April 9, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Seniors Toney Douglas, Uche Echefu and Brian Hoff, who led the Seminoles to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998 and into the ACC Tournament championship game for the first time in school history, were honored at the annual Florida State men’s basketball banquet at the Tom and Ginny Futch Ballroom at the University Center Club. Douglas, the fourth player in school history to earn All-ACC First-Team honors, took home the Bob Sura Most Outstanding Offensive Player Award, the Otto Petty Most Assists Award, the Charlie Ward Outstanding Defensive Player Award, was named the team’s top 3-point field goal shooter and was presented with an award for serving as one of the Seminoles’ captains during the season. Echefu earned awards for the best free throw percentage award, a team captain award and was presented with the Tip of the Spear while Hoff earned the Most Outstanding Student Athlete Award and his captain’s award.
Florida State finished the 2008-09 season with a 25-10 record, was a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, finished in fourth place in the ACC standings with a 10-6 record, played in the ACC Tournament championship game for the first time in school history and had an All-ACC First Team pick (Douglas) for the second time in three seasons. The Seminoles’ 25 wins is tied for second most in school history while their 10 conference wins is the third highest in school history. It marked the first time since the 1992-93 season that the Seminoles had won at least 10 ACC games in a single season. The Seminoles were ranked 16th in the final Associated Press poll and 22nd in the final ESPN/USA Today poll of the season.
Douglas, one of the most decorated players in the history of the program, earned All-American Third Team and All-ACC First Team honors and was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and the ACC Player of the Year Runner-Up. He led the ACC in scoring with a 21.3 points per game average and finished third in the league in overall steals with 63. Douglas established a school record with 751 points and closed his career ranked fifth in school history with 1,655 points despite spending his freshman season at Auburn.
It was no surprise that Echefu won the Best Free Throw Percentage Award as the Lagos, Nigeria native shot an impressive 84.8 percent from the free throw line as a senior. That percentage ranks seventh all-time in school history for a single season. Echefu shot 77 percent or higher from the line in each of his last three seasons and finished his career with a 79.8 percent mark, fifth best all-time for a career in school history. The senior was also second in rebounding on the Seminoles’ 2009 NCAA Tournament squad, averaging 5.2 rebounds per game.
Freshman Solomon Alabi also earned some hardware as he picked up the Most Improved Student Athlete Award, the Best Field Goal Percentage Award, the Dave Cowens Chairman of the Boards Award and the Most Improved Player Award. The 7-footer led the Seminoles with a .540 shooting mark from the field and 197 total rebounds (5.6 per game). The Kaduna, Nigeria native was Florida State’s second leading scorer as he averaged 8.4 points per game and was one of just two Seminoles (Douglas is the other) to start all 35 games for the Garnet and Gold.
Florida State, which was one of seven teams in the 2009 NCAA Tournament that had a 100 percent graduation rate, honored three student-athletes for their academic achievement. Freshman Luke Loucks, who earned a 3.45 grade point average during his first semester on campus was presented with the First Year Academic Achievement Award. Solomon Alabi earned the Most Improved Student Athlete Award and Hoff took home the Outstanding Student Athlete Award.
AWARD WINNER First Year Academic Achievement Award Luke Loucks Most Improved Student Athlete Award Solomon Alabi Outstanding Student Athlete Award Brian Hoff Best Field Goal Percentage Award Solomon Alabi Sixth Man Award Jordan DeMercy Mr. Hustle Jordan DeMercy, Deividas Dulkys, Chris Singleton Best 3-Point Field Goal Percentage Toney Douglas Best Free Throw Percentage Award Uche Echefu Otto Petty Most Assists Award Toney Douglas Dave Cowens Chairman of the Boards Award Solomon Alabi Bob Sura Most Outstanding Offensive Player Toney Douglas Charlie Ward Outstanding Defensive Player Award Toney Douglas Unsung Hero Ryan Reid Xavier Gibson Most Improved Player Award Solomon Alabi Tip of The Spear Award Uche Echefu, Jordan DeMercy, Derwin Kitchen Team Captain Awards Toney Douglas, Uche Echefu Brian Hoff Lettermen's Certificates Toney Douglas, Uche Echefu Brian Hoff