Saturday, March 6, 2010

One Man's Big East Honor Roll

Great move today by Jim Calhoun. If you're going to lose, might as well lose with players who'll fight hard. And they almost won! Do we see Jerome Dyson, Stanley Robinson and Gavin Edwards on Tuesday? I think they'll all get another shot, fairly early in the game. But if they continue to display no heart, they'll be right back on the pine.

Anyway, while today may have been Calhoun's best coaching move of the season, he's not winning Big East Coach of the Year honors. The official all-league teams are announced tomorrow (Sunday) morning, and the first year-end awards (6th Man, Most Improved Player, etc.) will be announced Monday. Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Scholar-Athlete will be announced on Tuesday at a 5:30 p.m. press conference at MSG.

Here's my list: sort of a mishmash of who I think deserves it and who I think the coaches will vote for (if that makes any sense).

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Wesley Johnson, Syracuse

(Best player on the best team. Had Scottie Reynolds winning it until recently, when the ‘Cuse pulled away as league champs. Maybe Johnson and Reynolds will share it.)

COACH OF THE YEAR
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse

(A very strong case could be made for Pitt’s Jamie Dixon. Marquette’s Buzz Williams, too. I actually think Dixon, who lost three NBA draft picks, got more out of less talent. After all, Boeheim does have the conference’s likely Player of the Year. But Jimmy B. may win national Coach of the Year, so I’m pretty sure his league coaches will vote for him here, too..)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Dane Miller, Rutgers
Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati


(Stephenson is the bigger name, and he’ll probably win it outright. But Miller deserves to at least share this award. Miller won Rookie of the Week honors three straight times in February. Last Big East player to do that? Fella named Carmelo Anthony, in 2003.)

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Hamady N’Diaye, Rutgers

(Led the conference in blocked shots, which probably should sew it up. But don’t sleep on Syracuse’s Rick Jackson, who was second in blocks and is a much better all-around player.)

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
Austin Freeman, Georgetown


(Tough one to call. Guys like Jamine Peterson and Tim Abromaitis came out of nowhere with big seasons, but neither played last year, so what exactly are they improving from? Ashton Gibbs of Pitt is just a sophomore. I’ll go with Freeman, who is also now battling diabetes.)

SIXTH MAN AWARD
Kris Joseph, Syracuse


(I thought Gavin Edwards had this one locked up most of the season. But Joseph’s numbers are a little better – and his team is A LOT better.)

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova


(He’d be a good sport accepting this in lieu of winning Player of the Year.)

ALL-LEAGUE

FIRST TEAM:
Wes Johnson, Syracuse
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
Da’Sean Butler, West Virginia
Greg Monroe, Georgetown
Dominique Jones, South Florida


SECOND TEAM
Lazar Hayward, Marquette
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
Samardo Samuels, Louisville
Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall
Kemba Walker, Connecticut


(I had Jerome Dyson on this team up until today. Depending on when the coaches voted, he still might make it. But I’m not so sure he deserves to.)

THIRD TEAM
Austin Freeman, Georgetown
Devan Ebanks, West Virginia
Jamine Peterson, Providence
Brad Wanamaker, Pittsburgh
Andy Rautins, Syracuse


HONORABLE MENTION
Corey Fisher, Villanova
Herb Pope, Seton Hall
Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame
Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati


ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati
Dane Miller, Rutgers
Vincent Council, Providence
Brandon Triche, Syracuse
Bilal Dixon, Providence


(A surprisingly weak group. Alex Oriakhi, despite all his shortcomings, has an outside shot at cracking this team.)

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