USC Celebrates 2016-17 Season With Men's Basketball Banquet|
April 12, 2017
LOS ANGELES -- Chimezie Metu won three awards and Bennie Boatwright, Sam Dhillon, Jonah Mathews, De'Anthony Melton and Jordan McLaughlin also were honored with an award at the 2016-17 USC Men's Basketball Awards Banquet held in the Founders Room at Galen Center on campus tonight (April 12).
The sophomore forward Metu was a three-time winner as he was named the Harold Jones Memorial Award winner as USC's most improved player, the Bob Boyd Award winner as the team's top rebounder and the Ryan Francis Scholarship Receipent as being the best example of being a Trojan. Metu averaged 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds while starting all 36 games for the Trojans. He also led the team with 55 blocks and 80 dunks. Following the regular season, Metu was named the Pac-12's Most Improved Player, named to the All-Conference second team and was selected honorable mention on the Pac-12 All-Academic Team.
Junior guard Jordan McLaughlin was given the Ernie Holbrook Award as the most inspirational player on the team. The USC co-captain averaged 12.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game and was also named All-Pac-12 honorable mention this season. Heading into his senior season, McLaughlin ranks second on USC's all-time assist list (457), eighth on its steals list (141) and 22nd on the all-time Trojan scoring list (1,188 points).
Boatwright, a sophomore co-captain, was given the Bill Sharman Awared for having the best free throw percentage on the team. Boatwright made 90.7 percent of his free throws (68-for-75) and had his time not been limited due to injury, may have broken the school single-season record of 86.7 percent from the line (2.5 attempts per game) set by Maurice Williams in 1981. Boatwright made 34 consecutive free throws from Feb. 9 to March 4, which fell seven short of the school record of 41 consecutive makes set by David Bluthenthal in 2000-01. Boatwright played in 19 games and averaged a team-high 15.1 points per game, while grabbing 4.7 rebounds per contest. He also tied for second on the team with 47 three-point baskets, despite missing 17 games.
The Forrest F. Twogood Award for being USC's best defensive player was given to the freshman guard Melton. He led the team with 69 steals, was third in blocks (37), second in assists (125) and second in rebounds (170). Melton started 25 of USC's 36 games and averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. His 69 steals led all Pac-12 players and tied for the most ever by a USC freshman. Melton was also named honorable mention on the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.
USC's other freshman guard Mathews was selected as the John Rudometkin Award recipient for giving 110-percent effort. Mathews averaged 7.0 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. He also was third on the team in steals (31) and fourth in three-point baskets made (42). He appeared in 35 games and made three starts.
Senior forward Samer Dhillon was named the Dr. James H. Zumberge Academic Award recipient as having the team's top GPA (3.54) for the fourth consecutive season. Dhillon played in seven games and scored three points. He nailed a three-pointer on Senior Day vs. Washington on March 4, the only three-point basket he made in his Trojan career.
The following is a list of all of tonight's award winners:
The Harold Jones Award (Most Improved) -- Chimezie Metu Bob Boyd Award (Top Rebounder) -- Chimezie Metu Ryan Francis Scholarship (Example of Being a Trojan) -- Chimezie Metu Bill Sharman Award (Top FT Percentage) -- Bennie Boatwright Forrest F. Twogood (Best Defensive Player) -- De'Anthony Melton Dr. James Zumberge Award (Top GPA) -- Samer Dhillon John Rudometkin Awar (110% Effort) -- Jonah Mathews Ernie Holbrook Award (Most Inspirational) -- Jordan McLaughlin