April 8, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Followers of Bronco men's basketball were certainly well aware of junior transfer Doron Perkins' impact on the program this season. Wednesday night at the team's annual awards banquet, his teammates and coaches followed suit.
A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Perkins' teammates honored him with two of the program's annual awards -- Most Valuable Player and Best Defensive Player. In addition, senior center Jim Howell was honored with the Bruce Hale Most Inspirational Player award and freshman center Sean Denison earned the Nick Vanos Most Improved Player award.
The four annual awards are voted on by the members of the team and are presented each year by Head Coach Dick Davey at the team's annual season-ending banquet. This year's event was held in the Benson Center's Willimon Room on the Mission Campus.
In addition to handing-out the team awards, the banquet provided an opportunity to celebrate the recently completed season and honor the team's departing senior members. The senior class consisted of Howell, Alex Kargbo, J.R. Patrick and team manager Lizandro Carrasco. Each senior provided thoughts on their career and what their Santa Clara experience has meant to them. One of the highlights of the night was Carrasco relating to those in attendance of the dozens of good-natured names he was given by Davey throughout his career.
Perkins transferred to the Mission Campus from Southwestern Oregon Community College in the fall and led the team in scoring with an average of 13.3 points per game. One of two players from Alaska on the squad, along with junior Kyle Bailey (Fairbanks, Alaska), he also led the team and ranked second in the West Coast Conference in steals with an average of 2.0 per game.
An honorable mention all-West Coast Conference selection, Perkins scored a career-high 27 points at Pepperdine. However, his impressive 26-point, eight-rebound effort in the one-point loss to then-fourth-ranked Gonzaga on ESPN made college basketball observers take notice. His 63 steals on the season was the ninth-best single-season effort in school history and he was the only Bronco to play in all 32 games during the season.
Howell, a native of Newport, Ore., finished his career as the team's leading rebounder with an average of 5.6 boards per game last season. Unfortunately, his season ended prematurely after suffering a broken foot in a practice in Malibu prior to the mid-February contest at Pepperdine. He earned Academic-All West Coast Conference honors as a senior and completed his career having played in 107 games and starting 67. His 19-rebound effort as a junior at Loyola Marymount was one of the top single-game performances in school history.
Denison arrived on campus last fall as a member of the Canadian Junior National Team as a prep from Nelson, British Columbia. One of two Canadians on the team, along with senior J.R. Patrick (Edmonton, Alberta), Denison finished the season as one of the top freshman interior players in the WCC. He started the final seven games of the season in place of the injured Howell and, during that time, averaged 6.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.