USBWA awards dinner returns to St. Louis, three teams in the top 100 of the NET, and a former Saluki is honored, all in today's edition of the Saluki Basketball 5@5.
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No. 1 — USBWA's College Basketball Awards Dinner returns to St. Louis April 13: For the third straight year, the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis will host the U.S. Basketball Writers Association College Basketball Awards Dinner in April.
The event is scheduled for Monday, April 13. Tickets for the dinner are $150 each and will be available for purchase at email@example.com beginning on March 15. For additional information, contact Joe Mitch with the USBWA (314-795-6821) and Jim Wilson with the MAC (314-539-4488).
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season.
The association will award several annual awards that night, including the Oscar Robertson Trophy to the men's player of the year, the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award to the women's player of the year, the Henry Iba Award to the men's coach of the year, the Wayman Tisdale Award to the men's freshman of the year, the Tamika Catchings Award to the women's freshman of the year, and the women's coach of the year award.
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"The Missouri Athletic Club was the first to host this celebration of college basketball in 2005," said USBWA Executive Director Malcolm Moran. "We are excited to be in a partnership with the MAC and look forward to sharing this occasion with them."
No. 2 — Three teams in top 100: Three Valley teams were in the top 100 of the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings on Monday, led by Northern Iowa (14-2, 3-1 MVC) at No. 37. Bradley (12-5, 3-1) came in at No. 94 and Indiana State (9-6, 2-2) was No. 95. Three other teams were in the top 150, Loyola (114), Missouri State (145) and Drake (146).
SIU came in at No. 202 in the NET rankings, eighth-best in the Valley. Illinois State was 206 and Evansville was 249.
No. 3 — Former Saluki Evan Taylor honored by Patriot League: Lehigh freshman guard Evan Taylor, a former Saluki recruit, was the Patriot League rookie of the week, the league announced on Monday.
Taylor averaged 13.5 points and seven rebounds a game for the Mountain Hawks (5-11, 2-2 Patriot League) during their 1-1 split last week. He made 9 of 18 from the field to earn his first weekly honor from the league. Lehigh beat American 82-73 and lost to Boston University 84-67.
No. 4 — Bradley's Brown, Drake's Penn honored: Bradley guard Darrell Brown was named the MVC player of the week by the league on Monday. Drake guard Roman Penn was the Valley's newcomer of the week.
Brown averaged 18.5 points per game in wins over Evansville and SIU. The senior guard scored 16 points at Evansville and 21 against the Salukis in Peoria. Penn averaged 11.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game for the Bulldogs last week. Drake beat Loyola and lost to Valparaiso.
No. 5 — The week ahead: SIU is at Loyola Thursday night, then has three games the week of Jan. 20, beginning Sunday, Jan. 19, against Drake. The Salukis host Drake Sunday, host MVC leader Northern Iowa Wednesday at 8 p.m. (late start because it's on MVC-TV) and play at Illinois State on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m.
On Twitter: @THefferman