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Big East Blogger Roundtable picks the Big East awards

Big East awards from the writers who cover the games around the league with snark and elan.

Otto Porter cuts down the nets. He was the group's unanimous pick for - well, you'll have to read on and find out.
Otto Porter cuts down the nets. He was the group's unanimous pick for - well, you'll have to read on and find out.

Yes, the Big East has officially started putting out the all-league awards. And being the last Big East Tournament with so many of the bloggers that I have read, respected, and collaborated with over the years (since this site was The East Coast Bias five years ago), it's time to round up some of the available writing heads and poll them about who WE would give awards to.

I'd like to thank everyone who participated and wish our brethren covering Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Louisville, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Notre Dame, and Rutgers well, since St. John's will be in a different conference. We may dislike the teams, but we love the people.

And wishing them well does not cover this week of basketball, which will hopefully be epic - even if many of the players and coaches haven't had the free time we have to understand what conference they will be in next year.

Today's panel:

Mark of Big East Coast Bias (Big East) | Scott of Bearcats Blog (Cincinnati) | Jeff of Down The Drive (Cincinnati) | Steve of WeAreDePaul (DePaul) | Brewtown Andy of Anonymous Eagle (Marquette) | Tim of Cracked Sidewalks (Marquette) | Anson of Cardiac Hill (Pittsburgh) | Chas of PittBlather (Pittsburgh) | Kevin of Friar Basketball | Warrior Friar of Friarblog (Providence) | (Providence) | Dave of On the Banks (Rutgers) | Quinn of Rumble In The Garden (St. John's) | Jamie of Voodoo Five (South Florida) | Brian of Orange::44 (Syracuse) | Brian of VUhoops (Villanova)

If you need to skip around, here are the sections:

Big East's Surprise team, buzzworthy side: Providence

A wide open Big East means that there were a lot of surprise teams and players. Providence won the polling, but Georgetown, Marquette, and Villanova - two teams expected to muddle in the middle of the standings and one expected to be closer to the bottom - drew three votes each.

"Providence isn't a powerhouse, but their guard-led team put together a nice campaign to get to the middle of the league from the bottom last year and upset some heavies. " - Brian, Orange:44

"Providence really has gone under the radar because they aren't likely to make the tournament, but I've been impressed with what they've done approaching 20 wins. They've got wins over Notre Dame, Cincinnati, and two over Villanova." - Anson, Cardiac Hill

Big East's surprise team, facepalm side: Cincinnati

Cincinnati and South Florida earned most of the scorn, with Rutgers, St. John's,. Pittsburgh, and Syracuse catching some stink-eye.

"The one team that really sticks out is Cincinnati, who grossly underachieved in league play after a promising nonconference start." - Quinn, Rumble in the Garden

Dishonorable mention: South Florida. "I thought South Florida would not necessarily sustain what they did last year, but at least stay out of the cellar. "- Mark Ennis, Big East Coast Bias

Coach of the Year Award: tie, Buzz Williams, John Thompson III

In honor of this award, each coach gets a goofy blog named after them with slavish praise about how he can do no wrong.

On John Thompson III aka JTIII:

"Like Mike Brey, JT III is fantastic in the regular season. They both have been pretty awful come tournament season. But that doesn't take away from the job Thompson has done this regular season." - Jeff, Down the Drive [ed note: he won't be writing the "JT III tha Leadership Destroyer" anytime soon.]

JT III: "There is no doubt that JT3 is the hands-down coach of the year. The way the Hoyas ripped through competition in January and February speaks volumes to the job he did." - Quinn, Rumble

On Buzz Williams:

"Buzz and JTIII both did great jobs, but no one thought Marquette would be good in the preseason. Hell, when Marquette lost to Milwaukee, no one thought they would be good during the season. They won a share of the league. Great job. " - Scott, Bearcats Blog

"JT3 changed the tires while the car was rolling this year, deftly balancing the Hoyas' ride after losing Whittington & blending in new talent successfully. Despite not having a first-team all-Big East performers, losing two of the league's best players & not replacing them with any flashy new talent, Buzz Williams' Marquette Warriors delivered an upside surprise once again." - Tim, Cracked Sidewalks [ed. note: I think they should start a side blog called "Reflections from Buzz' Dome."]

Love for Ed Cooley:

"Based on the Mike Brey principle, that COY goes to the coach of the team that far exceeds expectations, Cooley has to be considered." - Chas, Pitt Blather

Love for Kevin Ollie:

"Kevin Ollie gets my COY vote over JT3 because no one had any idea what UConn would look like with no frontcourt and nothing to play for this year." - Jamie, Voodoo Five

Rookie of the Year: JaKarr Sampson

JaKarr and all of the rookie picks were regular starters, except for Chris Obekpa, who started 10 of his 30 games.

JaKarr Sampson started 29 of 30 games, scoring 14.9 ppg with 6.6 rebounds as a focal point for St. John's offense - with 1.2 blocks per game for good measure.

All Rookie picks

D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera, G, Georgetown, 9 ppg/ 2.0 rpg/ 36% 3-point shooting
Ryan Arcidiacono, G, Villanova, 12.2 ppg/ 3.5 apg/ 34% 3-point shooting
Omar Calhoun, G, Connecticut, 11 ppg/ 3.9 rpg
Steven Adams, F, Pittsburgh, 7.1 ppg/ 6.2 rpg/ 2.1 blocks per game/ 58% FG shooting
Chris Obekpa, F, St. John's, 3.7 ppg/ 6 rpg/ 4.1 blocks per game


Best professional potential: JaKarr Sampson

Steven Adams, Steve Taylor, and Omar Calhoun also received votes.

Big East Player of the Year: Otto Porter (UNANIMOUS)

awardGeorgetown's forward averaged 16.4 points per game on a slow-paced team, shooting 50% from the field, 44% on three-pointers, and added 7.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2 steals, and a block per game.

"Could it be anyone else?" - Dave, On the Banks

"You could make a case for Russ Smith or even Jack Cooley here, but I'm going with Porter since he's the top player on the conference's best team. And averaging a few assists and steals a game as a big man is icing on the cake. - Anson, Cardiac Hill

"They need him to play well and he has for virtually all of the 2012-2013 season. He's the reason Georgetown is pounding on the door of a Big East title and possible number one seed in the NCAA Tournament." - Mark, Big East Coast Bias

"He was going to be POY anyway, but the game Porter played at Syracuse was like his mic drop." - Jamie, Voodoo Five

"A bad game for Otto Porter still consists of about 15+ points and close to 10 rebounds. He is easily one of the toughest match-ups in the league." - Brian, VU Hoops

All Big East

AwardRuss Smith, G, Louisville, led the league in total points and free throw attempts. 17.9 ppg/ 3 apg/ 2.1 spg/ 3.7 rpg
Bryce Cotton, G, Providence, league leader in points per game and three-point percentage among those making more than 2.5 attempts from beyond the arc per game. 19.6 ppg/ 38% 3pt shooting/ 3 apg/ 3.5 rpg
Shabazz Napier, G, Connecticut, third in three-pointers made, tenth in assists, fifth in steals. 17.1 ppg/ 4.6 apg/ 4.4 rpg, 40% three-point shooting
Jack Cooley, C, Notre Dame, led conference in rebounds and field goal percentage (among those who played 75% of games). 58% shooting/ 13.6 ppg/ 10.6 rpg/ 1.3 bpg
Gorgui Dieng, F/C, Louisville, second overall in blocks and rebounds. 52% shooting, 10.3 ppg/ 10.1 rpg/ 2.6 bpg


Cracked Sidewalks: "There was a lot of balance in the league this year among the top 15-20 players."

Orange:44: "I had trouble coming up with my final forward spot, but I think this list is solid and they have earned their places. Jack Cooley just squeaks in. Really, this has been a year for guards in the Big East and not much has impressed in terms of low post play."

Quinn: "I've seen much better All-Big East squads in recent years, but there's quality here. It may speak to why the league was so wide-open this year."

Homerism alert: Brian added Darrun Hilliard and JayVaughn Pinkston to his ballot. "I don't care, they've both been very very key to Villanova's resurgence this season and deserve a bit of love."

Michael Carter-Williams gets some love from Cardiac Hill. "He scores more than 12 points a game and leads the league in assists and steals. If that weren't enough, he adds about five rebounds a game."

Defensive Player of the Year: Chris Obekpa

Second place goes to Gorgui Dieng, who averaged 10 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game - adding 1.4 steals per contest as well.

Player you hated to watch

Tie: Shabazz Napier (tagged with being destructive to other teams) and D`Angelo Harrison (tagged with being selfish/ whining; his being removed from the Red Storm squad late in the season has influenced voters here and around the league.)

Best/ Worst games

Eight votes go to the five overtime thriller between Notre Dame and Louisville. And one WORST vote went to that same game - which was long, poorly played in stretches, despite being epic.

Best Big East non-conference game you watched
Best Big East CONFERENCE game you watched
Worst Big East CONFERENCE game you watched
Duke v. Louisville
Syracuse @ Louisville
Louisville @ Notre Dame
Voodoo Five
UConn dusting Michigan State in Germany.
The first Louisville-Syracuse game. The 5OT game was fun, but too sloppy.
I'm not allowed to vote for Georgetown-Tennessee, am I? If not, then USF-Seton Hall was hideous.
vs. UNC-Ash
at Villanova; buzzer beater at the end was great!
at Syracuse. There are no words.
Louisville vs. Kentucky
Louisville vs. Notre Dame
DePaul vs. USF
Friar Basketball
Louisville v Duke
Georgetown at Connecticut
Providence at Syracuse
Villanova vs. Purdue
Syracuse AT Villanova
Villanova AT Seton Hall
Down The Drive
Syracuse vs Marquette
Cincinnati-Notre Dame
Cardiac Hill
Notre Dame-Louisville 5OT game
Pitt-Notre dame
Big East Coast Bias
Miami at Duke
Louisville at Notre Dame
South Florida at Louisville
Louisville Notre Dame
Anonymous Eagle
Syracuse at Marquette
Georgetown at Marquette *CLANK*
Cracked Sidewalks
MU v Butler in Maui
Louisville @ Notre Dame
Cuse @ GU
Bearcats Blog
Ohio State at Michigan
Louisville at Notre Dame
South Florida at Cincinnati. Yeah it happened yesterday but it sucked
On the Banks
Notre Dame vs. Louisville, all the OTs
Rutgers Providence. Ugh. A 19-0 run by Providence. At the RAC??
Rumble In The Garden
Notre Dame vs. St. Joseph's (Barclays)
Notre Dame vs. Louisville (5 OTs)
St. John's vs. Notre Dame