Cooks Claims 2008-09 Missouri State Player of the Year Honors
Missouri State senior Chris Cooks (F, Idabel, Okla.) was named as Missouri State's 2008-09 Coors Player of the Year at a presentation Sunday during the team's annual awards banquet in Springfield.
Cooks averaged 12.4 points per game for the Bears this season and started 26 of the squad's 31 contests. He was also the team's top rebounder at 6.5 per contest and finished second on the team in assists (70) and third in three-pointers (36) and steals (28). He was a Missouri Valley Conference Honorable Mention all-conference pick this season after being named to the league's All-Bench team in 2007-08. He also earned MVC Player of the Week honors on January 19 after posting back-to-back 20-point games in games against Wichita State and Illinois State.
Fellow senior Spencer Laurie (G, Springfield, Mo.) was selected as the 2008-09 recipient of the Guy Thompson Award for outstanding character, leadership, athleticism and academic success.
Laurie was the team's top three-pointer shooter this season with 48 and averaged 8.4 points per game in 27 contests, starting 16. He finished third on the team in assists (68) and tied Cooks for third on the squad in steals (28). He also made 148 three-pointers in his three seasons with the Bears which ranks No. 4 all-time by a Missouri State player.
Conference award winners Will Creekmore (So., C, Tulsa, Okla.), Ryan Jehle (So., F, Overland Park, Kan.) and Kyle Weems (Fr., F, Topeka, Kan.) were also recognized for their achievements.
Creekmore was named to the MVC All-Bench Team and was a Second Team Academic All-Conference selection after averaging 7.7 points and 5.7 rebounds for the squad this season with a 3.58 grade point average. Jehle was an Academic All-Conference Honorable Mention nominee with a 3.87 GPA in Computer Information Systems and averaged 4.9 points and 3.4 rebounds.
Weems was named to the MVC All-Freshman team after scoring 316 points in his first campaign with the Bears -- the fourth-best by a freshman in school history and second among Valley freshmen this year. He was the team's top field goal scorer (115) and also led the squad in steals (30), blocked shots (24), free throw percentage (.818), while ranking second in three-point field goals (41) and rebounds (152).
The MSU Coors Players of the Week were also recognized for their contributions this season as follows.
2008-09 MSU Coors Players of the Week :
November 10-16 - Chris Cooks (Sr., F, Idabel, Okla.)
Missouri State finished its first campaign under first-year head coach Cuonzo Martin with an 11-20 record and 3-15 mark in the MVC. The Bears were 9-8 in their new 11,000-seat home facility, JQH Arena, and averaged 7,147 fans per game -- their highest home average this decade.