DRAKE'S KENO DAVIS RECEIVES 2008 DURHAM AWARD
April 4, 2008
2008 Durham Award
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(MA) -- After leading Drake to a 28-5 mark and the schools
first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1971, Keno Davis has
been selected the recipient of the 2008 Hugh Durham Coach of
the Year Award.
The award, which is voted on by a 20-member selection panel
that includes current and former head coaches and is chaired
by Hugh Durham, is presented annually at the Final Four to the
top Mid-Major Coach in America.
Davis was also one of ten finalists for the Jim Phelan
National Coach of the Year, also presented by
“Keno did an incredible job this season,” says
CollegeInsider.com’s Matt Drake. “His team dominated one of
the stronger conferences in college basketball and he did it
with walk-ons and players not highly recruited. It’s one of
the best jobs anyone has done in recent memory.”
Davis took a team picked to finish ninth in the Missouri
Valley Conference preseason poll and guided Drake to both the
regular-season crown and league tournament title.
Under Davis, Drake was nationally ranked in both the
Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll for a
school-record eight straight weeks, including a No. 14 rating
in the latest poll released on March 18.
Racing off to a 16-1 start, the Bulldogs cracked the top 25
polls for the first time on Jan. 21, being rated No. 22 in the
Associated Press poll and No. 23 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches
poll. That marked the first top 25 appearances by a Drake team
since the Bulldogs were ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press
poll during the last three weeks of the 1974-75 campaign.
The Bulldogs' ascent to the top of the Missouri Valley
Conference was all the more remarkable considering Davis
inherited a 17-15 team in which graduation claimed four senior
Thus Drake became the lowest preseason pick ever to win the
league title. The Bulldogs enjoyed a school-record 21-game
winning streak with a starting lineup featuring two former
walk-ons in senior guard Adam Emmenecker and junior forward
Davis, who was named the Rawlings Missouri Valley Conference
Coach of the Year, was one of ten finalists for the Durham
Award. The other nine finalists were Ronnie Arrow (South
Alabama), Randy Bennett (St. Mary's), Steve Donahue (Cornell),
Danny Kaspar (Stephen F. Austin), Bob McKillop (Davidson),
Randy Monroe (UMBC), Mike Rice (Robert Morris), Tony Shaver
(William & Mary) and Brad Stevens (Butler).
In 2005 the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Coach of the Year
award was renamed in honor of Hugh Durham who retired at the
end of the 2004-05 season. Durham is one of just twelve
coaches to have led two different programs to the NCAA Final
Four (Florida State, 1972 & Georgia, 1983). He is the only
coach to lead both teams to their only Final Four appearance.
The previous winners of the award are Gregg Marshall
(Winthrop) in 2007, Pat Flannery, (Bucknell) in 2006 and Bob
Thomason (Pacific) in 2005.