With the season coming to an unfortunate end on Wednesday night that meant it was time for me to email all The Champaign Room contributors to get their opinions on which Illini should win the first annual Champaign Room Basketball Awards.
While we don't have actual trophies to give out, if we did they'd be the Illinois bottle of champagne you see in our logo. They'd be made of solid gold and would be a devastating weapon in any street fight, bar fight, midget fight, dog fight, bear fight or zombie apocalypse.
Here's how we decided the awards. I made up the categories and then I emailed them to Will Leitch, Mark Primiano and Jack Cassidy and told them to give me their top three in each category. First place was worth three points, second was worth two and third place was worth a point. I then added up all the points, added the points from my ballot, and hey, look at that, we have our awards.
So let's get to it.
BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE IN A GAME
The award goes to.....Brandon Paul for his 35-point performance against Gonzaga. It was a game that put both the Illini and Brandon Paul on the map this season, as he was getting mentioned as a National Player of the Year Candidate afterward. I voted for this game as well, but it was not unanimous, as Primiano went with Tracy Abrams' game against Auburn just because he was there.
Cassidy was much smarter and had this to say on Brandon's game: "For my money, the best game Brandon Paul has ever played. Point to the 43-point performance against Ohio State if you want, but that game was just shots falling. It was getting lucky. The Gonzaga game, on the other hand, was not. BP was getting to the lane, driving to the hoop and taking what was given to him. It was damn beautiful."
Overall Results (12 points is unanimous)
- Brandon Paul against Gonzaga - 11 points
- D.J. Richardson against Nebraska - 7
- Tracy Abrams against Auburn - 3
- Tyler Griffey against Indiana - 2
- Joseph Bertrand against Georgia Tech - 1
BEST GAME AS A TEAM
- Gonzaga win - 9 points
- Indiana win - 7 points
- Miami loss - 4 points
- Butler win - 3 points
- USC win - 1 point
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
- Nnanna Egwu - 12
- Tracy Abrams - 8
- Tyler Griffey - 2
- Joseph Bertrand - 2
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
- Brandon Paul - 12
- D.J. Richardson - 8
- Nnanna Egwu - 2
- Tracy Abrams - 2