Katherine Plouffe Named Big East Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Congratulations to Katherine Plouffe on her postseason awards! - Maggie Bean/MarquetteImages.com

In addition, Marquette's senior star was a unanimous choice for the All-Big East First Team!

The reconstituted Big East is going to take some getting used to for those of us who are attempting to discuss all of the team sports in the conference. As things have been going on this season, I've attempted to give you predictions as to who would earn the postseason award for the various sports. With the Big East women's basketball tournament not starting until Saturday night, I figured I had a little bit of time to publish a post with my predictions for their awards.

NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND.

Approximately 12 hours after the regular season ended, the Big East announced all of their postseason awards. So we'll cut straight to letting you know who ended up with what.

The important news for Marquette fans is that senior forward Katherine Plouffe was a unanimous choice for the All-Big East First Team, joining four other unanimous choices and six other players overall. Because I know you're asking right now, no, I don't know why the Big East has a seven player first team.

I'll let the Big East tell the story as to how Plouffe was named the best student-athlete in the entire conference this year:

Plouffe carries a 3.408 grade point average, majoring in communication studies. She has been a member of the BIG EAST All-Academic team for the past two seasons, been a Dean’s List member since 2011 and was recently named to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 team. On the court, Plouffe is the BIG EAST’s No. 2 scorer this season at 17.6 points per game, and the third-leading rebounder at 9.3 boards per contest. She is the league’s active career scoring and rebounding leader with 1,495 points and 911 caroms.

Plouffe is Marquette's lone representative in the year end awards, so let's move on to the rest of the league.

Creighton sophomore Marissa Janning was named the Player of the Year after leading the Big East in scoring this season with 18.3 points per game, and she raised her game against conference opponents, averaging 19.9 in league games.

Georgetown's Natalie Butler was named Big East Freshman of the Year, and it really wasn't a difficult choice for the coaches. Butler set both the Big East's league games total rebounds and rebound average records, as well as the record for Freshman of the Week awards. She also knocked down the Georgetown record for rebounds in a season while ranking sixth in the country in rebounding average.

DePaul's Doug Bruno was named Coach of the Year. I imagine that it was St. John's late season swoon that earned Bruno the nod, as it's not terribly interesting to give the award to the guy coaching the regular season champs that were picked to end up there.

Butler's Liz Stratman was named Defensive Player of the Year largely because of her league leading 2.1 blocked shots per game. Marquette fans know first hand why Caroline Coyer earned the league's Sixth-Man Award, as she finished second on the Wildcats in scoring while coming off the bench for all 18 league games. Tabatha Richardson-Smith from Seton Hall was named the Big East's Most Improved Player after going from playing just 12 minutes a game a year ago to finishing third in the league in scoring. Richardson-Smith's breakthrough powered the Pirates to their highest win total since 2009-10.

We'll wrap up with the official list of the all-conference teams. The carrots next to a player's name signify a unanimous selection.

All-BIG EAST First Team
Marissa Janning, Creighton^
Brittany Hrynko DePaul^
Jasmine Penny, DePaul^
Katherine Plouffe, Marquette^
Aliyyah Handford, St. John’s^
Ka-Deidre Simmons, Seton Hall
Devon Kane, Villanova

All-BIG EAST Second Team
Daress McClung, Butler
McKenzie Fujan, Creighton
Sarah Nelson, Creighton
Natalie Butler, Georgetown
Andrea White, Georgetown
Alexis Harris, Providence
Tabatha Richardson-Smith, Seton Hall

All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Megan Rogowski, DePaul
Liz Stratman, Butler
Amber Thompson, St. John’s

BIG EAST All-Freshman Team
Jessica January, DePaul^
Natalie Butler, Georgetown^
Faith Woodard, Georgetown^
Sarah Beal, Providence^
Jade Walker, St. John’s
Sidney Cook, Seton Hall
Maddison Blackwell, Xavier

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