After finishing the regular season with just a single loss, the Syracuse Orange are already well-represented in the 2012 Big East basketball awards.
Sophomore center Fab Melo was chosen as the conference's Defensive Player of the Year and Dion Waiters was named the Big East's Sixth Man of the Year on Monday, when the conference released the winners of four individual awards. Four more awards -- Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, OppenheimerFunds Coach of the Year and American Eagle Outfitters Scholar-Athlete of the Year -- will be presented on Tuesday.
Melo averaged 3.7 blocks per game in league play and 3.1 overall. The seven-footer anchors Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone defense with length and athleticism, making it difficult for opponents to get any good looks from the paint.
One of the largest reasons for Syracuse's success this season is the Orange's depth, and Waiters represents that depth as well as anybody else. The 6-foot-4 sophomore averaged 11.9 points and 1.9 steals off the bench while leading Syracuse's second unit, arguably the best in the country.