The inevitable became reality on Wednesday when the Big East announced their postseason women’s basketball awards. As expected, Marquette‘s very own Allazia Blockton was named 2017-18 Player of the Year. Elsewhere in MU honors, head coach Carolyn Kieger was named Co-Coach of the Year, Blockton was the only unanimous choice for the all-conference First Team, Erika Davenport was included in the all-Big East Second Team, and Amani Wilborn earned all-league Honorable Mention.
With her Wednesday honor, Blockton became just the seventh woman in Big East history to be named Player of the Year and Student-Athlete of the Year in the same season, joining the likes of Maya Moore and Rebecca Lobo. Blockton is Marquette’s first ever Player of the Year in Big East women’s basketball and first to ever win the Big East scoring title, averaging 19.2 points per game in Big East action. She averaged 18.9 across the whole season to lead the Big East in that format as well, and ranks 11th in rebounding and 15th in assists. Blockton’s 55% field goal percentage in league play is the third best amongst all players and best when you narrow it down to only guards.
#BIGEASTwbb Player of the Year - Allazia Blockton— BIG EAST WBB (@BIGEASTWBB) February 28, 2018
➡️ First @MarquetteWBB player to earn the honor
➡️ Averaged 19.2 points per game
➡️ 7th player in Conference history to earn Scholar-Athlete and Player of the Year accolades in the same season pic.twitter.com/BdQv2IgUzr
Kieger led Marquette to their first ever Big East regular season title in her fourth season on the Golden Eagle sideline, and guided the team to their first back-to-back 20 win seasons since 2006-08. She does have to share the Coach of the Year award with Villanova’s Harry Perretta, which is a giant pile of crap. Villanova was picked to finish third in the Big East and that’s exactly where they finished. If this had been DePaul’s Doug Bruno tying with Kieger, I wouldn’t blink about it. The Blue Demons shared the regular season title with Marquette and they did it without an obvious star. Quite honestly, Bruno was my pick for COY. I have no idea why on earth that Perretta earned enough votes from the other coaches to finish in a tie with Kieger, but I will say this: Carolyn Kieger is the only woman who is coaching a women’s basketball team in the Big East.
#BIGEASTwbb Co-Coaches Of The Year— BIG EAST WBB (@BIGEASTWBB) February 28, 2018
➡️ Carolyn Kieger - @MarquetteWBB (First-Time Winner)
➡️ Harry Perretta - @novawbasketball (Four-Time Winner) pic.twitter.com/ILNs5NsfTV
This moves us along to the all-Big East teams, so let’s rattle off the full lists before we talk about who’s on them. The asterisks mark the unanimous choices.
All-BIG EAST First Team
Allazia Blockton, Marquette, Jr., G*
Kelly Campbell, DePaul, So., G
Mart’e Grays, DePaul, Jr., F
Tori Schickel, Butler, Jr., F/C
Dionna White, Georgetown, Jr., G
All-BIG EAST Second Team
Jaylyn Agnew, Creighton, So., F
Erika Davenport, Marquette, Jr., F
Audrey Faber, Creighton, Jr., F
Alex Louin, Villanova, Sr., G
Maya Singleton, St. John’s, Sr., F
All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Mary Gedaka, Villanova, So., F
Whitney Jennings, Butler, R-Jr., G
Sydney Lamberty, Creighton, Sr., G
Cynthia Petke, Georgetown, Sr., F
Amani Wilborn, Marquette, Jr., G
BIG EAST All-Freshman Team
Temi Carda, Creighton, Fr., G*
Aaliyah Dunham, Xavier, Fr., G
Tiana England, St. John’s, R-Fr., G*
Qadashah Hoppie, St. John’s, Fr., G*
Chanell Williams, Providence, Fr., G*
First we celebrate Davenport and Wilborn. Davenport ranked 13th in the Big East in scoring and fifth in rebounding this season her way to her second straight all-league Second Team Honors. Wilborn was the 2017 Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player and followed that up by averaging 12.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and a team high 4.1 assists per game, which is good enough for the 5th best average in the Big East.
Now we can turn our attention to how the coaches voted on these teams.... and I don’t get it. I picked a six woman all-Big East team, including Blockton as my POY as one of the six. The Big East announced a five woman team.... and somehow, I only got three correct. Two Blue Demons on the First Team? Dionna White gets a nod for being second in scoring in the league while playing for a .500 team? No recognition for Maya Singleton, the Big East’s leading rebounder? Not Audrey Faber, perhaps the most complete player that’s not Blockton in the league?
As far as the All-Freshman Team goes, I can’t really argue with it all that much, noting along the way that Qadashah Hoppie was named Freshman of the Year as well. I personally think that Marquette’s Selena Lott got hosed on the deal here given what she contributed to the Golden Eagles this season, but I understand that it’s hard to vote for a player that averaged three points and three rebounds.