Welcome to the Big East Midseason Awards! We’re now halfway through conference play and things are heating up for some teams, others are shooting themselves in the foot, and DePaul is also here.
If you’re the kind of person who looks for validation on your team by seeing your player show up on a “First-Team” list or something, this article is for you! If you want to feel validated because your coach is the kind of person I said I’d want to have a beer with, this article is definitely for you. If you’re a fan of St. John’s then you should stop reading now because there’s nothing here for you.
Midseason Dream Team
My rules for the Dream Team were simple: pick a starting five you would want to see, and only one person per team. There’s ten Big East teams, so five will get represented on my dream team. The rest? Salty fans. Let’s do this!
Angel Delgado, Seton Hall
I don’t know how Angel Delgado is still playing college ball. He’s one of those seniors that seems to have been at the program since I was in college. I have some theories: Delgado is a Time Lord using a TARDIS to retain eligibility, he’s Benjamin Button’ed himself and is aging in reverse to keep young, he made a deal with a warlock for an anti-aging potion – you know, the usual stuff. Whatever he’s doing, kudos to him because he leads the Big East in rebounds per game (11.7) and also earned a spot on the John R. Wooden Award midseason list.
Jessie Govan, Georgetown
@JGovan15’s on clean-up crew! 💪#H4L #WeAreGeorgetown pic.twitter.com/XWQ2QulfBy
— Georgetown Hoops (@GeorgetownHoops) December 9, 2017
I think Jessie Govan deserves some credit for being a dominant player on a non-dominant team. He’s tenth in the Big East in points, second in rebounds, and third in blocks. I don’t think Govan would have my made my list had Martin Krampelj remained healthy, and I need to acknowledge that, but Govan deserves credit for what he’s done for Georgetown. Oh, and he spells his name the girl way.
Kelan Martin, Butler
Markus Howard, Marquette
Markus Howard didn’t get nominated for a Wooden midseason award. I think that’s nonsense. Howard, a sophomore, almost broke the Big East scoring record in an overtime win against Providence, leads the Big East in scoring, shoots 47%, oh and he was perfect from the free throw line (57-57 for the season) up until he missed two of his four in a loss to Xavier on Wednesday night. Markus Howard may be my controversial pick because he’s muscled out Trevon Bluiett, Marcus Foster, and Kyron Cartwright, but in my opinion he deserves to be here. And if you’re not that salty that he got in over one of these other three, pretend that Govan or Martin pushed them out instead of Howard.
Jalen Brunson, Villanova
He’s the perfect balance of scoring and assists. He’s a leader on the number one team in the nation. He thinks he’s Paul Pierce with that stupid kick-out-fall-on-the-ground-shooting-a-three move that draws the four point play (at least he did it against Providence the other night). He’s on the Wooden Award list (obviously). I don’t need to pump this guy up, you know why he’s on here. And, like Howard, you can guess why he muscled out Bluiett, Foster, and Cartwright – he’s one of the most balanced guards in the Big East.
They’re awards, but for individuals. Really not sure why I had to explain that one.
Midseason Coach of the Year: LaVall Jordan, Butler
LaVall Jordan is an easy pick for me. It’s not just that Butler has performed above expectations from the preseason thus far, it’s that they really haven’t missed much of a step. Usually when there’s a coaching change a team will be down for a year or two as they try to rebuild with a new coach at the helm, but Jordan has done a good job keeping the Bulldogs competitive in what could be the Big East’s scariest iteration since the realignment when they joined. Plus, they beat Villanova. That always counts for something.
Best Individual Performance: Markus Howard, Marquette (at Providence, 1/3)
Missed Potential: Martin Krampelj, Creighton
It’s really unfair the injuries that Greg McDermott has had to see his team endure. I like McDermott. I like Creighton. I think they’re some of the best fans in the Big East, I think the team and school are a class act, and the coach is someone I think will become another icon in the history of a conference with many memorable coaches. So it’s really unfair that the Bluejays had to lose Krampelj for the season because of a torn ACL.
Biggest Underachiever: St. John’s
Picked to finish sixth in the Big East, St. John’s is 0-9 at the end of the first half of conference play, good for dead last. They’re two games behind ninth place DePaul. There’s really not much to say. They haven’t won a conference game. Actually, that says it all.
Just for Fun Awards
Just like the name implies, these are awards that are just for the laughs. I’m sure people on message boards and Twitter will have their own thoughts, so be sure to share them with me. And if you don’t agree and want to yell at someone about it, take that thought and write it down, then stick it in a bottle and throw it in whatever body of water you’re closest to.
Coach I’d Like to Have a Podcast With: Ed Cooley, Providence
Ed Cooley mic’d up is the gift that keeps on giving pic.twitter.com/NjLQdsHX4n
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) January 13, 2018
This is a guy who made headlines for his rant about vampires and looking out for Dracula during the (very cool) mic’d up game against DePaul. Even before that Cooley is personable, charming, funny, and knowledgeable – just the kind of person you want on a podcast.
Coach I’d Like to Go Shopping With: Jay Wright, Villanova
How is this one even a surprise? Next!
Coach I’d Like to Have a Beer With: Greg McDermott, Creighton
McDermott is a down-to-Earth guy who seems very easy to talk to and hang out with, kind of like Ed Cooley but without the hilarious one-liners. He seems like the kind of guy who you would invite over for Sunday football and he’d show up with a 12 pack of beer for everyone and a cheese plate, help out around the kitchen, and also take an interest in your team even if that team in the New England Patriots. What a cool guy! Greg, you can buy me a beer any time you want!
Coach I’m Most Afraid Of: Kevin Willard, Seton Hall
Kevin Willard looks like my tenth grade math teacher, a man I both respected and feared for his intensity, appreciation of numbers, and sense of humor I didn’t seem to get but he loved. Yes, I did not do good in math, and it was partly because my math teacher was one intense dude. Willard would probably be the same way. Take him off the court and put him in a classroom, and watch everyone fall in line out of fear and confusion from jokes they don’t get but know that Willard loves to make.