July 24, 2013
This is the third and final installment of Colorado State athletics’ annual awards. The department of athletics announced its “Fum” McGraw recipients on July 10 and the Mencimer Memorial Award and Merrill-Gheen Award winners on July 17. For more information on CSU’s annual awards, including past winners, visit here.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Leading their respective teams to national prominence and the NCAA tournament, Colorado State men’s basketball’s Colton Iverson (Nye Trophy) and volleyball’s Dana Cranston (Virginia K. Frank Award) have been selected as the most outstanding CSU athletes from 2012-13.
NYE TROPHY: Colton Iverson
Iverson, a native of Yankton, S.D., who transferred to CSU following his junior season (2010-11) at Minnesota, made the most of his one year on the court for the Rams, leading CSU to one of the best seasons in program history in 2012-13. The Rams won a school-record 26 games and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament, before being knocked out by eventual national champion Louisville.
Behind the play of Iverson, the Rams boasted one of the nation’s top rebounding attacks and most efficient offenses. Iverson ranked ninth nationally in field-goal percentage (.556), and CSU ranked as a top-50 scoring offense, averaging 72.9 points per contest. Iverson averaged a team-high 14.2 points per game, and notched 14 double-doubles on the year, good enough for 20th in the NCAA. On the glass, Iverson was the No. 20 rebounder in the country, pulling down a Mountain West-leading 9.8 boards per game. As a team, the Rams led the NCAA in rebounding margin, out-boarding opponents by an average of nearly 12 rebounds per game.
Iverson’s impact was also felt on the defensive end of the floor, as the center posted a team-leading 25 blocks and altered countless other shots, while routinely shutting down opponents inside the paint.
For his efforts, Iverson garnered a host of postseason honors. The 7-footer was named to the All-MW first team, while also pulling down MW Newcomer of the Year honors. He was named Associated Press honorable mention All-America, after garnering all-district first-team honors from both the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
In June, Iverson became the 21st player in school history – and the first since Jason Smith in 2007 – to be selected in the NBA Draft. Iverson was taken at No. 53 overall by the Indiana Pacers, who immediately traded his rights to the Boston Celtics.
VIRGINIA K. FRANK AWARD: Dana Cranston
Cranston capped her career as a four-time Mountain West champion, helping CSU to a 21-8 record and an 18th consecutive NCAA tournament berth in 2012. In addition to being named the MW Player of the Year, Cranston also became the program’s 13th AVCA All-America selection.
“The experience I had at CSU cannot be explained in words,” Cranston said. “The opportunity I had to represent this amazing institution and city alongside the people I had the privilege of playing with and for has been amazing. This recognition is very humbling but should go to the coaches who have guided and pushed me, the players who have stood with me through it all and the God who none of this would be possible without. CSU holds such a place in my heart, and I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to wear a Rams jersey.”
As a senior, the Fort St. John, B.C., native paced CSU and ranked second in the MW in kills (3.62 per set), points (4.28) and aces (0.31), and led all MW outside hitters with a .277 hitting percentage. She led the Rams in kills 19 times, and recorded double-digit totals on 22 occasions.
Away from the court, Cranston excelled in the classroom, earning 2012 Capital One Academic All-America honors. She graduated in May with a degree in business administration with a 3.89 GPA. She was a four-time MW Scholar-Athlete and three-time all-district selection. Last fall, Cranston was named a finalist for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes senior student-athletes who excel on the court, in the classroom, in the community and have outstanding character.
“Dana exemplified everything we want a student-athlete to do,” Head Coach Tom Hilbert said. “She was a good student, a good leader, a kid with good character and a really productive player. She played the most critical role on the volleyball team, and did it under great pressure all year long. I think this award is well deserved, especially looking at the profile of our program.”
Cranston currently is a member of the Canadian National Team, helping her native country to a sixth-place finish at the Summer Universiade (FISU Games) in Russia earlier this month. This fall, she will begin her professional volleyball career in France.
ABOUT THE AWARDS
The Nye Trophy has recognized the school’s most outstanding male athlete each year since 1929. The award was originally sponsored by its namesake, Col. E.L. Nye, a retired professor of pathology and bacteriology, and his brother, Dr. William Nye. Col. Nye lettered in track at CSU (then known as Colorado Agricultural College) from 1913-14 and again in 1919, and at one time held the school’s record for the 100-yard dash (9.8 seconds), which at the time was among the fastest marks in the world. He also lettered in football and basketball.
Established in 1976, the Virginia K. Frank Award is presented annually to CSU’s most outstanding female athlete. Frank, also known as Virginia K. Frank Olson, was a pioneer who organized and coached women’s sports long before they were sanctioned by the NCAA. An amateur athlete as a speed skater, skier and softball player, she was instrumental during the 1950s and 60s in introducing track, volleyball, skiing, field hockey, badminton and softball to CSU.
This marks the third year in a row that a men’s basketball and women’s volleyball player have been recognized as CSU’s top athletes. Both awards are voted on by CSU’s head coaches and the senior leadership team. For a list of past winners, click here.