2011 Kentucky Sportsman of the Year: Kenneth Faried

mstory@herald-leader.comFebruary 15, 2012 

  • Past winners

    Year Winner Runner-up Margin
    2011 Kenneth Faried John Calipari 9
    2010 John Wall Randall Cobb 93
    2009 John Calipari Angel McCoughtry 39
    2008 Kenny Perry J.B. Holmes 171
    2007 Tyson Gay Andre Woodson 119
    2006 Brandon Webb Bobby Petrino 169
    2005 S. Alexander J.B. Holmes 249
    2004 Stefan LeFors Tayshaun Prince 43
    2003 Kenny Perry Tubby Smith 33
    2002 Valley Sports Derek Abney 42
    2001 Eddie Eviston Tom Jurich 73
    2000 John L. Smith Bill Cronin 243
    1999 James Whalen Chris Redman 27
    1998 Tubby Smith Tim Couch 5
    1997 Tim Couch Hal Mumme 174
    1996 Rick Pitino W.T. Young 606
    1995 Tim Couch Moe Williams 270
    1994 Jenny Hansen Pat Day 81
    1993 J. Mashburn Rick Pitino 357
    1992 Unforgettables Rick Pitino 77
    1991 C. Ledford Kevin Donley 325
    1990 Rick Pitino H.Schnellenberger 87
    1989 David Roselle Jerry Claiborne 41
    1988 Richie Farmer Pat Riley 47
    1987 Phil Simms Mark Higgs 303
    1986 Denny Crum Eddie Sutton 232
    1985 Kenny Walker Danny Sullivan 121
    1984 Mary T. Meagher Jerry Claiborne 230
    1983 Jerry Claiborne A. Ray Smith 166
    1982 Roy Kidd Valerie Still 191
    1981 Roy Kidd Mary T. Meagher 22
  • Ballot leaders

    Ninety-three media members voted for Kentucky ­Sportsman of the Year. These names were ­mentioned on the most ballots:
    1. Kenneth Faried70
    2. John Calipari61
    3. Scott Davenport53
    4. Victoria Dunlap49
    5. Bob Beatty43
    6. Josh Harrellson41
    7. Kelly Wells38
    8. Danny Trevathan34
    9. Shelvin Mack33
    10. J.J. Jude30
  • 2011 Ky. Sportsman of the Year

    Final voting
    Votes were cast by sports media members from around ­Kentucky. Voters submitted up to 10 names. Points were awarded in the following manner: 12 for a first-place vote; 10 for second; 8 for third; seven for fourth; six for fifth; five for sixth; four for seventh; three for eighth; two for ninth; one for 10th. (First-place votes in parentheses):
    1. Kenneth Faried, basketball (7)502
    2. John Calipari, basketball (17)493
    3. Scott Davenport, basketball (19)456
    4. Josh Harrellson, basketball (12)336
    5. Bob Beatty, football (7)326
    6. Victoria Dunlap, basketball (3)266
    7. Kelly Wells, basketball (2)217
    8. Shelvin Mack, basketball (2)186
    9. Randall Cobb, football (3)x-168
    10. Danny Trevathan, football 168
    11. David Akers, football (2)x-129
    12. J.J. Jude, football and wrestling (1)129
    13. Brandon Knight, basketball 116
    14. Philip Haywood, football (1)114
    15. Matt Roark, football (4)112
    16. Bobby Rainey, football106
    17. Sara Hammond, basketball (3)104
    18. Charlie Strong, football 98
    19. Russ Cochran, golf 97
    20. Alan Stein, baseball (1) 84
    21. Willie Taggart, football (1) 81
    22. Matthew Mitchell, basketball78
    23. Jacob Raleigh, tennis (2) 68
    24. Donnie Tyndall, basketball 63
    25. Patrick Towles, football 59
    x-tie broken in favor of person with most first-place votes
    Others receiving first-place votes (in order of total points received): Steve Delabar, baseball (1 first-place vote, 50 total points); Adam Wing, basketball and football (2, 36); Dale Mueller, football (1, 33); John Wall, basketball (1, 22); Dwight Phillips, track and field (1, 14).
    Others named on at least two ballots: Anthony Hickey, basketball, 49; Emma Talley, golf, 40; Tim Masthay, football, 38; Angel McCoughtry, basketball, 36; Rajon Rondo, basketball, 35; Rachel Lawson, softball, 27; Natalie Novosel, basketball, 23; Whitney Ballinger, basketball, 21; Lee Kiefer, fencing, 19; Bobby Curtis, track and field, 18. Claire Donahue, swimming, 18; Dale Romans, horse racing, 18; Steve Asmussen, horse racing, 17; Ken McPeek, horse racing, 16; Teddy Bridgewater, football, 15; Harry Mullins, rifle, 15; Ray Wells, soccer, 15; Kerry Stovall, basketball, 14; Matt Hughes, track and field, 13; Demonte Harper, basketball, 10. Molly Johnson, softball, 10; Dan Uggla, baseball, 10; Chynna Bozeman, basketball, 8; Rick Pitino, basketball, 8; Casey Brockman, football, 7; Caleb Ervin, wrestling, 7; Ken Lolla, soccer, 7; Happy Osborne, basketball, 7; Mark Biggs, baseball, 6; Trevor Setty, basketball, 6. Chane Behanan, basketball, 5; Andy Frye, football, 5; Steve Johnson, football, 5; Jeremy Kendle, basketball, 5; Julien Leparoux, horse racing, 5; Wesley Woodyard, football, 5; Ron Arnett, basketball, 4; Katie George, volleyball, 4; Corey Peters, football, 4; Mark Reynolds, baseball, 4.
  • Voting by region

    How the vote leaders fared by region:
    Name Lex. Lou. E.Ky. W.Ky. Total
    Kenneth Faried 246 98 122 36 502
    John Calipari 206 122 103 62 493
    Scott Davenport 152 209 31 64 456
    Josh Harrellson 218 43 59 16 336
    Bob Beatty 132 131 36 27 326
    (Eastern Kentucky is the 606 area code and the 859 area code outside of Lexington; Western Kentucky is the 270 area code and the 502 area code outside of Louisville)

Kenneth Faried never took the easy path.

Raised on the 24th floor of a high-rise apartment in Newark, N.J., Faried could have fallen into the traps — drugs, gangs — that snare too many young people who grow up in the grittiest American cities.

He didn't.

When he chose to leave behind the urban groove of Newark to play college basketball in small-town Kentucky at Morehead State, Faried could have given in to the homesickness that overwhelmed him at first.

He didn't.

Once he began to blossom into a standout player for MSU Coach Donnie Tyndall, Faried could have transferred to a more prominent basketball school where it would have been easier to achieve acclaim.

He didn't.

Instead, Faried stayed at Morehead State four years and led the school to its greatest basketball heights, culminating in 2011 with an NCAA Tournament upset of Louisville. In a sport where scorers get the glory, Faried was a defensive and rebounding specialist who became a third-team AP All-American.

For those reasons, the commonwealth's sports media have voted Kenneth Faried the 2011 Lexington Herald-Leader Kentucky Sportsman of the Year.

"Faried's picture will be somewhere inside the pamphlet Morehead State sends to prospective students from now until the end of time, and it should be," wrote Brent Carney of Lexington's WLEX-TV. "... he always seemed to be conscious that he was first and foremost an ambassador for his school."

Faried has "one of the greatest 'motors' in all of sports," wrote Mike Cameron of Lexington's WLXG radio, "and a personality that lights up everything."

The ex-Morehead star became the 31st winner of the Sportsman of the Year award after a tight three-person battle with University of Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari and Bellarmine University men's hoops coach Scott Davenport.

At various times in the vote counting, all three held the lead. Faried ultimately defeated Calipari by nine points and Davenport by 46. The nine-point margin between first and second is the second closest in the history of the award. In 1998, Tubby Smith beat Tim Couch by five points.

With a team that lost six SEC regular-season games, Calipari nevertheless led UK to its first Final Four appearance since 1998.

"After falling short of a Final Four (in 2010) with a team full of (NBA) first-rounders, Cal and the Cats finally gave the Big Blue Nation what it had been craving," wrote Steve Moss of Lexington's WKYT-TV.

Added Lachlan McLean of Louisville's WHAS radio: "Breaking UK's Final Four drought will make you number one in this state any time."

Davenport had especially strong support from Louisville media members after coaching Bellarmine University to the school's first-ever NCAA Division II men's basketball national title.

"An amazing turnaround for the Knights," wrote Jody Demling of The Courier-Journal. "Davenport has done wonders for a program that was in shambles before he took over. Now, the Knights are national champions."

Wrote Paul Rogers of WHAS radio: "The beloved 'Coach D' did an incredible job of winning the national championship while also creating enormous goodwill with his team, university and the city. A true feel-good story."

Rounding out the top five finishers were former UK men's basketball folk hero Josh Harrellson in fourth and Trinity High School football coach Bob Beatty, whose undefeated Shamrocks were named mythical national champions by several outlets, in fifth.

Faried was victorious even though he got fewer first-place votes (seven) than Davenport (19), Calipari (17) and Harrellson (12) (voters list a top 10 with points assigned in descending order for each place on the ballot).

The ex-Morehead State star won because he was ranked in the top four on 40 ballots (including 17 second-place votes) and was listed on the most ballots overall — 70 of the 93 that were cast. Calipari was named on 61 ballots and Davenport 53.

Faried ended his MSU career with 1,673 rebounds, the NCAA "modern record" (since 1973). When Denver selected him No. 22 overall, Faried became the first Morehead player ever taken in the first round of an NBA Draft. The ex-MSU big man also left Morehead with his degree.

"Faried is one of the most competitive basketball players I have ever seen in person," wrote Howie Lindsey of Louisville SportsReport (Rivals).

Added Ron Bailey of The Ledger Independent in Maysville: "Faried not only left a lasting legacy on Morehead, but on college basketball."

Kenneth Faried is the 2011 Kentucky Sportsman of the Year.

Mark Story: (859) 231-3230. Twitter: @markcstory. Blog: markstory.bloginky.com

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