March 31, 2008
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men's basketball standout Jaycee Carroll has been named one of five finalists for the Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award. The winner will be announced at the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas on April 2, 2008.
Other finalists for the Chip Hilton Award include Adam Emmenecker of Drake, Shan Foster of Vanderbilt, Mike Green of Butler and Cliff Hammonds of Clemson.
The Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award honors a senior Division I men's player for demonstrating outstanding character, leadership and talent similar to the qualities evident in the 24-book Chip Hilton sports fiction series. The books authored by Clair Bee enjoyed their first popularity in the late 1940s through the mid-1960s and were updated and re-released to a new generation of readers in 1999.
Coach Clair F. Bee, the late Long Island University coach and Hall of Famer, compiled an .826 lifetime winning percentage, still the best in major-college coaching history. Known as the "Innovator", Clair Bee's influence on the game also extended to strategies, (1-3-1 zone defense), (3-second rule), sports camps (Camp All-America), (Kutsher's Sports Academy), writing technical coaching books, and conducting coaching clinics around the world. By the time he left coaching in the 1950s, Clair Bee had already begun writing the Chip Hilton Sports Series, which are considered the top sports fiction series ever written.
Chip Hilton Sports and the Basketball Hall of Fame began presenting the Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award in 1997 as a way to honor outstanding excellence and character in college basketball during the past season.
The selection committee for the award is composed of Dan Beebe, Jay Bilas, Dave Gavitt, Bob Hammel, Bob Knight, Pete Newell, Billy Packer, Dean Smith and Dick Vitale.
Carroll, a 6-2 senior All-American guard from Evanston, Wyo., led Utah State to a 24-11 record and a share of its first-ever Western Athletic Conference regular season championship this year as USU posted a 12-4 league mark. Utah State also recorded its ninth-straight 23-win season and advanced to its ninth-straight postseason, appearing in the National Invitation Tournament.
As a senior, Carroll finished the season first in the nation in three-point shooting at 49.8 percent, was second in free throw shooting at 91.9 percent, and 13th in scoring with 22.4 points per game as he was named the WAC's Player of the Year.
Other honors received by Carroll this season including being named a United States Basketball Writer's Association All-District VIII selection, a National Association of Basketball Coaches District 14 second-team selection, a second-team high-major All-American by CollegeHoops.net, and one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
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