February 28, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Rookie Troy Murphy claimed the most valuable player honor, and senior Paul Rainey earned the top scholar-athlete award Sunday night at the annual University of Notre Dame Basketball Banquet.
The banquet, sponsored by the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley, was held at the University’s Joyce Center and featured former Irish standout Bill Hanzlik as the guest speaker.
Murphy received the MVP award from the Notre Dame National Monogram Club by vote of his teammates. The 6-9, 225-pound Morristown, N.J., native led the Irish this season with a 18.9-points-per-game scoring average, leads the BIG EAST Conference in rebounding (9.7) and field-goal percentage (.534) and already has scored more points than any Irish freshman other than Adrian Dantley in ’73-’74 (491 for Murphy, 511 for Dantley).
Murphy earned the BIG EAST Rookie-of-the-Week honor eight times this season — and only Allen Iverson (nine times in 1994-95) has bettered that effort. Murphy is bidding to become the first freshman in BIG EAST history to lead the league in rebounding. The only BIG EAST rookie to put up a better scoring average was Iverson at 19.7 in 1993-94.
Rainey received the Knute Rockne Student-Athlete Award from the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley based on his cumulative 3.52 undergraduate grade-point average. He graduated last May with a degree in finance and computer applications from the College of Business Administration. He holds a 3.762 average in 21 hours of graduate study.
A 6-1 guard from Hattieville, Ark, who is in his first season as a scholarship player, Rainey cemented the victory over West Virginia a week ago with two free throws in the final seconds.