Respect Your Elders: Seniors Rule Our End of Season Big East Awards

West Virginia’s Kevin Jones is one of four seniors on the all-Big East first team.

FIRST TEAM

F Jae Crowder, Marquette: 17.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.1 apg

Crowder was an all-around stud for the Golden Eagles this season. The senior averaged 17.6 points a game while ranking second in the Big East in both effective field goal percentage (58.7) and true shooting percentage (61.7). His offensive rating of 123.5 ranks second in the Big East and 42nd in the nation among players who used at least 20 percent of their teams’ possessions. The 6-6 forward stepped out for 155 three-pointers this year, connecting on a decent .361 percent of the long-range shots. On the defensive end, Crowder grabbed 20.5 percent of available boards, the seventh best mark in the Big East. He also ranked 19th in block percentage (3.2) and fifth in steal percentage (4.2).

F Kevin Jones, West Virginia: 20.0 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 1.3 apg

Because the Mountaineers have had their worst year in the Bob Huggins’ era, Jones’ outstanding season has gone a bit under the radar. But Jones has put on an All-America type season, leading the Big East in both points and rebounds per game. More on Jones later.

F Kris Joseph, Syracuse: 14.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.7 apg

This was a tough call between Joseph and Notre Dame’s Jack Cooley. But in the end, it didn’t seem right to have zero Syracuse players on the first team. Syracuse went 17-1 in Big East play – the best mark in conference history – and Joseph was the Orange’s top player. Joseph, Syracuse’s leading scorer, had the fifth best offensive rating (115.0) among Big East players who used at least 20 percent of their teams’ possessions. The native Canadian also ranked among the Big East’s top 25 in turnover rate (11.7), steal percentage (2.7) and true shooting percentage (55.0).

G Jeremy Lamb, UConn: 17.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.7 apg

The defending champion Huskies have had a disappointing season, but you can’t really put the blame on sophomore stud Jeremy Lamb. The lengthy guard has put together a terrific season despite playing on what seems to be a dysfunctional team. Lamb has the fourth highest offensive rating (115.5) among Big East players who used at least 20 percent of their teams’ possessions. He ranks eighth in the conference in effective field goal percentage (55.2) and fourth in true shooting percentage (58.9). Lamb has made .605 percent of his two-point field goal attempts, but just .328 percent of his three-point attempts. However, the guard has taken 186 three-pointers this season, the sixth most in the Big East. Lamb and the Huskies could both benefit from a reduction in his three-point attempts.

G Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette: 18.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.8 apg

Johnson-Odom is one of four seniors to make the all-Big East first team. At a time when college basketball seems to be dominated by one-and-done superstars (i.e., Kentucky), that’s a welcome sight. Johnson-Odom ranked second in offensive rating (110.2) among Big East players who used at least 24 percent of their teams’ possessions. The former junior college star led the Golden Eagles in scoring, while ranking 16th in the conference in effective field goal percentage (53.6) and tenth in true shooting percentage (57.5). He was also the seventh best three-point shooter (.401) in the Big East.

SECOND TEAM

F Jack Cooley, Notre Dame: 12.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.6 bpg

F Hollis Thompson, Georgetown: 13.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.5 apg

G Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati: 14.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.0 apg

G Maalik Wayns, Villanova: 17.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.6 apg

G Jason Clark, Georgetown: 14.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.8 apg

THIRD TEAM

F Gorgui Dieng, Louisville: 9.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 3.2 bpg

F Herb Pope, Seton Hall: 15.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 1.6 bpg

G Scoop Jardine, Syracuse: 8.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.9 apg

G Dion Waiters, Syracuse: 11.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.6 apg

G Jordan Theodore, Seton Hall: 16.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 6.7 apg

AWARDS

Player of the Year: Kevin Jones, West Virginia

I can’t punish Kevin Jones for not being on one of top teams in the Big East, his performance this season was too outstanding. Jones had a first-team All-America type season, leading the Big East in both points and rebounds per game. The young Mountaineers have relied heavily on Jones all season. The senior has been on the floor for 93 percent of West Virginia’s total minutes played, the tenth highest mark in the country. His offensive rating of 124.6 is No. 1 in the Big East and 35th in the nation among players who used at least 20 percent of their teams’ possessions. The senior forward has been a beast on the glass – on offense and defense. He ranked fourth in the Big East in defensive rebounding percentage (22.0) and seventh in offensive rebounding percentage (12.9).

Freshman of the Year: LaDontae Henton, Providence

Henton averaged 14 points and eight rebounds a game for Providence. The 6-6 forward rarely saw the bench this season – he was on the floor for 92.4 percent of the Friars’ minutes played. The freshman ranked 25th in the Big East in effective field goal percentage (52.0), 23rd in true shooting percentage (54.8) and 18th in defensive rebounding percentage (16.8).

Defensive Player of the Year: Fab Melo, Syracuse

After a disappointing freshman year, a slimmed-down Melo was one of the most dominant shot-blockers in the country this year. The Brazilian tallied 87 blocks, averaging 3.1 per game. Melo ranked first in the Big East and fourth in the nation in block percentage (14.02).

Coach of the Year: Mike Brey, Notre Dame

Most people had low expectations for the Fighting Irish going into this season. Then the Irish lost their best player, Tim Abromaitis, for the season due to injury, and expectations went even lower. By mid-January, Notre Dame was 11-8 and 3-3 in the Big East, and the Irish looked to be on the bubble for the NIT. But then, Brey’s Irish defeated No. 1 Syracuse, sparking a 10-2 finish to the regular season. Notre Dame is now the No. 3 seed in the Big East tournament and a lock to make the NCAA Tournament. For that, Brey is easily the Big East’s coach of the year.

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