Louisville Basketball Claims Third Straight Big East Academic Excellence Award

USA TODAY Sports

There is no Big East award we're not taking with us.

From U of L:

The University of Louisville men's basketball program has earned the 2012-13 Big East Conference Team Academic Excellence Award, which recognizes the highest collective grade-point averages in each of the conference's 24 sports. It is the third consecutive year that the Cardinals have achieved the honor.

The winners were chosen based on the 2012-13 grade-point average of each student-athlete who appeared on an institution's roster as of the last contest of the championship segment in each conference-sponsored sport. Louisville's women's golf team also won the award. Bestowing the academic honors were among the final business for the 2012-13 season by the Big East Conference as it stood until conference shifting occurred on July 1.

In addition, eleven members of the Cardinals' basketball team were selected for the 2012-13 Big East All-Academic team including the following: Logan Baumann, Chane Behanan, Wayne Blackshear, Jordan Bond, Gorgui Dieng, Montrezl Harrell, Mike Marra, Mangok Mathiang, Zach Price, Russ Smith and Kevin Ware. A total of 280 UofL student-athletes attained the honor.

The UofL basketball team produced a collective 3.295 grade point average for the 2012-13 academic year, with a 3.41 combined GPA for the fall semester, the highest ever for the Cardinals. A total of 14 of 16 Cardinals earned a 3.0 or better for the spring semester, with 15 of 17 attaining that mark in the fall semester. Louisville received an NCAA Public Recognition Award in 2013 for ranking among the top ten percent in men's basketball in the Academic Progress Rate, which measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation for student-athletes. The men's basketball team has hovered around a collective 3.0 GPA for 10 straight semesters, including a 3.18 GPA for the most recent spring 2013 semester.

Major individual academic awards were also bestowed on UofL student-athletes as well over the past year. Peyton Siva was a Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America second team selection and was named the 2013 BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Wayne Blackshear won the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Elite 89 Award, presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating in the finals site for each of the NCAA championships. Russ Smith was honored with a 2013 Scholar Baller Academic Momentum Award, which is presented to an individual based on the level of academic improvement and the impact of that academic momentum.

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