DraftExpress 2006-2007 Big East Postseason Awards

DraftExpress 2006-2007 Big East Postseason Awards
Feb 27, 2007, 02:07 am
DraftExpress 2006-2007 Big 10 Postseason Honors

Player of the Year: Jeff Green, 6-9, Junior, SF/PF, Georgetown


Green might not have the best stats around, largely due to a slow start, but he’s been the most impressive all-around player in the Big East since the in-conference portion of Georgetown’s schedule kicked off. Coincidentally, his draft stock has also skyrocketed over the past six weeks.

Freshman of the Year: Scottie Reynolds, 6-2, Freshman, Point Guard, Villanova

Reynolds started the year off slow as you might expect from a freshman forced to shoulder an extremely important role playing a legit non-conference schedule. He heated up quickly once the Big East started, though, emerging as a major reason why, barring a collapse, Villanova will likely be making the NCAA Tournament in a rebuilding year.

Defensive Player of the Year: Roy Hibbert, 7-2, Junior, Center, Georgetown

Hibbert’s steadying, fundamental presence as the anchor of Georgetown’s defense is an essential part of John Thompson III’s game plan, and is one of the main reasons the Hoyas are the best team in the conference. Ken Pomeroy did a convincing job on ESPN Insider explaining why Hibbert deserves special consideration in determining who the best defensive big man in the country is.

Coach of the Year: Rick Pitino, Louisville

After a terrible 5-4 start to the season, as well as multiple internal distractions and injuries, Rick Pitino quickly righted the ship behind one of the stingiest defenses seen in all of college basketball. He once again proved why he’s a hall of fame coach, leading Louisville to a surprising 2nd or 3rd place finish in the Big East. Considering that the Cardinals will return their top 7 scorers next year-- barring unexpected attrition or more idiocy from Derrick Caracter—we can expect Louisville to remain right at the top of the Big East in the preseason rankings come November.

Draft Prospect of the Year: Herbert Hill, 6-10, Senior, PF/C, Providence

A player that averaged only 9 points a game on a mediocre team as a junior, Hill proved to be one of the most improved players in college basketball during the 2006-2007 campaign. He still has work to do on his draft stock in the pre-draft camps and private workouts, but just the fact that he’s even in the conversation as a potential late 1st round pick is a testament to his outstanding work ethic.

1st Team All-Big East:

Jeff Green, 6-9, Junior, SF/PF, Georgetown
Roy Hibbert, 7-2, Junior, Center, Georgetown
Herbert Hill, 6-10, Senior, PF/C, Providence
Demetris Nichols, 6-8, Senior, Small Forward, Syracuse
Russell Carter, 6-4, Senior, Shooting Guard, Notre Dame

Seniors Herbert Hill, Demetris Nichols and Russell Carter went from not being amongst the 14 players mentioned as preseason All-Big East candidates, to contenders for conference player of the year honors, epitomizing how quickly things can change in the college basketball landscape. Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert made the preseason list and showed steady improvement over the course of the year in emerging as legit stars at the collegiate level, despite playing in a system that is not considered particularly stat-friendly.

2nd Team All-Big East:

Aaron Gray, 7-1, Senior, Center, Pitt
Curtis Sumpter, 6-7, Senior, SF/PF, Villanova
Dominic James, 5-11, Sophomore, Point Guard, Marquette
Jerel McNeal, 6-3, Sophomore, PG/SG, Marquette
Geoff McDermott, 6-7, Sophomore, SF/PF, Providence

Aaron Gray was the preseason player of the year, but minor injuries, general inconsistency and some passivity or unselfishness left him in a similar situation to where he was last year. Curtis Sumpter made a miraculous recovery from a serious injury and ended up having his best year in college basketball, but seemed to slow down as the Big East slate moved on. Dominic James also started off the season in great shape, but a dreadful slump-- which he is still suffering from—put a serious damp on his and Marquette’s season, which they can make everyone easily forget in the month of March. His teammate, Jerel McNeal, emerged in his place during some stretches, and is certainly oozing with natural ability, but still has a ways to go In the consistency department as well.
Geoff McDermott is one of the best-kept secrets in college basketball, proving to be one of the most versatile players not only in the Big East, but possibly in the entire country. Similar to former Friar Ryan Gomes in some aspects, he is a triple double waiting to happen with his phenomenal passing and rebounding skills. Better yet, he’s only a sophomore.

3rd Team All-Big East:

Wilson Chandler, 6-8, Sophomore, SF/PF, DePaul
Terrence Williams, 6-6, Sophomore, SG/SF, Louisville
Jerome Dyson, 6-3, Freshman, Shooting Guard, Connecticut
Scottie Reynolds, 6-2, Freshman, Point Guard, Villanova
Eugene Harvey, 6-0, Freshman, Point Guard, Seton Hall

Wilson Chandler is showing improving on his perimeter game and flashes some serious talent from time to time, but was still too inconsistent to lead DePaul past yet another disappointing season. Terrence Williams might be the most athletic player in the conference, and when he wasn’t insisting on hurling up bricks unconsciously, actually managed to drop some tantalizing signs of his massive potential on occasion. Jerome Dyson was one of the few bright spots this year in what was otherwise a disastrous season for the Huskies. His outstanding scoring instincts and supreme confidence will help Jim Calhoun mold him into a legit college star before it’s all said and done. Although he was anything but consistent this year, when things were going well for Scottie Reynolds, Villanova clicked like a well-oiled machine. His combination of shooting and playmaking ability has to have Wildcats fans excited about what the future holds for them. The 5th leading scorer and 10th leading assist-man in the Big East, Eugence Harvey's outstanding freshman season went a long way in helping Seton Hall avoid becoming the doormats of the conference.

All Freshman Team:

Jerome Dyson, 6-3, Shooting Guard, Connecticut
Scottie Reynolds, 6-2, Point Guard, Villanova
Eugene Harvey, 6-0, Point Guard, Seton Hall
Deonta Vaughn, 6-1, PG/SG, Cincinnati
Dajuan Summers, 6-8, SF/PF, Georgetown

Players to look out for in 2008:

Joe Alexander, 6-8, Sophomore, Small Forward, West Virginia
Derrick Caracter*, 6-9, Freshman, PF/C, Louisville
Paul Harris, 6-4, Freshman, Shooting Guard, Syracuse
Jerel McNeal, 6-3, Sophomore, PG/SG, Marquette
Stanley Robinson, 6-8, Freshman, SF/PF, Connecticut

At times, Alexander looked like a star in the making in his breakout sophomore season, displaying outstanding athleticism and a perimeter game that could become lethal if he takes this offseason seriously. At 6-8, he has all the tools NBA scouts look for in a small forward, and will be expected to shoulder a much bigger role next season.
Heaping any type of praise on Derrick Caracter is a seemingly dangerous proposition considering that he’s been hanging by the thinnest of threads all season long due to his immaturity and unacceptable behavior, but who can ignore the potential he flashes? If he can somehow get himself together, he has NBA written all over him. We won’t hold our breath, but it will certainly be interesting to follow in 2007-2008.
Paul Harris didn’t live up to expectations as a freshman and spent extended time in Jim Boeheim’s doghouse, but we’re not quite willing to give up on him yet, especially if he’ll be seeing more action as a ball-handler and will be finally unleashed on the defensive end.
Jerel McNeal was a bit too similar to Dominic James in his stubbornness and the way he likes to dominate as a ball-handler to make the kind of consistent impact we thought he could, but with James likely leaving next year, Marquette will only go as far as he leads them. Stanley Robinson was about as streaky as Jim Calhoun’s entire squad for the majority of the season, but when he was on, there weren’t too many forwards in the Big East who showed a better upside.

First-team All-Disappointment:

Jim Boeheim, Head Coach, Syracuse
Terrence Roberts, 6-9, Senior, Power Forward, Syracuse
Sammy Mejia, 6-5, Senior, Point Guard, DePaul
Juan Palacios, 6-8, Junior, Power Forward, Louisville
Hasheem Thabeet, 7-3, Freshman, Center, UConn

Jim Boeheim had way too much talent and experience to endure the type of season he went through this season, despite the huge win over Georgetown that helped the Orange punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. Next year, Boeheim should try scheduling a real out of conference schedule if he wants to complain about the selection process. Terrence Roberts endured a serious injury and continued to play through it regardless, but even when healthy, he never came close to realizing the potential he has considering his phenomenal natural tools in his four years of college basketball.
Sammy Mejia hasn’t improved much if at all over the past few years, as evidenced by the dramatic swings him and Depaul suffered all season long. In one game he scored 40 points, while 10 other times he didn’t manage to crack double figures.
Juan Palacios is another player who has made little to no progress since emerging as a freshman, and Louisville didn’t seem to notice his absence when he was down with another of his chronic injuries.
It might be unfair to label an extremely raw freshman like Hasheem Thabeet a disappointment so quickly, but considering the hype he came in with, it’s hard not to feel any other way.

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