BYU Basketball Season Review: VTF Awards Show

Welcome to the VTF Awards Show! In another look back at the 2011-2012 BYU basketball season, each editor, writer, and contributor of Vanquish The Foe (10 total voters) cast ballots for individual awards. Each voter cast a ballot for first (3 points), second (2 points), and third (1 point) places in each category. The first award goes to ...

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER - NOAH HARTSOCK

Per game stats (team rank):
16.8 points (1st) ... 5.0 reb (3rd) ... 1.5 assists (7th) ... 1.6 blocks (1st) ... 30.9 minutes (1st) ... 56.5% FG (1st) ... 84.2% FT (1st) ... 34.3% 3PT (5th)

In an unanimous vote, VTF names Noah Hartsock as the most valuable player for BYU's 2011-12 campaign. The senior was an absolute rock for a team with an inexperienced, inconsistent guard line, for all intents and purposes played through a rough leg injury, and finished first on the team in several statistical categories.

Hartsock's jumper either from the baseline or the turnaround at the foul line were nearly automatic. His post play was gritty, and his back to the basket abilities helped the BYU offense stay as high-scoring as it's been known to be over the last several years. He likely led the nation in surprising, sneaky blocks. Hartsock affected or blocked more shots than a 6-8, white, balding forward would ever be expected to.

After playing third fiddle to Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery last season, it feels like we were just barely getting to know The Machine. But it was a great ride, watching Hartsock work. Cheers, our bad-joke-telling machine.

MVP VOTING (1st place votes)
Noah Hartsock (10) . . . . . . . . . . 30
Brandon Davies (unan. 2nd). . . .20
Charles Abouo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Brock Zylstra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Matt Carlino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - NOAH HARTSOCK

Statistically, when you lead the team in points, field goal percentage, and free throw percentage, you are clearly the offensive MVP. When you put up a baseline jumper and fans are shocked when it *doesn't* go in, you are the offensive MVP. For that, our voters again picked Hartsock unanimously for this award.

OPOY VOTING
Noah Hartsock (10) . . . . . . . . . .30
Brandon Davies . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Matt Carlino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Brock Zylstra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Charles Abouo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - BRANDON DAVIES

Per-game stats (team rank):
7.7 rebounds (1st) ... 1.5 steals (1st) ... 1.3 blocks (2nd)

The Cougars' leading stealer and rebounder beat Hartsock for the defensive POY award. Brandon Davies showed times of absolute domination, like when he pulled down 22 rebounds against San Diego, and when he was responsible for 8 steals at Portland. While edged slightly by Hartsock in blocks per game (1.6 to 1.3), the per-40-minutes block stats are even closer. He had just one game with more than 2 blocks, but had six games of 3+ steals, and had nine games of 10+ rebounds. Looking forward to one more year with the big man.

DPOY VOTING
Brandon Davies (4). . . . . . . . . . .21
Noah Hartsock (4). . . . . . . . . . . .15
Charles Abouo (2) . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Nate Austin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Anson Winder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Craig Cusick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Brock Zylstra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR - MATT CARLINO

Per-game stats (freshmen rank):
12.2 points (1st) ... 4.6 assists (1st frosh and team) ... 3.0 rebounds (2nd) ... 1.4 steals (1st) ... 40.1 FG% (2nd) ... 75.9 FT% (1st frosh, 2nd team) ... 33.1 3PT% (1st)

The anticipated freshman campaign of Matt Carlino started with a bang when he saw his first time in the 11th game of the season. In the three-point loss to Baylor, Carlino scored 18 points on 50% field goal and three point shooting. His game was inconsistent all year in both shooting and turnovers, but putting aside the frustrating times, Carlino showed plenty of promise on very little real-game experience. In the home win over Gonzaga, Carlino scored 18 points on 7-13 shooting with five assists. And in his best game of the year, the lefty scored 20 points in the first eight minutes of the game at San Francisco -- he would finish with 30 points on 13-19 (4-7 from three) shooting with four rebounds and three assists.

FPOY VOTING
Matt Carlino (8) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Nate Austin (2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Anson Winder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Damarcus Harrison. . . . . . . . . . . .1

UNSUNG HERO - CRAIG CUSICK

Per-game stats (team rank):
3.1 points (10th) ... 2.1 assists (3rd) ... 1.5 rebounds (9th) ... 16.8 minutes (6th) ... 0.7 turnovers (2nd of players averaging 10+ min/game)

While an argument could be made for Anson Winder's job in holding down the point-guard position while BYU waited for Carlino to become eligible after his transfer, the VTF staff has awarded Craig Cusick with the Unsung Hero award for the 2011-12 basketball season. He edged out Nate Austin in the closest vote of this awards show. His heady play and steady hand kept BYU in contact during times when Carlino was perhaps a little too erratic. No game embodies Cusick's contributions better than the comeback win against Iona in the NCAA tournament. After bad shooting and worse decision making finally forced Carlino to the bench early in the second half, Cusick headed the slow, decisive comeback run. He scored zero points that night, but dished eight assists, grabbed five rebounds, and and nabbed two steals. Craig Cusick, your heroics are no longer unsung.

UNSUNG VOTING
Craig Cusick (4) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Nate Austin (4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Brock Zylstra (1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Anson Winder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Charles Abouo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Mark Pope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER - NOAH HARTSOCK

Hartsock shouldered the load of Jimmer's absence, and the VTF staff has given him his third award in the final award of the show. Though he took an average of almost five more shots per game this year than he did last, Hartsock shot the highest percentage of his BYU career of the three years he was a heavy rotational player -- all while still rebounding and blocking shots at the same rate he did in previous years. He therefore doubled his scoring average, and surprised many of us with his ability to perform at such a high level so consistently. Congrats, Noah. You deserve all the recognition.

MIP VOTING
Noah Hartsock (6). . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Brock Zylstra (3). . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Brandon Davies . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Damarcus Harrison . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Craig Cusick (1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Charles Abouo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Anson Winder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

(Those who voted for freshman explain that the most-improved vote can also be for improvement from game #1 to game #35.)

* * * * *
Thanks for joining us for the 2011-2012 BYU Basketball VTF Awards Show.

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