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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 / July 22.
  • Jalen Brunson, Chris Mack Take Home Top Big East Honors

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    By MIKE McCURRY

    Villanova junior point guard Jalen Brunson was named Big East Player of the Year, while Xavier’s Chris Mack was anointed Big East Coach of the Year, the league announced on Wednesday.

    Brunson, who doubles as the conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, averaged 19.0 points and 4.8 assists on 53 percent shooting, a 41 percent display from beyond the arc, and a 129.5 Offensive Rating. He has led No. 2 Villanova to a 27-4 overall record (14-4 in Big East).

    The leading candidate to win National Player of the Year, Brunson edged out fellow unanimous All-Big East First Team selections Trevon Bluiett of Xavier and Kelan Martin of Butler.

    Brunson makes it back-to-back Wildcats to take home Player of the Year honors, following in the footsteps of Josh Hart last season.

    Under Mack’s guidance, Xavier (27-4, 15-3) became the first team besides Villanova to win the Big East regular-season title since the league realigned to its current 10-team format. Thus, the No. 3 Musketeers are the 1-seed in the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden.

    Now, the question becomes whether or not the reigning Big East Coach of the Year will jump ship for the second consecutive season.

    Chris Holtmann left Butler for Ohio State in June. Mack’s name has been tied to Louisville.

    In the interim, Mack will look to lead Xavier to the Big East Tournament title then the Final Four in San Antonio.

    2017-18 Big East Men’s Basketball Awards 

    Player of the Year: Jalen Brunson, Villanova

    Coach of the Year: Chris Mack, Xavier

    Rookie of the Year: Omari Spellman, Villanova

    Most Improved PlayerMyles Powell, Seton Hall

    Sixth Man of the Year: Donte DiVincenzo, Vilanova

    Sportsmanship Award: Tyler Wideman, Butler

    Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Jalen Brunson, Villanova

    Defensive Player of the Year: Khryi Thomas, Creighton

    The All-Big East First Team, Second Team, and Freshman Team can be found here.

    Photo: @NovaMBB

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