Providence’s Dunn, Villanova’s Arcidiacono Share Big East Player of the Year Award

Ed Cooley has stated from day one in Providence that Friartown is a family. Well apparently there’s plenty of sharing that happens in the Friartown family as Kris Dunn was named the Big East’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year on Monday by the league’s coaches and on Wednesday the Big East announced that Dunn would share the Big East Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono.

Courtesy of Providence College Athletics
Courtesy of Providence College Athletics

Prior to this announcement Providence had never had any player win Big East Player of the Year in the 35 year history of the award. Dunn becomes the first. Arcidiacono is the 3rd Villanova player to win the award (Kerry Kittles in 1995 and Randy Foye in 2006). This marks the 7th time in league history that two players have shared the award. Dunn was a unanimous selection to the All-Big East First Team that was announced on March 8th, along with LaDontae Henton and Darrun Hilliard. Arcidiacono was a member of the 7-player First Team but the fact that Hilliard was unanimously selected and Arcidiacono makes this choice a little puzzling. Coaches cannot vote for their own players.

Dunn led the Big East in assists (7.7 apg) and steals (2.8 spg). He’s the first player to ever accomplish that in the league’s history. Dunn is the 6th Friar to lead the Big East in assists and this marks the 4th consecutive season a Providence player has led the Big East in assists. Dunn also had a triple-double in Big East action against DePaul. That was the first triple-double for a Friar ever in Big East play and only the 9th one overall in school history. He also had 5 other double-doubles this season and scored 20 or more points 9 times.

Dunn is having a historic season in school history. His 223 assists this season is the 7th most in a single season in school history. He is within striking distance of both Vincent Council and God Shammgod to enter the top 5. Dunn currently has the 9th most steals in a single season in school history with 85. He is 3 behind Shammgod for 8th. His assists average of 7.4 would be good for the 6th best single season average in school history. His steals average of 2.83 would be good for the 10th best single season average in school history.

Dunn has also managed to climb some career lists already. Through 59 career games Dunn is averaging 5.42 assists/game and 2.05 steals/game. The assists/game average is good for 6th best and the steals/game average is also good for 6th best. The redshirt sophomore has electrified Friartown this season. NBCSports.com’s Rob Dauster named Dunn as a Second Team All-American and so did ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman but Dunn got snubbed from the final list for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year award. Dunn is also the 6th player in league history to win Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season.

Arcidiacono’s numbers are not flashy at 12.9 points/game and 3.6 assists/game in conference play but he is the point guard and a leader on the best team in the league so I suppose that’s how the voters saw it. With 4 players from 2 teams likely getting the most votes a scenario where votes between teammates are split isn’t that crazy to consider.

Dunn and Arcidiacono are two fantastic players who are both deserving. I would have been able to say the same thing if the two seniors in Henton and Hilliard got the nod. Dunn has now racked up unanimous First Team All-Big East, co-Defensive Player of the Year and co-Player of the Year. That’s a pretty impressive season if you ask me.

Also announced Wednesday is the news that Villanova’s Jay Wright is the Big East Coach of the Year, Angel Delgado is the Big East Rookie of the Year and Alex Barlow is the Big East Scholar Athlete of the Year.

The Big East Tournament opens play at 7:00pm Wednesday at Madison Square Garden when #8 Seton Hall takes on #9 Marquette. That game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.

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