We are over a third of the way through the conference play and things are very exciting in the Big East. 6 of the 10 teams are within two games of first place. That doesn't even include St. John’s who was looking like a NCAA team until they started 1-4 in conference. With all of these teams bunched up the battle for player of the year and first-team all-Big East are competitive and very fluid. Expect this list to change on a weekly basis. (Conference stats listed below as of 1/26)
Player of the Year:
Kris Dunn (So. - Providence) – 16.6 ppg, 8.6 apg, 7.0 rbg
Kris Dunn is the straw that stirs the drink for the 5-2 Friars. After fighting off injuries for the first two years Dunn is finally living up to the expectations he had as a top recruit. Dunn leads the league in assists, is 5th in scoring, 6th in rebounding, and contributes 2.0 steals per game, which is 2nd in Big East play. He also dominated OT, outscoring the Georgetown Hoyas by himself, in a win against the first place squad earlier in the season.
All Conference Team:
Roosevelt Jones (Jr. – Butler) – 16.5 ppg, 6.5 rbg, 2.9 apg
Jones has done a good job returning from being red-shirt last year to lead Butler along with Kellan Dunham. He went for 28 in a last second loss to Georgetown last week. Jones is 4th in the conference in scoring, 10th in rebounding and 11th in assists for the 5-3 Bulldogs.
LaDontae Henton (Sr. - Providence) – 23.4 ppg, 6.3 rbg
Henton has been on the receiving end on a lot of the Kris Dunn assists. The highly skilled wing leads the conference in scoring pouring in over 23 a game. Henton shoots the three well making 2.6 a game in conference play. LaDontae has been a workhorse in Big East play for Ed Cooley, averaging 39.6 minutes per game.
Ryan Arcidiacono (Jr. - Villanova) – 12.0 ppg, 4.6 apg
“Arch” as he’s known to fans is one of three or four guys from Villanova deserving consideration for this spot. The guard leads the top-ten Wildcats in assists and is their second leading scoring.
Sterling Gibbs (Jr. - Seton Hall) – 17.6 ppg, 3.9 apg
Gibbs is the best player on the surprisings Pirates. He leads the team in scoring that is still breaking in two big-time freshman, Isaiah Whitehead – who will be returning from injury soon, and Angel Delgado.
On the Verge –D’vauntes Smith-Rivera (Jr. - Georgetown), D’Angelo Harrison (Sr. - St. John’s), Darrun Hilliard (Sr. – Villanova)
Freshman of the Year:
Angel Delgado (Seton Hall) – 10.4 ppg, 10.6 rbg,
Delgado has been a workhorse for the Pirates, averaging a double-double in conference play. He’s been particularly tough on the offensive glass, where he leads the conference with three per game. Seton Hall is on a three game conference losing streak, but Delgado went for 19 points and 19 rebounds against DePaul last Thursday.
On the Verge – Isaac Copeland (Georgetown) – After going scoreless in an overtime loss to Providence on January 10, Copeland has been steadily improving. Eight points in a win at DePaul, followed up by a game winning three against Butler and then 17 points and 6 rebounds against both Villanova and Marquette on 12-18 shooting.
A balanced conference with 6 ranked teams and 6 teams sporting a conference record of .500 or better. As Kansas proved this weekend in Austin, the road to the regular season goes through Lawrence until proven otherwise. Iowa State staked their claim to with a win over the Jayhawks in front of a raucous crowd, but then fell in Lubbock to a winless Texas Tech squad. The conference’s strength and balance was shown when West Virginia, Texas, and Oklahoma took turns beating each other by 20.
Buddy Heild (Jr. - Oklahoma) – 21.4 ppg, 6.1 rbg,
One of the best pure scorers in college basketball, Heild leads a potent Sooners attack and has poured in over 20 in 5 of 6 conference games. Buddy scored 27 without missing a shot from the field in a win over OSU and then followed that up with 26 points in a close loss at Kansas. The athletic wing also averages 1.4 steals per game.
All Conference Team:
Monte Morris (So. Iowa State) – 10 ppg, 4.2 rbg, 6.3 apg
Morris has stepped right in to fill the big shoes left by the Deandre Kane, the Cyclones do everything point guard from last year. Morris leads the conference in assists with 6.3 per game while also averaging 10 points and over 4 boards per contest. He had a double-double in a big win over Kansas.
Devin Williams (West Virginia) – 13.5 ppg, 9.3 rbg
The big man who does the dirty work for Coach Huggin’s squad has really stepped his game up this year. The bruiser has his best game last week against Iowa State when he had 14 points and ripped down 15 boards for the surprising Mountaineers.
Georges Niang (Jr. - Iowa State) – 12.5 ppg, 5.2 rbg, 2.8 apg
Mr. Consistency, Niang is been very reliable and had his best game of the conference season against Kansas, leading the Cyclones with 15 points, 5 boards, and 5 assists. The stretch-4, Niang is also averaging two made 3's per game.
Myles Turner (Texas) – 10.8 ppg, 7 rpg, 3 blocks (Freshman of the Year)
The imposing freshman center with three point range just keeps getting better. He had an impressive game against Oklahoma St. with 18 points and 5 blocks while also going 4-4 from three. He struggled to get touches on the offensive end in a home loss to Kansas, but he still recorded 5 blocks before fouling out.
On the Verge – Kelly Oubre (Fr. - Kansas), Marcus Foster (So. - Kansas State), Le’Bryan Nash (Sr. Oklahoma State)
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