March 12, 2008

Harangody takes Big East MVP honors

NEW YORK (AP) -Notre Dame sophomore forward Luke Harangody was selected Big East player of the year Tuesday, while Mike Brey of the Fighting Irish was chosen coach of the year for a second straight season.

The 6-foot-8 Harangody led the conference in scoring with a 21.0 average and was second in rebounding at 10.3 per game. He led the league in both categories in conference games only, the first player to do that since Troy Murphy of Notre Dame in 1999-2000. He is the first sophomore to win the award since Connecticut's Caron Butler shared it with Brandin Knight of Pittsburgh in 2001-02.

Brey is the third coach in Big East history to win the award in consecutive seasons, joining Lou Carnesecca of St. John's, 1985-86, and P.J. Carlesimo of Seton Hall, 1988-99.

The Irish were picked ninth in the preseason coaches poll, but they tied for second with a 14-4 conference record and were 24-6 overall. Brey is in his eighth season at Notre Dame, compiling a 166-84 record.

Pittsburgh freshman center DeJuan Blair, who had 13 double-doubles, and Syracuse freshman guard Jonny Flynn, who led the league in minutes played at 39.2, shared rookie of the year honors, while Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet, who blocked a Big East-record 94 shots, was selected defensive player of the year.

Pittsburgh junior forward Sam Young was selected the league's most improved player, while Georgetown senior forward Patrick Ewing Jr. was tabbed as the inaugural winner of the Sixth Man Award. Senior guards Ronald Ramon of Pittsburgh and Darris Nichols of West Virginia shared the Sportsmanship Award.


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