A few days after being left off the All-Big East First Team by the Big East Conference coaches, Syracuse basketball's senior forward Rick Jackson was named Big East Defensive Player Of The Year Monday. Jackson, who was named to the All-Big East Second Team on Sunday, led the conference in a number of categories including blocked shots.
"Jackson was a shot-blocking and rebounding standout for the Orange," says the press release by the Big East Conference. He won the BIG EAST rebounding crown by averaging 9.9 rebounds in league games. In all contests, he was first in the league with a 10.7 mark. Jackson is the first Syracuse player to win the BIG EAST rebounding title since Derrick Coleman in 1989-90. Jackson also averaged a league-leading 7.2 defensive rebounds game. The native of Philadelphia, Pa., led the BIG EAST in blocked shots with a 2.5 average in all games and a 2.8 mark in league play. Jackson averaged 13.1 ppg."
"I guess coaches shouldn’t be voting for things like this,’’ Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said Sunday after the All-Big East Teams were released. "It doesn’t make sense. You have six guards on one team? He’s been the best big man in the conference all year. If you ask coaches ‘Who’s the most important player on your team?’ They’ll all say the big guy. But Rick’s not first team. It’s crazy.’’