Hey! The Big East women’s basketball regular season wraps up with one final weekend of games starting on Friday. That just snuck up on us, didn’t it?
With the final weekend upon us, let’s make some postseason award picks before the league gets crafty on us and announces the awards first thing Monday morning, shall we?
Player Of The Year: Brooke Schulte, DePaul
Somehow, this isn’t up for debate, which is shocking. Schulte didn’t win a Player of the Week award until the final Monday in December, and now she’s won five of the last nine. With DePaul star (and preseason Player of the Year) Jessica January on the shelf for almost the entirety of conference play and DePaul missing two players that were expected to be starters going into the season, Schulte has dragged the Blue Demons kicking and screaming to the top of the conference. Their only black mark? A season sweep at the hands of Marquette. Schulte is averaging 17.1 points (2nd in the league), 6.4 rebounds (9th), and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 52% overall and 34% from long range..... for the entire season. Her Big East only stats? 21.6/7.7/3.6 with 54% and 38% shooting.
Freshman of the Year: Kaela Hilaire, Seton Hall
The Floral Park, New York, native is the Big East’s freshman leader in scoring (10.3 ppg, 24th best in the league) and in assists (4.3 apg, 4th best in the league). That’s good enough for me, although Alisha Kebbe from St. John’s did lead the conference with three Freshman of the Week awards. Hilaire was one of four players with two, though, so that should be enough for her to win.
Coach of the Year: Doug Bruno, DePaul
Pretty much the reasons I laid out for Schulte, minus her stats. Even with losing three starters, Bruno has the Blue Demons poised to win their fourth straight regular season title. If DePaul stumbles over the weekend against Villanova or Georgetown and Creighton goes 2-0, I could see the coaches voting for Jim Flanery since he would have guided the Bluejays to sole possession of the regular season title.
All Big East Team
I really only feel comfortable with Blockton and Schulte on the list. Schulte makes it for her individual award, and Blockton ranks #1 in scoring, #12 in rebounding, and #9 in assists. Can’t skip out on that kind of multi-faceted performance. Janning is in there because I feel there has to be at least one player from Creighton since they’re on the verge of at least a share of the regular season title and there’s not a superstar candidate on the Jays’ roster. Schickel is the only player in the league averaging a double-double this season, so she makes it in even though her team is not good. Walker was my last addition, largely on the back of her six Weekly Honor Roll appearances this season.
Since I was kind of just guessing on Walker and Janning, it would be wrong to not identify other candidates. We could see Dionna White or Dorothy Adomako from Georgetown make the squad since they’re both top five in scoring. Blockton is one of four Golden Eagles to be named Player of the Week this season, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see Erika Davenport, Natisha Hiedeman, or Danielle King find their way onto the chart, either. If Janning doesn’t represent the Bluejays, I could see Audrey Faber getting the nod as their leading scorer. Aaliyah Lewis from St. John’s is the only player in the Big East averaging at least five assists (she’s at 6.2/game), so she could be a candidate as well.