With the Big East awards set to come out today, I figured this would be a good time to give out my conference awards.
This year, more than recent years, there is a close competition for the Player of the Year with at least five players who can claim the right to win. The winner will be announced on Tuesday. Most recently, Syracuse’s Wes Johnson won the award, and it’s no wonder, since Syracuse won the regular season title last year.
Players are generally selected from the top two finishers in the conference, and this year is no exception as Notre Dame’s Ben Hansbrough is my selection.
He’s had a breakout year, averaging 18.4 points and 4.7 assists on 48.1 percent from the field and 43.7 percent from downtown. Hansbrough led the Irish (23-5, 13-4 Big East) to a surprising second place finish in the conference after being selected seventh in the preseason.
Here are the rest of my Big East selections:
Ben Hansbrough (Notre Dame).
Marshon Brooks (Providence): Brooks leads the Big East in scoring at 25.1 points per game, and may have been a strong contender for Player of the Year had it not been for Providence’s (15-16, 4-14) overall performance.
Aston Gibbs (Pittsburgh): Gibbs led the Panthers (27-4, 15-3) to the Big East regular season championship averaging 16.4 points including 46 percent from 3-point land.
Austin Freeman (Georgetown): Freeman was the Big East preseason Player of the Year, and played to that to that caliber, averaging 17.8 points and 2.5 assists per game.
Rick Jackson (Syracuse): Jackson was as consistent as anyone in the Big East, averaging 13.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. He led the Big East in rebounds, field goal percentage, blocks and double-doubles.
Dwight Hardy (St. John’s).
Kemba Walker (Connecticut).
Brad Wanamaker (Pittsburgh).
Jimmy Butler (Marquette).
Corey Fisher (Villanova).
COACH OF THE YEAR
Steve Lavin (St. John’s): The Red Storm hasn’t been relevant in over a decade, but Lavin led St. John’s (20-10, 12-6) to the fifth seed in the Big East tournament. The Red Storm has knocked off an impressive group of teams including Connecticut, Pitt, Duke, Villanova, Georgetown and Notre Dame.
That’s all for this week, folks. See you at the same time, same place next week.
Editor in Chief