. His 118 career games played ranks as the third most in school history, while his field goal percentage of 52.1 percent is the eighth best in W&M annals.

Schneider also took home three honors at the banquet, including two of the distinction for the third time in his collegiate career. The Phoenix, Ariz., native was named the winner of the Kraze Award as well
as taking home the Green and Gold's top honors in assists and free throw percentage. It marked the second straight season he won the free throw award and the third consecutive year he took home the assists and Kraze Awards. Schneider finished the 2008-09 season averaging 2.7 assists per game, while shooting 84.6 percent from the free throw line.

He ranked 15th in the CAA in assists per game and second in free throw percentage. Schneider is third in W&M history in career assist-to-turnover ratio, while ranking 14th in career assists. His 80.6 career free throw percentage ranks sixth in the program's annals.

Schneider is one of only two multiple Kraze Award winners and is the first in school history to receive the accolade on three occasions. The award was named after John Kratzer, who was the captain of the Tribe in 1977-78. He received the inaugural United States Basketball Writers Association Most Courageous Athlete award. Kratzer lettered two years with the Tribe, before being diagnosed with cancer and battled the disease for three more years. Throughout the ordeal, he continued to provide an inspiration to the Tribe and provided the major emotional lift that allowed the College to upset No. 2 North Carolina, 78-75, on Dec. 7, 1977. Schneider capped off the 2008-09 season being named to the All-CAA  third team as well as the CAA All-Academic first team for the second straight season.

Sophomore forward Marcus Kitts was named the Tribe's most improved player. The Holly Springs, N.C., native finished the year averaging 3.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, but really came on as the season progressed. He provided W&M with a presence in the low post and started eight of the Tribe's final 10 games. In those eight starts, Kitts' numbers rose to six points and 3.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 73.3 percent from the floor in 15.9 minutes per contest. He tallied a career-high 11 points in the Tribe's win over South Carolina State at the Liberty Thanksgiving Classic. Prior to the 2008-09 season, Kitts represented the United States playing for Athletes in Action at the 2008 William Jones Cup in Taipei, Taiwan and helped the squad to the silver medal.

Freshman forward Quinn McDowell took home the Tribe's rebounding award, leading the Green and Gold on the glass at 4.4 boards per contest.

The Mason, Ohio native led the Tribe in rebounds on a team-best seven occasions. He was named the CAA Rookie of the Week on three occasions on his way to garnering a spot on the CAA All-Rookie Team. McDowell ranked among the top CAA rookies in points, rebounds and minutes per game as well as field goal, free throw and 3-point percentage. He finished the year averaging 9.3 points per game, while shooting a team-best 50 percent from the floor and 38.2 percent from 3-point range. McDowell also connected on 79.7 percent from the free throw line.

The College also handed out its captain's cups to its quartet of team captains. Stein, Schneider, senior Chris Darnell and junior Sean McCurdy all served as team captains for the squad during the 2008-09 season. W&M Director of Academic Support for Athletics Jason Simms was named the Tribe's Sixth Man Award winner for his hard work and dedication throughout the year.

Men's Basketball Awards
Team MVP: Danny Sumner
Most Improved: Marcus Kitts
Kraze Award: David Schneider
Mark Batzel Award: Peter Stein
Assists Award: David Schneider
Defense Award: Peter Stein
Rebound Award: Quinn McDowell
Free Throw Award: David Schneider
Toughness Award: Peter Stein
Captain's Cups: Peter Stein, Chris Darnell, Sean McCurdy, David Schneider
Sixth Man Award: Jason Simms