March 12, 2013
WASHINGTON - Georgetown University sophomore men's basketball player Otto Porter Jr. (Morley, Mo./Scott County Central) was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year and Head Coach John Thompson III was named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year at a press conference on Tuesday evening at the Club Restaurant at Madison Square Garden.
The Hoyas won a share of the BIG EAST Regular Season Championship and clinched the No. 1 seed in the tournament with a 61-39 win over Syracuse on Saturday at Verizon Center. Georgetown, ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches' poll, closed out the regular season by winning 11 of its last 12 games and posting a 24-5 record, including a 14-4 mark in the BIG EAST Conference.
This is the fourth time a Georgetown player has won BIG EAST Player of the Year honors under Thompson III. Jeff Green earned the award in 2006-07, while Roy Hibbert was named the Preseason Player of the Year in 2007-08 and Austin Freeman in 2010-11. Porter Jr. is the seventh player to win the BIG EAST Player of the Year award and it is the eighth time a Hoya has claimed it (Patrick Ewing won it in 1983-84 and 1984-85).
Porter Jr. was the only unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST Conference First Team and was a unanimous choice by the league's coaches as the Player of the Year.
Porter Jr., one of 25 finalists for the Wooden Award recognizing the top player in college basketball, leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 16.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Porter Jr. was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week on Monday, March 4, the third-straight week he has been recognized. It is the first time a BIG EAST player has won the award in three-straight weeks since the 2003 season.
Porter Jr. also leads the team in steals (2.0 spg), is second on the team in blocked shots (1.0 bpg) and ranks third on the team in assists per game (2.7 apg). He has scored in double figures 25 times this season, has eight games with at least 20 points - including a career-high 33 points in win at Syracuse on Feb. 23 - and has six double-doubles.
Against BIG EAST opponents, Porter Jr. is averaging 18.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 49.8 percent from the floor (104-of-209) and 44.1 percent from three-point land (30-of-68) and 80.7 percent from the free throw line (88-of-109). Porter Jr. missed parts of two games this season and his per-40 minute averages are 18.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
This is the first time that Thompson III has won BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors but it is the fourth time a Georgetown coach has claimed the honor as his father, John Thompson Jr., did so in 1979-80, 1986-87 and 1991-92.
Under Thompson III this season, the Hoyas rebounded from an 0-2 start in BIG EAST play to win 11-straight games and closed out the year with 14 wins in 16 games to win the regular season title. It is the third regular season championship in nine seasons under Thompson III, who has led the Hoyas to at least 10 conference wins in seven of the last nine seasons.
Georgetown has been ranked No. 5 in the polls the last two weeks and when the team moved into the top 10 last month, the Hoyas became only one of four schools in the country to be ranked in the Associated Press top 10 at least once in each of the last seven seasons. Georgetown is also ranked fifth nationally in Associated Press top 25 poll appearances (115) since January 2006.