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Mountaineers Champions On Court, In Classroom

Earlier this week the Big East Conference announced it's list of Team Academic Excellence awards for the 2009-2010 seasons.  These awards recognize the highest team Grade Point Averages in each sport.  Wouldn't you know it, the highest team GPA in Men's Basketball belonged to Bob Huggins' Mountaineer squad.

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The Mountaineers were the conference's most successful team on the court this year, taking home the Big East Tournament Championship and earning a trip to the Final Four.  Those were impressive achievements that I never thought I'd see in my lifetime.  That said, it could be argued that this is an even more impressive feat.  Da'Sean Butler and Wellington Smith, the team's two seniors, both earned their degrees.  Jonnie West also graduated and will forgoe his final year of eligibility.  Cam Thouroughman and Joe Mazzulla, both seniors this coming year, have both already graduated and are enrolled in graduate school. That's impressive.  All those guys are key players on the court as well, and aren't just on the team to pull up the GPA.

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I think this is also an impressive achievement for Huggins.  This is a guy who is portrayed in the national media as being one of the "bad guys" in college hoops, with more than a couple of his Cincinnati teams having a 0% graduation rate.  Though Huggins is the first to tell you that the way the NCAA calculates graduation rates is completely inaccurate and flawed, he's got to be smiling over this one.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.