After five Wildcats were named to the Big East's all-conference teams, Darrun Hilliard and Daniel Ochefu were named co-winners of the Big East Most Improved Player award, the conference announced Monday morning.
Hilliard and Ochefu's improvement this season added to Villanova's balanced scoring attack this season and gave the Wildcats a solid defender in the post. Hilliard, a 6-foot-6 junior swingman from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was second on the squad in scoring this season averaging 14.4 points per contest, 13th in the Big East in scoring, ninth in field goal, fourth in three point percentage and percentage and sixth in steals.
Ochefu, a 6-foot-11 sophomore center from Baltimore, Maryland, averaged 5.8 points and six rebounds per game while shooting 62.1 percent from the field this season. Ochefu was fourth in the Big East in blocks with 1.5 and ninth in the conference in rebounding.
Hilliard (4.4) and Ochefu (2.3) combined for 6.7 total Win Shares (an estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player due to his/her offense and defense) this season for the Wildcats. A true estimate of how much their improvement helped Villanova.
Here's the entire list of individual awards that were announced:
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall
BIG EAST Most Improved Player
Darrun Hilliard, Villanova
Daniel Ochefu, Villanova
BIG EAST Sixth Man Award
Davante Gardner, Marquette
BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award
Chris Otule, Marquette