With just a week left in the conference season, not much is going to change when it comes to who deserves all-Big East accolades and honors.
Considering each team has either one or two games left before the conference tournament, it’s safe to start predicting who will be going home with hardware next week. All season long the Big East has been a conference that has outperformed it’s expectations and picking the best from this conference sure was tough.
What you might notice below is the absence of any Villanova player being honored for any awards or any player being named to the first team. That is just a testament to how evenly balanced the Wildcats are. Villanova’s spreading of the wealth is something to admire and marvel. There’s a reason why they are the best team.
Here then are your Big East awards and accolades.
1st Team All-Big East
G- Kris Dunn, Providence
G- D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown
G- D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s
F- LaDontae Henton, Providence
F- Kellen Dunham, Butler
2nd Team All-Big East
G- Darrun Hilliard, Villanova
G- Sterling Gibbs, Seton Hall
F- Sir’Dominic Pointer, St. John’s
F- Josh Smith, Georgetown
C- Daniel Ochefu, Villanova
3rd Team All-Big East
G- Billy Garrett Jr., DePaul
G- Roosevelt Jones, Butler
G- Matt Carlino, Marquette
F- JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova
C- Matt Stainbrook, Xavier
Honorable Mention: Rysheed Jordan, Chris Obekpa, Duane Wilson, Myke Henry, Trevon Bluiett, Angel Delgado, Kameron Woods, Luke Fischer, Myles Davis, Austin Chatman, and Phil Greene IV.
Player of the Year: LaDontae Henton, Providence
This award is truly up for grabs, as five to seven players all have legitimate cases. However, Henton has been a force all season for the Friars and he has one of the more complete games in the Big East.
Playing alongside Dunn helps immensely, no doubt. Henton leads the conferences in scoring (20.3) and minutes played (36.5 mpg). Plus he averages 5.9 rebounds per game while shooting a solid .455 percent from the field. Henton can get after it on the break, can score inside and dial it up from deep.
Look for Henton to do some damage in March.
Freshman of the Year: Angel Delgado, Seton Hall
In another hotly contested race, Delgado gets the edge here over players like Trevon Bluiett and Duane Wilson as well as his Pirate teammate Isaiah Whitehead.
It was Delgado’s propensity to go off for a double-double on any particular night that gave him the edge here. Delgado is averaging 9.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, the latter of which leads the Big East.
Simply put, Delgado is an animal in the paint and he will cause headaches for years to come.
Coach of the Year: Chris Holtmann, Butler
After coming into the season as Butler’s interim coach— prior to Brandon Miller’s surprising sabbatical— Chris Holtmann has done of masterful job of guiding these Bulldogs back into the NCAA Tournament picture.
As a team that finished 9th in the Big East last season and had to deal with Miller’s uncertainty, Holtmann (who has since been named permanent head coach) has done a fantastic job of coaxing the most out this Butler team. Sure, the return of Roosevelt Jones helped tremendously, but Holtmann deserves the utmost respect for keeping it all together early and he should be the runaway choice here.
Most Improved Player of the Year: Sir’Dominic Pointer, St. John’s
When you think ‘glue guys’, Pointer’s name should immediately come to mind. Pointer has been so good this year, that he could conceivably make the All-Big East first team and even be in the discussion for Big East Player of the Year.
After averaging just 5.9 points and 3.2 rebounds last season for a St. Johns’ team that only made the NIT, Pointer has been perhaps the biggest reason why the Red Storm are poised to make it back to the Big Dance. While D’Angelo Russell gets all the love, Pointer does all the dirty work and it’s time we reward his all-around play.
This season Pointer is averaging 14 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.6 blocks and 2.0 steals per game. Those numbers all represent career highs. That is just mind-boggling across the board production. We haven’t even gotten into his defense…
Defensive Player of the Year: Sir’Dominic Pointer, St. John’s
And that leads into Pointer also taking home the Defensive Player of the Year award as well.
Pointer’s 2.6 blocks and his 2.0 steals per game both rank third in the Big East. His sticky man-to-man defense is perhaps Pointer’s most valuable skill set. He is an absolute pest to deal with and he should at least come home with two awards next week.