The Big East held their annual awards ceremony this afternoon at Madison Square Garden ahead of the league’s postseason tournament that begins later tonight. The results weren’t overly shocking.
Villanova’s Josh Hart, a finalist for the Wooden Award, was named the Big East’s Player of the Year. Hart is the fourth Villanova player to win this award and the first since Ryan Arcidiacono shared the award with Kris Dunn in 2015. Other Villanova winners were Randy Foye (2006) and Kerry Kittles (1995).
Creighton big man Justin Patton was named the Big East’s Freshman of the Year. Patton is the first Creighton player to win this award, which was previously called “Rookie of the Year” from 1989 through 2015 season after starting out as “Freshman of the Year” from 1980-1984. Patton is the first redshirt freshman to win the award. He led all Big East freshmen during league play in rebounds and blocks and was 4th in total points scored. Patton averaged 13.1 points/game, 6.3 rebounds/game and 1.5 blocks/game for the season. His numbers were very similar in Big East play (13.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.4 bpg). Patton was named a Second Team All-Big East performer on Sunday.
Butler’s Chris Holtmann took home Big East Coach of the Year honors. This marks the first time a Butler coach has won the award. Holtmann led Butler to a 12-5 league record, good for a second place finish in Big East play. The Bulldogs finished the regular season 23-7 and are currently ranked 18th in the AP Top 25. Butler was picked to finish 6th in the preseason Big East coaches poll.
DePaul senior guard Billy Garrett Jr was named the Big East’s Scholar Athlete of the Year. Garrett was awarded the Big East’s Sportsmanship Award on Monday.
There were no ties or co-winners this year for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
Big East Player of the Year
- Josh Hart, Villanova, Senior
Big East Freshman of the Year
- Justin Patton, Creighton, Freshman
Big East Coach of the Year
- Chris Holtmann, Butler
Big East Scholar Athlete of the Year
- Billy Garrett Jr., DePaul, Senior
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