NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies holds up the David R. Gavitt Most Outstanding Player trophy after defeating the Louisville Cardinals during the championship of the 2011 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Big East Basketball Awards 2012: SB Nation New York's End Of The Year Winners Are...

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Big East Awards 2012: Jae Crowder Is SB Nation New York's Player Of The Year

The Big East Conference Tournament begins Tuesday, for local college hoops fans, this is by far the greatest time of the year.

Lucky for you, SB Nation New York is ready to get you fully prepared and keep you updated throughout the five-day, 16-team, single-elimination event at Madison Square Garden. From today until Saturday night's championship game, this will be the place to check for the latest news and results for college basketball's best conference tournament.

If you have yet to check out our front page, well, it's filled with a ton of Big East basketball goodies. Meanwhile, you're here to see who earned the honor of being named SB Nation New York's Player of the Year. Without further delay, the winner is...


Rookie of the Year --- Sixth Man of the Year -- Coach of the Year

Big East Basketball Player of the Year: Jae Crowder, senior forward, Marquette Golden Eagles

This selection may come as a shock to some Big East basketball fans who stopped watching games on Jan. 16. At that time, West Virginia Mountaineers senior forward Kevin Jones had helped his team earn a 4-2 league start, was leading the league in scoring (19.9 points per game) and rebounding (11.5 per game) and had earned one Big East Player of the Week honor.

Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles -- a preseason favorite to challenge the Syracuse Orange and Connecticut Huskies for the Big East regular-season title -- had stumbled out of the blocks with a 3-2 league record and had fallen from the No. 10-ranked program in the country on Dec. 19 to No. 25. Crowder was averaging just 16.3 ppg and 7.2 rpg, way behind Jones.

For Jones, a Big East Player of the Year award seemed to be a lock, West Virginia just needed to finish out the season in, at worst, average fashion with a bye in the Big East Tournament and a NCAA Tournament single-digit seed.

However, despite Jones about averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in West Virginia's last 12 games, the team faltered, going 5-7 overall (Feb. 29), a record that could allow them to miss the NCAA Tournament.

In that same time (12 games), Crowder has tallied about 19.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg while shooting 50-plus percent from the floor in his last 15 games, and has been one of two catalysts -- the other being senior guard Darius Johnson-Odom, another Big East Player of the Year candidate -- to lead Marquette to a 13-2 finish in the regular season.

Though, Jones and Johnson-Odom will top Crowder in scoring, Crowder's production when it counts the most has just been better.

Add two Big East Player of the Week honors in the final three weeks of the league's regular season, and ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Crowder is SBN NY's Player of the Year.

For a complete rundown of all the Big East Tournament, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

For a SB Nation New York preview of other Big East schools, click on its respective links: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown, South Florida, Louisville, West Virginia, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. John's, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Providence, DePaul.

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Big East Awards 2012: Dion Waiters Is SB Nation New York's Sixth Man Of The Year

The Big East Conference Tournament begins Tuesday, and for local college hoops fans, this is by far the greatest time of the year.

Lucky for you, SB Nation New York is ready to get you fully prepared and keep you updated throughout the five-day, 16-team, single-elimination event at Madison Square Garden. From today until Saturday night's championship game, this will be the place to check for the latest news and results for college basketball's best conference tournament.

If haven't yet checked out our frontpage, well, it's filled with a ton of Big East basketball goodies. Meanwhile, you're here to see who earned the honor of being named SB Nation New York's Player of the Year. Without further delay, the winner is...


Player of the Year --- Rookie of the Year -- Coach of the Year

Big East Sixth Man of the Year: Dion Waiters, sophomore guard, Syracuse Orange

Now, before you start making the argument, "How can a player win the sixth man award if he plays almost 24 minutes per game and could easily start?"

I apply that logic and use the rebuttal, "Well, that's why I eliminated Syracuse sophomore forward C.J. Fair".

The thing is, the NCAA (and basketball in general) has a regulation which states only five players can start a game and play on the hardwood at the same time. So, if the Orange's standard starting lineup is: center Fabricio Melo, guards Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche, and forwards Kris Joseph and Rakeem Christmas, but you think it should be different (maybe: Melo, Jardine, Triche, Joseph and sophomore forward C.J. Fair), well, alrightly then.

The issue, Waiters is still on the bench and there's no debating about him being the best player in the league coming off it.

With that logic, Waiters, the Orange's second-best scorer (11.9 ppg), is this year's Sixth Man of the Year.

For a complete rundown of all the Big East Tournament, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

For a SB Nation New York preview of other Big East schools, click on its respective links: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown, South Florida, Louisville, West Virginia, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. John's, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Providence, DePaul.

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Big East Awards 2012: Jim Boeheim Is SB Nation New York's Coach Of The Year

The Big East Conference wrapped up its men's basketball regular season Saturday, meaning the Big East Tournament is right around the corner. For local college hoops fans, this is by far the greatest time of the year.

Lucky for you, SB Nation New York is ready to get you fully prepared and keep you updated throughout the five-day, 16-team, single-elimination event at Madison Square Garden. From today until Saturday night's championship game, this will be the place to check for the latest news and results for college basketball's best conference tournament.

If you haven't yet checked out our frontpage, well, it's filled with a ton of Big East basketball goodies. Meanwhile, you're here to see who earned the honor of being named SB Nation New York's Player of the Year. Without further delay, the winner is...


Player of the Year --- Sixth Man of the Year -- Rookie of the Year

Big East Coach of the Year: Jim Boeheim, Syracuse Orange

Call me a homer, front-runner or whatever you'd like, but in the middle of his 36th season, SU's head coach deserves this award for multiple reasons. Here's a few of the top of my head (okay, I looked some of these up):

Jan. 16: Syracuse defeats Pittsburgh 71-63 to improve to 20-0 for the first time in program history. Boeheim also pushes his 20-win season total total to 34 seasons, a mark not touched by any other Division I head coach (Dean Smith had 30).

Jan. 23: Syracuse wins at Cincinnati 60-53 as Boeheim earns career victory 877 and passes Adolph Rupp for fourth all-time on the men's Division I list.

Feb. 8: Syracuse beats Georgetown 64-61 in overtime as Boeheim earns career victory 880 and leapfrogs Dean Smith for third all-time on the men's Division I list. Boeheim also is now alone at the top for most wins by a coach at the same school.

Feb. 25: Despite not having a single player on his roster ranked in the Big East's top 10 in points or rebounds (or in the nation's top 50), Syracuse defeats UConn 71-69 to clinch the Big East regular-season crown with one game remaining.

March 3: (Including the same facts above) Syracuse ends the regular season as the conference's third-best offensive and defensive team, while being fifth in the nation in scoring margin and tops in turnover margin -- by a lot.

This goes without mentioning Boeheim being involved in the biggest scandal in the history of the university, which led to him being criticized, scrutinized and sued for defamation.

Of course, none of these accomplishments would have been possible if Boeheim somehow during the offseason didn't help turn Fab Melo from a liability into the most important player on SU's roster, all while convincing sophomore guard Dion Waiters -- who could be the Orange's most talented player -- to not transfer during the spring but instead become a player with a fiery edge that could be counted on to perform in the clutch.

Does Boeheim have the deepest and, possibly, most talented team in the conference? Yes.

However, during SU's 2010-09 season, which featured the Orange going 30-5 overall and 15-3 in the Big East, Boeheim cruised to Coach of the Year honors with arguably a better team.

Then, there's this fact -- in the history of the Big East, no head coach has not won Coach of the Year honors after finishing league play with just one loss. The last time that happened was in 1995-96, when Jim Calhoun and UConn went 17-1 during a 32-3 regular-season.

I understand what Notre Dame Fighting Irish's Mike Brey has done this year, especially after losing Tim Abromaitis to a season-ending injury, but Boeheim's numbers this year are just too great to ignore.

For a complete rundown of all the Big East Tournament, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

For a SB Nation New York preview of other Big East schools, click on its respective links: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown, South Florida, Louisville, West Virginia, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. John's, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Providence, DePaul.

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Big East Awards 2012: Anthony Collins Is SB Nation New York's Rookie Of The Year

The Big East Conference wrapped up its men's basketball regular season Saturday, meaning the Big East Tournament is right around the corner. For local college hoops fans, this is by far the greatest time of the year.

Lucky for you, SB Nation New York is ready to get you fully prepared and keep you updated throughout the five-day, 16-team, single-elimination event at Madison Square Garden. From today until Saturday night's championship game, this will be the place to check for the latest news and results for college basketball's best conference tournament.

If haven't yet checked out our front page, well, its filled with a ton of Big East basketball goodies. Meanwhile, you're here to see who earned the honor of being named SB Nation New York's Rookie of the Year. Without further delay, the winner is...


Player of the Year --- Sixth Man of the Year -- Coach of the Year

Big East Freshman of the Year: Anthony Collins, guard, South Florida Bulls

For the local college hoop fans curious how players like St. John's Red Storm guard/forward Moe Harkless, guard D`Angelo Harrison or, maybe Rutgers guard Eli Carter didn't win this award because they all were fantastic this year, I just need to say, "USF is in the NCAA Tournament and wouldn't be without Anthony Collins."

Let me say that again, "USF is IN the NCAA Tournament."

See, Collins numbers (8.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg and 5.3 assists per game) may not be impressive, but there's no question that the Bulls aren't putting together their best Big East season in program history without him.

Witnessing Collins in person during a slim 56-48 loss at the Syracuse Orange Feb. 22 made me see two things about Collins and USF.

First, with Collins at the point, USF plays like a veteran team. In the game's first 11 minutes, the Bulls ran their offense extremely well, shooting 60 percent from the field and leading 20-9.

Second, without Collins, who got into foul trouble and needed to sit, the Bulls looked like a typical USF squad. The Bulls went scoreless for the next 12.5 minutes and trailed 33-20 in the second half.

When Collins re-entered in the second half, he helped USF get back in the game and didn't fold like other freshman guards/forward have against the Orange this season.

Ultimately, Collins netted a team-best 12 points and dished out 10 assists. In USF's last seven games of the regular season, which saw the Bulls earn a 5-2 record, the rookie averaged 11.5 ppg and 5.9 apg.

That resume is good enough to confidently say Collins is your Big East Rookie of the Year.

For a complete rundown of all the Big East Tournament, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

For a SB Nation New York preview of other Big East schools, click on its respective links: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown, South Florida, Louisville, West Virginia, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. John's, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Providence, DePaul.

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