Kris Dunn’s decision to forego the NBA Draft last spring for one more college season paid off for the junior point guard from Providence when he earned his second straight Big East Player of the Year award on Wednesday. He also owns two straight Defensive Player of the Year awards.
Marquette power forward Henry Ellenson, a potential one-and-done candidate, collected the Freshman of the Year award, and Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard shared Coach of the Year honors with perennial winner Jay Wright of Villanova.
Dunn, who averaged 16.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and led the league with 2.7 steals per game, is the sixth player in Big East history to win multiple Player of the Year awards. Ellenson led the conference with 9.8 rebounds per game while averaging 16.8 points and became the first freshman to make first team all-conference since Syracuse’s Carmelo Anthony in 2002-03.
Willard’s Pirates were picked seventh in the preseason poll but finished 22-8 overall, third in the league at 12-6 and likely will receive an NCAA bid for the first time since 2006. Wright’s Wildcats won their third straight regular-season title to give him his third straight Coach of the Year award and fifth overall. Interestingly, coach Chris Mack of No. 5 Xavier on Wednesday was named national coach of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers.