With six games remaining, three Huskies are alive for league honors. Check the candidates for Big East Coach of the Year, Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year below.
BIG EAST COACH OF THE YEAR
The Leader: Kevin Ollie, UConn — No coach in history has dealt with a postseason ban, a seven-month contract, a mass exodus in the frontcourt and, oh yeah, the task of filling a Hall of Famer’s shoes. Ollie should win if UConn finishes strong.
Still alive: John Thompson III, Georgetown — Big John was a three-time winner. JT3 is in search of his first.
Buzz Williams, Marquette — At 10-3, Marquette must be considered the Big East’s biggest surprise. Williams has done a masterful job coaching up a team that graduated Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom.
BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The Leader: Otto Porter, Georgetown — The 6-foot-8 sophomore is distancing himself from the pack. He leads the streaking Hoyas in points (15.1), rebounds (7.7), steals (1.8) and 3-point percentage (44.6).
Still alive: Russ Smith, Louisville — At times, he looks like the best guard in the country. At others, he looks like…well, he’s killing his own team. Russdiculous has a shot if the Cards get rolling.
Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse — Second in the nation in assists, Carter-Williams makes Syracuse go.
Brandon Triche, Syracuse — Seniors usually take home this award. Triche, who leads the Orange with 14.9 points per game, has played well since a 3-for-15 nightmare at UConn.
Shabazz Napier, UConn — Name a Big East player more valuable to his team. Not sure you can.
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame — The Irish are 9-5 and Cooley averages 14.5 points and 11.1 rebounds. He’s certainly still in the mix.
BIG EAST ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
The leader: JaKarr Sampson, St. John’s — This is Sampson’s race to lose. Barring something wild down the stretch, this honor belongs to the 6-foot-8 Sampson, who sports averages of 14.7 points and 6.7 rebounds while shooting 62 percent from the field.
Still alive: Omar Calhoun, UConn — After a so-so start, Calhoun has come on strong, converting enormous 3-pointers against Providence and Syracuse. He’s also developed well as a defender and rebounder.
Chris Obekpa, St. John’s — It’s difficult to win freshman of the year when you average 3.6 points per game, but Obekpa’s presence on defense — he leads the nation with 4.1 blocks per contest— makes him a shoo-in for the All-Rookie team.
Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova – Shooting just 35.6 percent from the field, Arcidiacono has had some big games for the Wilcats, including a 25-point outburst against UConn last week.