It’s that time of the year: The end of the basketball season.
Women’s basketball in the Big East wraps up its regular season with all ten teams in action on Sunday afternoon. As such, now is the perfect time to make some award picks! Sometime between now and Friday, March 6, when the conference tournament begins, the league office will announce the official award winners. There’s no point in publishing the AE picks for those awards after that, so we’re jumping the gun and giving you the rundown of our awards before the regular season ends.
It’s all very smart.
Anyway, we’ve got Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Coach of the Year, and a five-woman all-conference team to get to, so let’s dive in, shall we?
Player Of The Year: Kelly Campbell, DePaul
Okay, so I’ll admit that I’m going off the book here. Creighton’s Jaylyn Agnew deserves mention here, as she was named Big East Player of the Week five times. However, I don’t know if we can give POY to a player from a team that’s going to finish 10-7 and a long way away from first place in the league. Chante Stonewall, Campbell’s teammate at DePaul, was named to the Honor Roll nine times this season, which is pretty good, and she’s leading the already confirmed regular season champs in scoring.
But I’m going to go with Campbell, who was named Player of the Week just once, and earned an Honor Roll nod just once as well. She’s only averaging 8.1 points per game as I write this on Saturday, which doesn’t even rate in the top 30 in the Big East. But she is leading the conference in assists at 6.0 per game and, at 5’10”, she’s #3 in rebounding. Campbell is also #5 in steals per game and is the only player in the Big East hitting more than 41% of her three-point attempts.
I know, it’s not a traditionally obvious pick here, but when you add the whipped cream and cherry of DePaul clinching at least a share of the regular season title with three games left in the regular season, POY has to be a Blue Demon. For me, that’s Kelly Campbell.
Freshman Of The Year: Madison Siegrist, Villanova
Look, sometimes these things are not complicated. Siegrist was named Freshman of the Week in 10 of the 16 weeks of the season that have already been completed. Sometimes you just take what the league office has already told you and run with it. Oh, and she’s second in the league in scoring and second in rebounding.
Coach Of The Year: Megan Duffy, Marquette
I mean, duh. In the preseason poll of the league’s coaches, Duffy’s Golden Eagles earned 19 points to finish ninth in the league. Georgetown landed in 10th with 18 points, meaning there was not a whole lot in the eyes of the coaches in the Big East separating Marquette and Georgetown at the bottom of the table.
The Golden Eagles are currently 12-5 and will clinch second place to themselves with either a win over DePaul on Sunday or a Butler loss on the road against Seton Hall. Marquette is going to make the NCAA tournament for the fourth consecutive season, something that has been done just once before in program history. Duffy is doing this with a team comprised of six freshmen and five returning players with a combined 1,186 career points. Oh, and this is a roster and a recruiting class that she inherited, because this is her first season at Marquette.
The only reason to vote for someone not named Megan Duffy is because your name is Megan Duffy and you can’t vote for yourself.
All-Big East Team
As always, I went with a five woman team. I am sure that the league is going to do something totally bonkers different than this, but it’s a five woman sport. Thus, five honorees.
Campbell makes it in as an auto-bid thanks to her POY trophy. I mentioned the case for Agnew for POY, and while I can’t give that to her, it’s obvious that she’s on the all-conference team. I mentioned Stonewall at the top of the page, too, so I’ll give her the consolation award here. Lott is an easy pick, even with just one Player of the Week award and four Honor Roll appearances. She’s leading the second place team in the conference in scoring and ranks second in the Big East in assists.
I rounded out the group with Spolyar. She was Player of the Week twice and eight Honor Roll appearances on top of that for a weekly Big East award 10 times this season. We can’t really ignore that. She’s third in the conference in scoring, 10th in rebounding, and fourth in steals. On top of that, Butler is a win and a Marquette loss away from a tie for second place after being picked to finish seventh this season, so there needs to be a Bulldogs on this list, and she’s really the only choice.
Considered: Madison Siegrist, Villanova; Qadashah Hoppie, St. John’s; Mary Gedaka, Villanova