March 7, 2000
NEW YORK – Notre Dame forward Troy Murphy, the first player in BIG EAST history to lead the league in scoring and rebounding in the same season, has been named the 1999-00 BIG EAST Player of the Year.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year. Boston College guard Troy Bell garnered BIG EAST Rookie of the Year honors. Syracuse center Etan Thomas was selected BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year for a second straight season. Seton Hall guard Shaheen Holloway and Pittsburgh forward Ricardo Greer shared the BIG EAST Most Improved Player award.
All the awards were determined by a vote of the conference’s head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for players on their own teams. The awards were presented at the Grand Hyatt Hotel prior to the AT&T BIG EAST Championship, which will be played at Madison Square Garden on Mar. 8-11.
Murphy, a 6-9 sophomore, earned the league’s scoring and rebounding crowns with averages of 21.7 and 10.5, respectively, in conference games only. Overall, he is averaging 23.0 points and 10.5 rebounds and has been ranked in the top 10 nationally in both categories for most of the season. This year, he tied a BIG EAST record by winning Player of the Week honors six times. He posted a league-leading 18 double-doubles in 30 games. Last season, the native of Morristown, N.J. was the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection.
Boeheim wins Coach of the Year honors for the third time. He also won in 1990-91 and ’83-84. This season, Boeheim directed the Orangemen to a 24-4 overall record and a share of the BIG EAST regular season title with a 13-3 mark. In his 24th season at Syracuse, Boeheim’s career record stands at 573-197 (.744). He has coached every Syracuse game in BIG EAST history. In conference regular season play, his record is 220-118 (.651). In BIG EAST Championship competition, he is 31-17 (.646).
Bell is a 6-1 point guard who set the BIG EAST freshmen scoring record, averaging 20.1 points in conference games. A knee injury ended Bell’s year with two games remaining in the regular season, but he still set the Boston College freshmen scoring record with 508 points. A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Bell was a unanimous pick on the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.
A 6-9 junior from Tulsa, Okla., Thomas posted overall averages of 13.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and a league-leading 3.9 blocks. He is the first player to win back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards since Georgetown’s Allen Iverson (1994-95, ’95-’96). Thomas finished his BIG EAST career second on the league’s all-time block list with 232. Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing (1981-85) had 247 blocks.
Both Holloway and Greer were named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team. Greer shined for the Panthers, averaging 18.2 points and 9.9 rebounds. He was fourth in the BIG EAST in overall scoring and second in rebounding. He was also second in double-doubles with 15. The 6-5 forward from New York, N.Y. is the first Panther to finish in the top 10 in scoring and rebounding since Brian Shorter in 1989-90. Last season, Greer posted a 12.6 scoring average and a 6.5 rebounding mark.
Holloway, a 5-10 point guard from Queens, N.Y., helped the Hall finish the regular season with a 19-8 overall mark and a 10-6 BIG EAST record, the best year for the Pirates since 1992-93. This season, Holloway averaged 13.0 points, 5.9 assists and 5.3 rebounds. Last year, Seton Hall finished 15-15 while Holloway averaged 9.3 points, 5.0 assists and 2.8 boards.
1999-00 BIG EAST Awards
Player of the Year
Troy Murphy, Notre Dame
Coach of the Year
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse
Rookie of the Year
Troy Bell, Boston College
Defensive Player of the Year
Etan Thomas, Syracuse
Most Improved Player
Ricardo Greer, Pittsburgh
Shaheen Holloway, Seton Hall