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Murray State's Cameron Payne accepts the 2015 Lute Olson award at the CollegeInsider.com Award's Banquet on April 3 in Indianapolis.

April 4, 2016


HOUSTON, TX -- Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine is the recipient of the 2016 Lute Olson National Player of the Year award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top player.

The 6-foot-5 senior averaged 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists in becoming the only player in NCAA history to average 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists since the assist became an official statistic in 1983-84. 

Valentine is the first player to lead the Big Ten in overall scoring and assists since 1997. He ranks fourth in the nation in assists (7.8 apg), eighth in 3-point field goals per game (3.35) and 11th in 3-point field-goal percentage (.444). He led the Big Ten with 12 double-doubles. 

In games which he started, Valentine made or assisted on 50.9 percent of Michigan State's field goals. His 241 assists rank as the third-best single-season total at MSU and the most by a Spartan senior, while his 104 made 3-pointers are the fourth-best single-season total. His 19.2 ppg scoring average is the best at Michigan State since the 2005-06 season.

Lute Olson won 780 games in 34 seasons, 24 of which were spent at the University of Arizona. During that stretch he led the Wildcats to 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, four Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 1997.

The Lute Olson Award is presented annually to the nation's top Division I player who has played at least two seasons. Freshmen can be named to the Lute Olson All-America team, but are not eligible for award.


Grayson Allen 6-5 So. Duke
DeAndre' Bembry 6-6 Jr. Saint Joseph's
Malcolm Brogdon 6-5 Sr. Virginia
Dillon Brooks 6-7 So. Oregon
Kris Dunn 6-4 Jr. Providence
Perry Ellis 6-8 Sr. Kansas
Kahlil Felder 5-9 Jr. Oakland
Yogi Ferrell 6-0 Sr. Indiana
Trey Freeman 6-2 Sr. Old Dominion
Alex Hamilton 6-4 Sr. Louisiana Tech
Buddy Hield 6-4 Sr. Oklahoma
Brandon Ingram 6-9 Fr. Duke
Brice Johnson 6-10 Sr. North Carolina
Jamal Murray 6-4 Fr. Kentucky
Nic Moore 5-9 Sr. SMU
Georges Niang 6-8 Sr. Iowa State
Jakob Poeltl 7-0 So. Utah
Justin Robinson 5-8 Jr. Monmouth
Domantas Sabonis 6-11 So. Gonzaga
Ben Simmons 6-10 Fr. LSU
Tyler Ullis 5-9 So. Kentucky
Jarrod Uthoff 6-9 Sr. Iowa
Denzel Valentine 6-5 Sr. Michigan State
Fred VanVleet 6-0 Sr. Wichita State 
Isaiah Whitehead 6-4 So. Seton Hall


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