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ALBUQUERQUE — Alex Kirk and Kendall Williams shared team Most Valuable Player honors, capping off the 2012-13 New Mexico Lobos men’s basketball end-of-season banquet Thursday night.
The 7-foot Kirk took home three awards, including Outstanding Defensive Player and Comeback Player of the Year, an award he shared with Chad Adams.
New Lobo head coach Craig Neal presented the awards.
Kirk and Williams provided the inside-outside combination that on most nights opponents found tough to stop.
Williams, who was the Mountain West MVP, led the team with a 13.3 points per game scoring average. He also led the team with 166 assists, 153 free throws converted, and he was second in steals with 38.
Williams made national news with his 46-point, 10 3-pointer afternoon in a 91-82 win at Colorado State that served as the de facto Mountain West regular season championship game and ended CSU’s 27-game home winning streak, the third-longest in the nation at the time.
Williams was an AP honorable mention All-American selection. He also was one of 20 named to the Cousy Watch List at midseason as one of the nation’s top point guards.
Kirk was third for the Lobos in scoring, dropping in 12.1 points per game. Kirk led the team in both rebounding (8.1 boards per game) and blocks (63).
Kirk’s .494 field goal percentage led the team, and he was Second Team All-Mountain West and was named to the All-Defensive team.
After questions of who would fill the role vacated by Drew Gordon, Kirk showcased his durability, playing in all 35 games, starting the final 33 after sitting out the 2011-12 season recovering from back surgery.
Kirk’s defensive abilities, particularly his rebounding and shot blocking abilities, earned him Second Team All-Mountain West honors.
His return from injury earned him the Comeback Player of the Year. He shared that award with Chad Adams.
Adams, a New Mexico native like Kirk, went from not playing in the second game of the Paradise Jam to helping UNM defeat Connecticut in the championship game to starting 14 games of his senior season. Adams set career-highs in most offensive categories this season, including shooting at a 46 percent clip from both the field and 3-point range.
Adams and fellow senior Jamal Fenton were honored as the all-time winningest Lobos, as they each won 109 games in their careers.
2012-13 Lobo basketball awards
Most Valuable Player: Alex Kirk, Kendall Williams
Outstanding Defensive Player: Alex Kirk
Lobo Award: Hugh Greenwood
Most Improved Player: Cameron Bairstow
Comeback Player of the Year: Alex Kirk, Chad Adams
Sixth Man of the Year: Jamal Fenton
Newcomer of the Year: Cleveland Thomas
Academic Achievement: Kory Alford
Highest FG percentage: Alex Kirk
Highest FT percentage: Tony Snell
Leading Rebounder: Alex Kirk
Most Assists: Kendall Williams
Most Charges Taken: Cameron Bairstow, Jamal Fenton