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Big East blogger roundtable: All-Big East teams + player of the year

Player of the year | Newcomer of the year | Coach of the year

Continuing with the tradition of blogger roundtables, I asked a number of blogging reps from various schools to give me their 6-man All-Big East team and their player of the year. Unlike last time, we didn't get full school participation, but 19 respondents is a pretty nice haul.

Your panel:

Cincinnati - Scott, Bearcats Blog (@BearcatsBlog - twitter, Facebook page) | Cincinnati - Matt, Down the Drive (@DownTheDrive - twitter, Facebook page) | DePaul - John, Chicago College Basketball (@ChiColBball - twitter) | DePaul - Jon, Blue Demons Lair (@BlueDemonsLair - twitter, Facebook page) | Georgetown - Andrew, Casual Hoya (@Casual Hoya - twitter, Facebook page) | Marquette - Cracked Sidewalks (@CrackedSidewlks - twitter, Facebook page) | Marquette - Anonymous Eagle (@AnonymousEagle - twitter, Facebook page) | Pittsburgh - Chas, Pitt Blather (@ChasRich - twitter) | Pittsburgh - Anson, Cardiac Hill (@PittPantherBlog - twitter) | Providence - Kevin, Friar Basketball (@FriarBasketball - twitter, Facebook page) | Rutgers - Dave, On the Banks (@OnTheBanks - twitter, Facebook page) | Seton Hall - JP, South Orange Juice (@SOrangeJuice - twitter, Facebook page) | South Florida - Ken, Voodoo Five (@SBNVoodooFive - twitter, Facebook page) | St. John's - Dave, Johnny Jungle (@JohnnyJungleSTJ - twitter, Facebook page) | St. John's - Pico, Rumble in the Garden (@RumbleSBN, Facebook page) | Syracuse - Brian, Orange 44, (@BH_Orange - twitter) | Villanova - Brian, VU Hoops (@VUHoops - twitter, Facebook page) | Villanova - Chris, The Nova Blog (@SBNTheNovaBlog - twitter, Facebook page) | Villanova - Joe, Villanova By the Numbers | West Virginia - Wesley, The Smoking Musket (@CountryRoadsWV - twitter, Facebook page)

The first question was about the All-Big East team; I didn't specify by position, and most gave a guard-heavy lineup. See the pick for Player of the Year and all-league, with some comments by the contributors, below the fold.

1a: your 6 person all-league team, with the player of the year at the top.

Ben Hansbrough 
Kemba Walker
Dwight Hardy
Marshon Brooks

Our crack panel likes Ben Hansbrough for Player of the Year. By ballot:

Smoking Musket Hansbrough Hardy Walker Brooks Freeman Gibbs
Friar Basketball Brooks Walker Hardy Hansbrough Gibbs Jackson
Orange 44 Hansbrough Brooks Hardy Walker Jackson Gibbs
Rumble in the Garden Hansbrough Hardy Walker Brooks Jackson Wanamaker
South Orange Juice Hansbrough Walker Hardy Jackson Brooks Gibbs
Chicago College Basketball Hansbrough Walker Hardy Freeman Brooks Jackson
Bearcats Blog Hansbrough Walker Brooks Gibbs Hardy Wanamaker
Johnny Jungle Hardy Hansbrough Brooks Freeman Jackson Walker
VU Hoops Brooks Walker Hardy Jackson Wanamaker Hansbrough
Anonymous Eagle Hansbrough Hardy Walker Brooks Gibbs
The Nova Blog Brooks Hardy Wanamaker Hansbrough Fisher Jackson
Pitt Blather Hansbrough Walker Hardy Brooks Jackson Wanamaker
Blue Demons Lair Walker Brooks Hansbrough Hardy Fisher Freeman
Down the Drive Walker Brooks Hansbrough Jackson Hardy Freeman
Cardiac Hill Walker Hardy Brooks Hansbrough Freeman Gibbs
Cracked Sidewalks Hardy Walker Jackson Wanamaker Brooks Hansbrough
Villanova by the Numbers Walker Hazell Hansbrough Jackson McGhee
Casual Hoya Walker Hansbrough Freeman Brooks Wanamaker Hardy
On the Banks Hansbrough Walker Brooks Hardy Jackson Gibbs
Voodoo Five Walker Hansbrough Hardy Brooks Gibbs Jackson

And the consensus all-Big East selections:

Ben Hansbrough
Dwight Hardy
Kemba Walker
Marshon Brooks
Rick Jackson
Ashton Gibbs
Austin Freeman
Brad Wanamaker
Corey Fisher
Gary McGhee
Jeremy Hazell

Some comments:

The Smoking Musket:

1. Ben Hansbrough, Notre Dame (Better team record than other contenders.)
2. Dwight Hardy, St. Johns (MVP, but not POY.)
3. Kemba Walker, UConn (National POY candidate, but team stumbled late.)
4. Marshon Brooks, Providence (Can't ignore his scoring.)
5. Austin Freeman, Georgetown (Preseason POY was solid, but didn't live up to hype.)
6. Ashton Gibbs, Pitt (Pitt is a balanced team, Gibbs is the straw that stirs the drink.)

Rumble in the Garden: I think Hardy came on a little late to win the award outright. He's obviously makes the Red Storm move, and he's probably the Most valuable Player in February and beyond, but Ben Hansbrough impressed me with how he managed to run the veteran Irish, despite the loss of Tory Jackson and Luke Harangody, to a top-2 finish; and his all-around game is really impressive. Hardy is close, but over the season, I like Hansbrough better for the award.

South Orange Juice: Not a lot of good forwards this year, hence the guard-heavy lineup. Hansbrough gets my POY vote because he won the H2H matchup with Walker, and because his effective transition to point guard has been the reason behind ND's success.

Pitt Blather: Honestly, I'd like to split my POY vote between Hansbrough and Walker, but I have to give just the slightest edge to Hansbrough. Walker tailed off a bit late in the season, but he's had to carry more of the load on UConn's team so that has to be a factor. Just what Hansbrough has done and the way he's played can't be ignored -- even if I hate the guy.

Down the Drive: I know there is only one post player in the bunch, but what else can you do with a league that is so guard heavy.

Cardiac Hill: Note: If we're doing six players including all positions, here are my picks:
Guards - Kemba Walker, Ben Hansbrough, Dwight Hardy
Forwards - Marshon Brooks, Rick Jackson
Center - Augustus Gilchrist

If we're doing six players regardless of position:

Kemba Walker, Dwight Hardy, Marshon Brooks, Ben Hansbrough, Austin Freeman, Ashton Gibbs

Villanova by the Numbers: POY - Dwight Hardy, St. John's (#2) - most impressive player I've seen in person this season; his best games were against the best competition.

Kemba Walker, Connecticut (#1) -- it was either Walker or Siva. Without Walker, the Huskies are underwater.
Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall (#2) -- yeah he's a gunner, but damn...
Ben Hansbrough, Notre Dame (#2/#3)
Rick Jackson, Syracuse (#4/#5)
Gary McGhee, Pittsburgh (#5)