In a season that has not gone the way anyone in blue & gold had hoped for, there are still postseason awards to collect. On Sunday, senior forward Davante Gardner was named to the All-Big East Second Team, while freshman forward Deonte Burton was one of seven players named to the All-Rookie Team.
Gardner was on the preseason all-conference First Team, and while his minutes, points, and rebounds are all up over last year and his turnovers are down, Marquette's overall shortcomings had a decided impact on Gardner's standing with the conference. Even though Gardner was Marquette's most dominant offensive force, he only ended up with three Weekly Honor Roll nods from the conference, and never poked his head onto the Player of the Week list. Granted, that was hard to do this year with Creighton's Doug McDermott breaking the league record for POTW nods, but there were six other players to do it this year, and two of them - Providence's Bryce Cotton and Villanova's James Bell - did it on multiple occasions.
Burton has been the lone standout amongst Marquette's three active freshmen. He's the only one of the three to see action in all 31 of Marquette's games this season, and the only one to play in more than 23 games. His raw statistics have not been overwhelming, as he only averages 12.2 minutes per game, but Burton has been a force of nature while he's on the court, and it shows when you look at advanced stats. Burton uses more possessions than any other player on Marquette's squad due to his mindset of trying to score every time he touches the ball, and he rebounds the ball on the offensive end at the same rate that Gardner does, which would have them both tied for 309th in the country if Burton played enough minutes to qualify. Burton is the only Golden Eagle with block and steal rates over 3%, and he actually leads the team in steal rate. Again, if Burton had the minutes to qualify, he would be 5th in the country in steal rate at 5.4%, meaning only four players would end more defensive possessions in steals than him.
Doug McDermott, Bryce Cotton, and Xavier's Semaj Christon were all unanimous choices for the all-Big East First Team, and they were joined on the first team by Villanova's James Bell, Georgetown's Markel Starks, and St. John's D`Angelo Harrison. The Big East Player of the Year will come from that group and will be announced on Wednesday, along with the Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Here's the full list of all-conference teams:
ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
*Doug McDermott, Creighton, F, Sr., 6-8, 225, Ames, Iowa
Markel Starks, Georgetown, G, Sr., 6-2, 175, Accokeek, Md.
*Bryce Cotton, Providence, G, Sr., 6-1, 165, Tucson, Ariz.
D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s, G, Jr., 6-4, 204, Missouri City, Texas
James Bell, Villanova, G, Sr., 6-6, 220, Orlando, Fla.
*Semaj Christon, Xavier, G, So., 6-3, 190, Cincinnati, Ohio
ALL-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM^
Kellen Dunham, Butler, G, So., 6-6, 185, Pendleton, Ind.
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown, G, So., 6-3, 218, Indianapolis, Ind.
Davante Gardner, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-8, 290, Suffolk, Va.
Kadeem Batts, Providence, F, Sr., 6-9, 245, Boston, Mass.
Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall, F/G, Sr., 6-6, 215, Paterson, N.J.
JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova, F, Jr., 6-7, 240, Brooklyn, N.Y.
BIG EAST HONORABLE MENTION
Ethan Wragge, Creighton, F, Sr., 6-7, 225, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova, G, So., 6-3, 195, Langhorne, Pa.
Darrun Hilliard, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-6, 215, Bethlehem, Pa.
Matt Stainbrook, Xavier, C, Jr., 6-10, 263, Bay Village, Ohio
BIG EAST ALL-ROOKIE TEAM^
Andrew Chrabascz, Butler, F, Fr., 6-7, 225, Portsmouth, R.I.
Billy Garrett, Jr., DePaul, G, Fr., 6-5, 194, Chicago, Ill.
Tommy Hamilton IV, DePaul, F, Fr., 6-10, 284, Chicago, Ill.
Deonte Burton, Marquette, F, Fr., 6-4, 230, Milwaukee, Wis.
Rysheed Jordan, St. John’s G, Fr., 6-4, 185, Philadelphia, Pa.
Jaren Sina, Seton Hall, G, Fr., 6-2, 180, Lake Hopatcong, N.J.
Josh Hart, Villanova, G, Fr., 6-5, 202, Silver Springs, Md.
*Denotes unanimous selection.
^Due to a tie in the voting, an additional position was named.