April 23, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University guard Brian Jones was honored as the Most Valuable Player as well as the Best Defensive Player at the Broncos' men's basketball banquet Monday night in the Benson Memorial Center on the Mission campus.
Senior walk-on Dustin Warford was awarded the Bruce Hale Most Inspirational Award for his tireless contribution to the Santa Clara men's basketball program. His impressive dedication to the game of basketball and his team-oriented attitude earned him the honor.
Senior Jamie Holmes and junior transfer Steve Ross shared the Nick Vanos Most Improved Award. Holmes, a senior forward from Merced, Calif., became a first-team all-West Coast Conference selection this season after losing nearly 20 pounds and serving as a team co-captain. He increased his scoring average by over four points per game and was the league's second-best rebounder, averaging 7.4 per game. Ross, who transferred to Santa Clara from the University of San Diego, became eligible on Dec. 17 and evolved into one of the WCC's most dangerous offensive threats. He earned WCC Player of the Week honors late in the season.
A three-time all-WCC selection, Jones ended his Bronco career this past season as the first player in the history of Division I basketball in the state of California to record over 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a career. He became Santa Clara's all-time leader in assists, games started and field goal attempts.
The team's four seniors were honored at the banquet. In addition to Jones, Holmes and Warford, the Broncos lose center Stephen Dely, a native of South Africa, to graduation. Each player gave a brief speech at the banquet, showing appreciation for the opportunity they received and providing some highlights of their careers.
Santa Clara finished the regular-season with a 20-12 record and was just three points shy of advancing to the NCAA Tournament with an 80-77 loss to Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament championship game. The Broncos went 10-4 in league play and finished third overall after being selected fifth in preseason polling of the WCC coaches.