The 2020 Big East conference slate has come to an and what a finish it was. Seton Hall came into the last week with two games left. Their last two games: a home game against Villanova and a game at Creighton. Seton Hall lost both games and there was a three-way tie for first place in the Big East. Creighton, Villanova, and Seton Hall all share of the Big East regular-season title. There was also the incredible turnaround by Providence, who after going 7-6 in their non-conference slate, went 12-6 to finish the season. This marked their most Big East win ever, and the first time they beat every single team in the conference. There was also DePaul, who after going 12-1 in non-conference play, won only 3 games in Big East play. It was a wild season, so let’s take a look at the regular season awards.
Big East Player of the Year: Myles Powell Seton Hall
No surprise here, Myles Powell is the Player of the Year. One of the finest players in College basketball, Powell helped lead the Pirates to (a share) of their first Big East regular-season title since 1993. The Pirates went 21-9 and 13-5 record in the Big East. Powell scored 21 points per game, grabbed 4.3 rebounds, dished out 2.9 assists on 39% from the field and 31% from 3. Despite struggling at times to hit shots, Powell more often than not guided the Pirates down the stretch. His defense should also be praised, with Powell frustrating plenty of Big East guards. Although Markus Howard is a fantastic scorer, his lack of production outside of scoring and lack of team success held him back from winning this award again. Powell will surely be one Seton Hall fans never forget.
Big East Freshman of the Year: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl Villanova
Yet again not a surprise with JRE winning this award. He’s been a huge part of Villanova’s squad this year and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. Although JRE was not ‘the’ heralded freshmen of Villanova’s stacked 2019 recruiting class (that would be Byrne Antonie), he emerged early in the season. JRE averaged nearly a double-double a game, with 10.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2 assists on 46% shooting from the field and 86% from the free-throw line. Robinson-Earl’s interior presence and versatility have allowed Nova to space the floor and un-clog the lanes, allowing their guards and wings to attack at will. His fellow freshman and teammate Justin Moore should be mentioned, as he too was a huge part of this strong Villanova squad and should emerge as Viallnoa’s next great guard in the future.
Big East Coach of the Year: Greg McDermott Creighton
Coming into the season, Creighton was picked to finish in 7th in the Big East preseason poll. Then big man Jacob Epperson was sidelined for the year with an injury. Then starting guard Davon Mintz would be taking a medical redshirt and sitting out the year due to injury. Did this stop Creighton? Not at all, as the Bluejays went 24-7 and 13-5 in Big East play, getting (a share) of their first-ever Big East regular-season title. This was accomplished behind the strong play of Marcus Zegarowski, Mitchell Ballock, Denzel Mahoney, and Ty-Shon Alexander. These four played phenomenally throughout the season and Creighton will likely be a top 3 seed come tournament time. Of course, a ton of credit should go to McDermott, who got this team running like a well-oiled machine. There offense and defense were both strong and McDermott has finally gotten the recognition he deserves.
Other Awards and Honors
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Kamar Baldwin
Freshman of the Year: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
Sixth Man of the Year: Denzel Mahoney, Creighton
Defensive Player of the Year: Romaro Gill, Seton Hall
Most Improved Player: Romaro Gill, Seton Hall
Kamar Baldwin, Butler
Ty-Shon Alexander, Creighton
Markus Howard, Marquette
Saddiq Bey, Villanova
Naji Marshall, Xavier
Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton
Paul Reed, DePaul
Alpha Diallo, Providence
Collin Gillespie, Villanova
Tyrique Jones, Xavier
Romeo Weems, DePaul
Julian Champagnie, St John’s
Justin Moore, Villanova
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova
Zach Freemantle, Xavier
KyKy Tandy, Xavier