Villanova Wildcats coach Jay Wright, who just guided Villanova to their third consecutive outright BIG EAST conference championship has been named Co-Coach of the Year along with Seton Hall Pirates coach Kevin Willard.
Congratulations to 2015-16 Co-#BIGEASThoops Coach of the Year Jay Wright (@NovaMBB) pic.twitter.com/9gjLAIlwln— BIG EAST Conference (@BIGEAST) March 9, 2016
Wright led the Wildcats to a 27-4 record, including 16-2 in the conference. The team also achieved its first ever #1 national ranking in the AP Poll; an honor it held for three weeks. The Wildcats are poised for another #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament as well if they can take care of business in New York.
Marquette Golden Eagles forward Henry Ellenson won Freshman of the Year, while Kris Dunn won Player of the Year for the second straight season. Ellenson was a no-brainer, while Dunn is a fine choice but likely a more controversial one. You could argue that his teammate Ben Bentil had an even better season, though Josh Hart certainly had a case as well as one of the most efficient players in the country.
As for Wright and Willard splitting the award, it's fine. For all the things that Kevin Willard says to draw the ire of some fans, he did lead the Pirates to a fantastic season that nobody saw coming - especially after what went down last year. I'm of the belief that Chris Mack should have won this outright given what he's done with Xavier relative to their expectations, but that same line of logic applies for Willard as well.
Congrats, Coach Wright!