NEW YORK – (Staff report from Official News Release) – A pair of Villanova seniors and a junior from Marquette and Seton Hall are unanimous selections to the 2018-19 All-BIG EAST First Team, announced today by the league. The conference released the All-BIG EAST First and Second Teams, Honorable Mention and the All-Freshman Team. The league’s head coaches choose the all-conference teams and are not permitted to vote for their own players.
The four unanimous picks are: Markus Howard of Marquette, Myles Powell of Seton Hall and Phil Booth and Eric Paschall of Villanova. The two other All-BIG EAST First Team picks are Jessie Govan of Georgetown and Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s. Ponds is the only repeat member of the first team from last season. Howard was a second team selection. Both guards were All-Freshman Team picks two seasons ago.
The BIG EAST Player of the Year will come from the All-BIG EAST First Team. The conference will announce Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year and the BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, March 13. The press conference will be held on the first day of the BIG EAST Tournament Presented by Jeep at Madison Square Garden at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Other league individual awards — BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man Award and Sportsmanship Award — will be announced Monday, March 11.
Howard, a 5-11 junior, led the league in scoring in all games with a 25.0 average. He also was first in the league with 112 3-pointers made. In league play, the Golden Eagle became the BIG EAST season scoring champion with a 24.9 mark.
Powell finished second to Howard in scoring with a 22.6 mark in a regular season that included seven 30-point games for the junior. He tied for second in the BIG EAST with 90 3-pointers made and ranked second in the league in steals with a 2.0 average.
Booth and Paschall were the senior leaders for the Wildcats who won their fifth regular-season crown in the past six seasons. Booth, the steady 6-3 guard, ranked fifth in the BIG EAST in scoring with an 18.6 mark and averaged 3.9 assists. Paschall, a mobile 6-8 forward, averaged 16.6 points and 6.0 rebounds.
Ponds finished third among the BIG EAST’s top scorers, averaging 19.8 points. The point guard ranked first in steals at 2.6 and second in assists at 5.2. He was the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year.
Govan spearheaded the Georgetown improvement along with the help of a productive freshman class. Govan has been among the leaders in scoring and rebounding all season. He ranked sixth in scoring at 17.6 and fifth in rebounding at 7.6.
The All-BIG EAST Second Team includes players from five different squads. Butler’s Kamar Baldwin was an all-around contributor, averaging 17.5 points, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals. He also made 85.6 percent from the foul line.
DePaul’s Max Strus, who was a Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team selection, helped the Blue Demons’ rise by averaging 19.0 points and 6.1 rebounds. The senior led the BIG EAST in minutes played, averaging 36.7 minutes per game.
Marquette’s Sam Hauser also was a Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team pick and lived up to expectations by averaging 14.8 points and 7.1 boards. He is tops in the league in the free throw shooting, making 91.9 percent and has made 79 3-pointers.
Like Baldwin and Hauser, Providence’s Alpha Diallo has a reputation for his versatility. The junior guard averaged 16.1 points and is second in the BIG EAST with an 8.2 rebound mark. Also a top defender, he made 48 steals, the same total as Butler’s Baldwin.
Xavier’s Naji Marshall led a balanced scoring attack for the Musketeers with a 14.9 average and has averaged 20.9 points over his last seven games. He also leads the team in rebounding with a 6.7 mark.
Two Creighton players received BIG EAST Honorable Mention recognition. Sophomore guard Ty-Shon Alexander averaged a team-leading 16.1 points. He was fourth in the league in 3-pointers made with 89. Junior forward Martin Krampelj was a reliable force in the frontcourt with averages of 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds.
The BIG EAST Freshman of the Year will come from the All-Freshman Team. Georgetown boasts three players on the team: guards James Akinjo and Mac McClung and forward Josh LeBlanc. Creighton’s Marcus Zegarowski, Marquette’s Joey Hauser and Villanova’s Saddiq Bey are the other honorees. The Hoyas are only the second team in BIG EAST history to have three on the All-Freshman Team in the same year. The other was Pittsburgh in 1987-88 (Sean Miller, Bobby Martin and Jason Matthews).
Akinjo and McClung have been the top freshman scorers most of the season. Going into the BIG EAST Tournament, McClung is averaging 13.4 points while Akinjo is averaging 13.3 points and a league-leading 5.4 assists. LeBlanc has been an active force inside while averaging 9.4 points and 7.5 rebounds. His rebound average ranks sixth in the BIG EAST.
Creighton’s Zegarowski was not even a starter at the beginning of the season, but is averaging 10.5 points and ranks fourth in the BIG EAST in 3-point shooting, making 42.5 percent. Marquette’s Hauser averaged 9.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and making 44.3 percent from 3-point range. Villanova’s Saddiq Bey saw his playing time increase as the season continued for the regular-season champion Wildcats. The forward made 24 starts and averaged 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds.
ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
Jessie Govan, Georgetown, C, Sr., 6-10, 255, Queens Village, N.Y.
*Markus Howard, Marquette, G, Jr., 5-11, 175, Chandler, Ariz.
Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s, G, Jr., 6-1, 180, Brooklyn, N.Y.
*Myles Powell, Seton Hall, G, Jr., 6-2, 195, Trenton, N.J.
*Phil Booth, Villanova, G, Sr., 6-3, 194, Baltimore, Md.
*Eric Paschall, Villanova, F, Sr., 6-8, 255, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
ALL-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM
Kamar Baldwin, Butler, G, Jr., 6-1, 195, Winder, Ga.
Max Strus, DePaul, G, Sr., 6-6, 215, Hickory Hills, Ill.
Sam Hauser, Marquette, G-F, Jr., 6-8, 225, Stevens Point, Wis.
Alpha Diallo, Providence, G, Jr., 6-7, 213, New York, N.Y.
Naji Marshall, Xavier, F, So., 6-7, 222, Atlantic City, N.J.
BIG EAST HONORABLE MENTION
Ty-Shon Alexander, Creighton, G, So., 6-4, 195, Charlotte, N.C.
Martin Krampelj, Creighton, F, Jr., 6-9, 235, Grosuplje, Slovenia
BIG EAST ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
*Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton, G, 6-2, 180, Hamilton, Mass.
*James Akinjo, Georgetown, G, 6-0, 180, Oakland, Calif.
Josh LeBlanc, Georgetown, F, 6-7, 230, Baton Rouge, La.
Mac McClung, Georgetown, G, 6-2, 185, Lake City, Va.
Joey Hauser, Marquette, F, 6-9, 230, Stevens Point, Wis.
Saddiq Bey, Villanova, F, 6-8, 220, Largo, Md.
*Denotes unanimous selection.