March 12, 2001
LOS ANGELES - UCLA senior guard Earl Watson and sophomore forward Jason Kapono were given the Coach John Wooden Award as the Bruins' Most Valuable Players at UCLA's annual awards/dinner banquet held Monday night at the Beverly Hilton. Last season, Watson and Kapono shared the MVP award with then-sophomore forward Jerome Moiso.
Watson, with his start on Thursday night vs. Hofstra in an East Region first round NCAA Tournament game, will tie the school record for starts (127, Don MacLean, 1989-92) and he's looking to become the only four-year player in school history to start every regular season and NCAA Tournament game. He's also UCLA's all-time leader in steals (229). Kapono is No. 1 in school history in three-point shooting percentage (46.5, 158-340) and recently went over the 1,000 point total (1,042), only the third player in school history to do it by the end of his sophomore season and just the fifth player to do it in his first two years.
Watson and Kapono's recent honors have included first-team All-Pacific-10 and NABC first-team All-Dist. 15. Kapono is also on the final ballot for the John R. Wooden Award and All-American team. Both players have started all 29 games this season for the Bruins.
Below is a complete list of the awards given out Monday night.
- Bob "Ace" Calkins Memorial Award (free throw champion)'Jason Kapono (87.6, 127-145)
- Elvin C. "Ducky" Drake Memorial Award (for competitive spirit, inspiration and unselfish contributions)'Ryan Bailey/Jason Flowers
- Bruin Hoopsters J. D. Morgan Memorial Award (outstanding team play)'Matt Barnes
- UCLA Alumni Association Award (academic achievement and team contribution)'Jason Flowers
- Bruin Bench Basketball Award (most improvement in all-around play and mental attitude)'Billy Knight
- Seymour Armond Memorial Award (most valuable freshman)'T. J. Cummings
- Irv Pohlmeyer Memorial Award (outstanding defensive player)'Dan Gadzuric
- Coach John Wooden Award (most valuable player)'Earl Watson,, Jason Kapono