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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / October 21.
  • Marquette-Pitt, Seton Hall-Louisville Highlights; ZAGSBLOG Big East Postseason Awards

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    The Big East will hand out its postseason awards next Tuesday at its annual banquet in New York, but we’re giving our picks today.

    Player of the Year: DeJuan Blair, Pitt

    The 6-foot-9, 260-pound Blair manhandled Hasheem Thabeet in their first meeting at UConn and if he does it again on Saturday in the finale for both teams he should lock it up.  Should be a Top 10 or 15 pick if he elects to enter the NBA Draft.

    Coach of the Year: Keno Davis, Providence

    First-year coach has Friars on the brink of their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2004. A win tonight at Villanova and/or a mini-run in the Big East Tournament should make Providence the eighth conference team in the Big Dance.

    Rookie of the Year: Samardo Samuels, Louisville

    Former St. Benedict’s big man is averaging 12 points and 4.8 rebounds for a Cardinals team that may win the Big East regular season title. This category is loaded, including Mike Rosario of Rutgers, New York native Devin  Ebanks of West Virginia, Yancy Gates of Cincinnati and Greg Monroe of Georgetown.

    Defensive Player of the Year: Hasheem Thabeet, UConn

    Is there really any question here? A tremendous defensive force who alters, changes and blocks a ton of shots, he should be headed for a huge payday come June 25.

    Most Improved Player: Dante Cunningham, Villanova

    Villanova’s main threat down low complements a tremendous and improving set of guards in Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes and Scottie Reynolds. May have earned himself a shot at an NBA job with his tremendous play this year, including a much improved mid-range jumper.

    Comeback Player of the Year: Sharaud Curry, Providence

    It’s no coincidence that after Curry returned from a broken foot, the Friars are now on the brink of the Big Dance.

    First-Team All-League:

    Jeff Adrien (UConn)

    DeJuan Blair (Pitt)

    DaSean Butler (West Virginia)

    Levance Fields (Pitt)

    Jonny Flynn (Syracuse)

    Luke Harangody (Notre Dame)

    Jeremy Hazell (Seton Hall)

    Jerel McNeal (Marquette)

    Hasheem Thabeet (UConn)

    Terrence Williams (Louisville)

    Sam Young (Pitt)

    All-Rookie Team:

    Devin Ebanks (West Virginia)

    Greg Echenique (Rutgers)

    Yancy Gates (Cincinnati)

    Greg Monroe (Georgetown)

    Mike Rosario (Rutgers)

    Samardo Samuels (Louisville)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.