With the Big East regular season in the books, awards will be handed out this week for conference honors. It’s important to remember that these awards are voted on, so there is sure to be debate on some of the winners. Anyway, we decided to take our best stab at it, and this is what we came up with:
*Note* This list was compiled by Andrei Greska and Mark Strotman. Statistics shown are Big East numbers only.
– Coach of the Year: Buzz Williams, Marquette
With all due respect to John Thompson III, what Williams did with the Golden Eagles, picked in the preseason to finish seventh, was nothing short of spectacular. After losing All-Big East players in Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette finished 14-4 and picked up a share of its first Big East title in program history. (Apologies to: John Thompson III, Kevin Ollie)
– Player of the Year: Otto Porter, Georgetown
Porter was overlooked for a spot on the Big East all-Rookie Team last year, but he has made each and every coach who didn’t put his name on that list pay. He averaged 16.6 points and 7 rebounds for a team that was offensively challenged during portions of the season. He shot 44 percent from beyond the arc and managed to nab two steals a game. He is the main reason Georgetown is in the hunt for a No. 1 seed and may be in contention for a national player of the year award. (Apologies to: Russ Smith, Jack Cooley, Bryce Cotton, Vander Blue)
– Sixth Man of the Year: Davante Gardner, Marquette
Like many great sixth men, Gardner is a starter talent who happens to come off the bench. He was second in the Big East in field goal percentage and third in free throw percentage, helping lead a Marquette bench that finished the year third in the NCAA in points per game. (Apologies to: James Southerland)
– Defensive Player of the Year: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
When Dieng was out with a broken hand in December, no one knew if he’d be able to be the same player when he came back. He wasn’t; he was even better. Dieng may not have led the league in blocks (he finished fifth) but his presence altered the way teams attacked more than any other player. Dieng also averaged 10 rebounds per game, and helped Louisville snag a share of the Big East title. (Apologies to: Fuquan Edwin, Michael Carter-Williams)
– Freshman of the Year: Jakarr Sampson, St. John’s
After committing to St. John’s two years ago, Sampson was forced to prep school for a year before joining the Red Storm. The extra year paid off, as he averaged 15.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in Big East contests. Like Moe Harkless a year ago, Sampson has the NBA in his future. (Apologies to: Ryan Arcidiacono)
– All-Big East First Team
G: Russ Smith, Louisville (17.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 apg)
G: Vander Blue, Marquette (15.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.9 apg)
G: Bryce Cotton, Providence (18.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.4 apg)
F: Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati (16.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.5 apg)
F: Otto Porter, Georgetown* (18.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.1 apg)
C: Jack Cooley, Notre Dame (12.8 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 0.7 apg)
Mr. Everything, Porter, took his game to another level after Greg Whittington was ruled ineligible, hitting from every spot on the court and guiding the Hoyas to a share of the Big East crown. Russdiculous wasn’t quite able to match his national player of the year numbers from the non-conference slate, but Smith still led the conference in points scored and free throws and was third in steals. The big fella Cooley averaged a double-double every game, leading the Big East in rebounds and field goal percentage.
Blue’s transformation from a defensive specialist to a player that can carry a team on his own has been spectacular as showcased by his Championship winning drive against St. John’s. Cotton carried Providence to a .500 record and leading the league in 3-point field goals with 87. The fourth leading scorer in the conference, Kilpatrick was not afraid to put the ball in the air, helping to carry the Bearcats at times with Cashmere Wright injured.
– All-Big East Second Team
G: Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse (12.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 5.9 apg)
G: Shabazz Napier, Connecticut (17.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.3 apg)
G: Tray Woodall, Pittsburgh (11.8 ppg, 4.8 apg)
F: Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall (15.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.8 apg)
C: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville (10.7 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.8 apg)
Carter-Williams ended the year on a sour note but finished second in assists and first in steals, making good on his preseason expectations. Napier was third in the Big East in scoring and let a Huskies team playing for zip. Woodall was as efficient as any guard in the conference and allowed the Panthers a solid rebound season. Edwin put up impressive numbers despite being keyed on by defenses each night. Dieng was the best defender on one of the country’s best defensive teams, and his offensive efficiency was solid.
– All-Big East Third Team
G: Ryan Boatright, Connecticut (14.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.2 apg)
G: D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s (15.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.5 apg)
F: C.J. Fair, Syracuse (16.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 0.9 apg)
F: Davante Gardner, Marquette (10.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.7 apg)
C: Kadeem Batts, Providence (14.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 0.5 apg)
Fair was Syracuse’s most consistent scorer on quite the inconsistent team. The sophomore Harrison could have been higher on this list, but getting kicked off a team with an outside chance at a Tourney invite didn’t help matters. Without any postseason aspirations, Boatright played 36 minutes per game and finished ninth in the Big East in assists. Gardner was the most efficient player in the Big East this season and finished second in free throw percentage (86.3). Batts played a large role in guiding Providence to a .500 record in conference.
– All-Big East Honorable Mention:
G: Brandon Young, DePaul (17.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.6 apg)
G: Vincent Council, Providence (10.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 7.3 apg)
G: Markel Starks, Georgetown (12.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.0 apg)
F: JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova (13.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.6 apg)
C: Mouphtaou Yarou, Villanova (10.4 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.1 apg)
Young improved on his sophomore numbers despite another dreadful year for the Blue Demons. Council led the Big East in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio. Starks was the engine that made the Hoyas run. Pinkston led the Big East in drawing fouls and Yarou was a force in the paint for the NCAA Tournament-bound Wildcats.
– All-Big East Rookie Team
G: Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova (12.6 ppg, 3.5 apg)
G: D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown (10.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.7 apg)
F: Jakarr Sampson*, St. John’s (15.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.0 apg)
F: Omar Calhoun, Connecticut (11.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 apg)
C: Steven Adams, Pittsburgh (6.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 0.6 apg)
Arcidiacono came out of nowhere in non-conference play but played well down the stretch. Smith-Rivera was a key role player in the Hoyas’ Big East title run. Sampson led rookies in scoring and rebounding. Calhoun was inconsistent but had games of 21, 20 and 17 points in Big East play. Adams also was consistent but put up solid rebounding numbers all year.