Big East Names Coach, Player, and Rookie of the Year

Published on: 9th March, 2010

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New York — Syracuse forward Wes Johnson, a newcomer who helped lead Syracuse to the Big East regular-season title and an overall record of 28-3, has been named Big East Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head coaches.

His coach, Jim Boeheim was named the Coach of the Year of the Conference.

Lance Stephenson, the acclaimed recruit from Brooklyn who finally settled on playing at the University of Cincinnati, was also named the Big East Rookie of the Year.

Johnson, a 6’7″ junior, sat out last season after transferring from Iowa State. The Texas native used his all-around skills to contribute to SU’s success. He averaged 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds, both team highs. He is second on the club in blocks (1.9) and steals (1.7). He’s the first transfer from a four-year school to win Big East Player of the Year honors. He is also the first Syracuse player to win the honor since Hakim Warrick in 2004-05.

Stephenson led all freshman in the league with a 12.0 scoring average. He was very productive late in the season when he averaged 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in his last four games. In Cincinnati’s season finale against highly-ranked Georgetown, he tallied his career-high 23 points.  Stephenson is Cincinnati’s first player to win a Big East individual award.

Boeheim directed Syracuse to an outright Big East regular season championship after being selected sixth in the Presseason Coaches’ Poll. The dean of Big East coaches, Boeheim owns a career record of 827-291.

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