Men's Basketball Hands Out Honors At Annual Postseason Banquet
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - Drake University senior Richard Carter (Detroit, Mich.) was named the 2013-14 men’s basketball team’s Most Valuable Player as voted by his teammates during the team’s annual postseason banquet on Sunday, April 13 at the Sheraton - West Des Moines.
In addition to Carter’s honor, Karl Madison (Springfield, Ill.) was named the team’s Best Defender while senior Seth VanDeest (Bettendorf, Iowa) collected a pair of team awards. The center earned the Bulldogs’ Leading Rebounder and Most Charges Taken awards.
“As a coaching staff, we ask ourselves if we maximized our potential and got the best out of our 13 student-athletes in the program,” first-year head coach Ray Giacoletti told the audience. “It’s a credit to these young men that I think we were able to get pretty close to that this year.”
Carter was named team MVP after a senior season that saw him earn honorable mention all-Missouri Valley Conference honors while leading the team and finishing fourth in the MVC in scoring at 16.6 points per game. While starting every game, he was also sixth in the league in assists (3.8 per game) and fourth in steals (1.8 per game). However, it was what he did outside of the stat sheet that earned him MVP-like respect from his teammates and coaches.
“His smile is infectious and if you can’t get excited about Richard when you meet him, you don’t have a pulse,” Giacoletti said of his team’s MVP. “I can only remember two practices out of more than 140 this seasons where we felt we had a tough day and didn’t get the most out of it. That was because of Richard. It had nothing to do with scoring or assists. It had to do with his attitude and ability to not allow the team to have a bad day. That’s an amazing skill. He made it his job.”
Madison’s Best Defender award was voted on by his teammates who faced the junior reserve guard in practice every day. In game action, he had 21 total steals and 2.2 points per game.
VanDeest, the team’s lone fifth-year senior, was honored with a pair of statistical awards thanks to leading the team in rebounding and charges taken as charted by the coaching staff. He hauled in five rebounds per game despite playing less than 20 minutes per outing. Earning the Most Charges Taken award was emblematic of his Drake career that saw him overcome injury and hardship to selflessly sacrifice his body for his team.
“Over the years, I can’t think of anyone I’ve watched fight through injury like Seth VanDeest,” Giacoletti said. “Most have no idea what it took for this young man just to be able to practice. Seth is one of the best post players in the conference when he’s 100 percent. You see people’s true colors through adversity and his will and ability to keep fighting through shows character and the success he will have.”
The Bulldogs were joined by more than 100 fans and supporters of the program at the banquet that featured season-ending remarks from Coach Giacoletti following his first season in Des Moines and comments from Drake director of athletics Sandy Hatfield Clubb.