April 14, 2005
ATLANTA – Senior guard B.J. Elder was given the Georgia Tech basketball team’s “Excellence Award” signifying outstanding achievement both on the basketball court and in the classroom, at Thursday night’s men’s basketball year-end banquet.
More than 250 people, including players, their families, Tech athletics officials and fans, gathered at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center to celebrate the Yellow Jackets’ season, which included a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, and third in five seasons under head coach Paul Hewitt, and a second straight 20-win campaign for the first time since 1989-90.
Tech’s senior class, including Elder, Isma’il Muhammad, Anthony McHenry, Luke Schenscher and Will Bynum, finished careers in which they ushered in a new era of success on the hardwood for the Yellow Jackets, compiling a 79-53 record in four years and post-season appearances in each of the last three seasons.
Elder, a senior from Madison, Ga., finished his career No. 13 on Tech’s all-time scoring list with 1,616 career points, and fourth on the career chart for three-point field goals (222). He averaged 13.2 points over his career (12.6 per game as a senior), and will be within a semester of earning his management degree after the current term.
Also honored Friday night was junior guard Jarrett Jack, a second-team all-ACC choice and an honorable mention all-America, as Tech’s top scorer (15.5 points per game), while senior center Luke Schenscher (7.3 rebounds per game) was honored as the Best Rebounder, and senior forward Anthony McHenry, long considered Tech’s best defensive player, was honored as Mr. Defense.
The Best Playmaker award went to senior Will Bynum, who worked hard to involve his teammates in the offense this year even as his role this year as a scorer increased.
Senior captain Isma’il Muhammad, who has battled injuries the last two seasons, received the Michael Isenhour Inspiration Award, named for the former Tech letterman who died in 2002 after a battle with leukemia. Muhammad, the Most Outstanding Player in leading Tech to the 2003 Preseason NIT title, averaged 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds this season.
Sophomore guard Mario West, who played in 30 games and was a key factor defensively in all 16 conference games and the post-season, was named the Most Improved Player.
Keith Jones, a walk-on guard who has made the Dean’s List each semester in Computer Engineering, was honored as Tech’s top student-athlete.