Mar 5, 2012, 2:45 PM EDT
Player of the Year: Jae Crowder, Marquette
Crowder has been absolutely sensational this season. His numbers speak for themselves — 17.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.4 spg, 36.1% 3PT — but it was his versatility that was even more important. Crowder’s ability to bang with the best of the Big East’s big men in the paint is what allowed the Golden Eagles to be able to play small and overcome the loss of their two best post players.
Coach of the Year: Mike Brey, Notre Dame
What Mike Brey has been able to do with the fighting Irish this season has been nothing short of phenomenal. His team was picked ninth in the Big East in the preseason then lost their best player and their senior leader to a torn acl in December. No matter. Despite playing with a group of youngsters learning new roles, the Irish finished third in the Big East and will be playing in the NCAA Tournament.
Rookie of the Year: Moe Harkless and D’angelo Harrison, St. John’s
Given that a third of the vaunted St. John’s recruiting class was not on the roster and the end of the season and their head coach has spent the year battling prostate cancer, the fact that the Johnnies won six games in the Big East is impressive. These two were the reason why. Harrison averaged 17.0 ppg while Harkless chipped in with 15.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.5 spg and 1.6 spg. St. John’s will have a bright future … if they can keep them on campus.
Sixth-Man of the Year: Dion Waiters, Syracuse
Waiters is the most talented player on the Syracuse team. I truly believe that. He’s their most dynamic ball-handler and their most dangerous perimeter defender. And he comes off the bench. This pick wasn’t difficult.
Defensive Player of the Year: Fab Melo, Syracuse
Melo’s presence in the middle of the Syracuse zone has been a major reason that the Orange have been this good this season. Think about this for a second: Syracuse has not lost a game with Melo in the lineup, as he missed the Notre Dame game due to academics. He blocks shots, he takes charges and he’s a legitimate seven-footer that takes up a lot of space. Now if he only could rebound on the defensive end of the floor.
All-Big East First Team
POY: Jae Crowder, Sr., Marquette
G: Jason Clark, Sr., Georgetown
G: Darius Johnson-Odom, Sr., Marquette
F: Kris Joseph, Sr., Syracuse
F: Kevin Jones, Sr., West Virginia
C: Jack Cooley, Jr., Notre Dame
All-Big East Second Team
G: Dion Waiters, So., Syracuse
G: Scoop Jardine, Sr., Syracuse
F: Jeremy Lamb, So., UConn
F: Herb Pope, Sr., Seton Hall
C: Gorgui Dieng, So., Louisville
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