Georgetown v Marquette

CBT’s Big East postseason awards

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Player of the Year: Jae Crowder, Marquette

Crowder has been absolutely sensational this season. His numbers speak for themselves — 17.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.4 spg, 36.1% 3PT — but it was his versatility that was even more important. Crowder’s ability to bang with the best of the Big East’s big men in the paint is what allowed the Golden Eagles to be able to play small and overcome the loss of their two best post players.

Coach of the Year: Mike Brey, Notre Dame

What Mike Brey has been able to do with the fighting Irish this season has been nothing short of phenomenal. His team was picked ninth in the Big East in the preseason then lost their best player and their senior leader to a torn acl in December. No matter. Despite playing with a group of youngsters learning new roles, the Irish finished third in the Big East and will be playing in the NCAA Tournament.

Rookie of the Year: Moe Harkless and D’angelo Harrison, St. John’s

Given that a third of the vaunted St. John’s recruiting class was not on the roster and the end of the season and their head coach has spent the year battling prostate cancer, the fact that the Johnnies won six games in the Big East is impressive. These two were the reason why. Harrison averaged 17.0 ppg while Harkless chipped in with 15.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.5 spg and 1.6 spg. St. John’s will have a bright future … if they can keep them on campus.

Sixth-Man of the Year: Dion Waiters, Syracuse

Waiters is the most talented player on the Syracuse team. I truly believe that. He’s their most dynamic ball-handler and their most dangerous perimeter defender. And he comes off the bench. This pick wasn’t difficult.

Defensive Player of the Year: Fab Melo, Syracuse

Melo’s presence in the middle of the Syracuse zone has been a major reason that the Orange have been this good this season. Think about this for a second: Syracuse has not lost a game with Melo in the lineup, as he missed the Notre Dame game due to academics. He blocks shots, he takes charges and he’s a legitimate seven-footer that takes up a lot of space. Now if he only could rebound on the defensive end of the floor.

All-Big East First Team

POY: Jae Crowder, Sr., Marquette
G: Jason Clark, Sr., Georgetown
G: Darius Johnson-Odom, Sr., Marquette
F: Kris Joseph, Sr., Syracuse
F: Kevin Jones, Sr., West Virginia
C: Jack Cooley, Jr., Notre Dame

All-Big East Second Team

G: Dion Waiters, So., Syracuse
G: Scoop Jardine, Sr., Syracuse
F: Jeremy Lamb, So., UConn
F: Herb Pope, Sr., Seton Hall
C: Gorgui Dieng, So., Louisville

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Duke, Cincinnati lead Hall of Fame Tip-Off

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski gestures during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Florida State in Durham, N.C., Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
(AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) Duke and Cincinnati, 2016 NCAA Tournament teams, highlight the eight-team field for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.

The participants for the Nov. 19-20 event were announced Wednesday.

Also in the field are Rhode Island, Penn State, Grand Canyon, Albany, Marist and Brown.

The teams, split into two four-team brackets, will play two doubleheaders at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Duke, Cincinnati, Penn State and Rhode Island will meet in the Naismith Bracket, while the others will play in the Springfield Bracket.

The teams will play two early round games at campus sites from Nov. 11 through Nov. 16.

Brandone Francis-Ramirez transferring out of Florida

Florida State center Jean Marc Christ Koumadje (21) fouls Florida guard Brandone Francis-Ramirez (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Gainesville, Fla. (Matt Stamey, The Gainesville Sun via AP)
(Matt Stamey, The Gainesville Sun via AP)
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Brandone Francis-Ramirez is transferring out of the Florida program, the school announced on Wednesday.

A former top 40 recruit, Francis-Ramirez had his two seasons in Gainesville ruined by an academic issues and a loss of confidence. He was academically ineligible in 2014-15, practicing with the team during the second semester. He was granted a redshirt for the year, but he struggled to find any kind of a rhythm this past season. There was a two-month stretch in the middle of the year where he shot 6-for-58 from the floor and 2-for-31 from three.

On the season, he shot 20.2 percent from the floor and 16.9 percent from three.

“I want it to work out for him,” Gators coach Mike White said in a release. “We really appreciate what Brandone did here and wish him the best.”

One of Villanova’s title game stars undergoes knee surgery

Phil Booth, Jack McVeigh
(AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)
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The forgotten star of the national title game underwent an arthroscopic on his left knee on Wednesday.

Phil Booth, who scored a season-high 20 points in the 2016 National Title game, will be a junior next season and one of the guys called upon to help replace Ryan Arcidiacono, who graduated. He should be ready to go by the middle of the summer; according to a statement put out by the program, Booth will need 6-to-8 weeks to heal.

“Phil is as mentally tough a young man as we have had at Villanova,” head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “He continually impresses our coaching staff with his outstanding attitude. Phil will attack this recovery challenge with great determination, as he does everything in life.”

Booth averaged 7.0 points and 2.2 assists this past season.

Jennings becomes seventh player to transfer from Kentucky

Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell watches his team during the team's regional semifinal in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament against Washington in Lexington, Ky., Friday, March 25, 2016. Washington won 85-72. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
(AP Photo/James Crisp)
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell has announced that sophomore forward Alexis Jennings will transfer, the seventh Wildcat to leave the program since last fall.

Jennings’ departure comes a week after Mitchell publicly addressed the mass exodus of players and assistant coaches and stressed the need for building stability. Jennings figured to be part of that process and the coach said in a release Wednesday night that “it saddens us that Alexis did not see a path for her at Kentucky. … She felt it was in her best interest to finish her career elsewhere and we owe her that opportunity.”

The 6-foot-2 Jennings started 18 of 33 games last season and averaged 10 points and 7.1 rebounds.

DePaul adds 2018 commit

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Wisconsin guard John Diener has committed to DePaul, his grassroots program announced Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-4 Class of 2018 guard ends his recruitment rather early with offers also from instate schools Green Bay and Milwaukee. He’s known as a shooter and becomes the first commit for Dave Leitao in the 2018 class.

Diener, who plays with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in the spring and summer, commits to the Blue Demons with them coming off a disappointing campaign, Leitao’s first in Chicago. DePaul went 9-22 overall and 3-15 in the Big East, finishing only ahead of St. John’s.

DePaul has been recruiting the Midwest hard with incoming 2016 recruits from La Lumiere School in Indiana, Sagninow, Mich. and locally in Chicago.