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Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges Share Big East Defensive Player Of The Year Award

Villanova’s lock-down defenders were recognized as the best in the Big East.

NCAA Basketball: American U. at Villanova Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges, along with Creighton’s Khyri Thomas, were named Co-Big East Defensive Players of the Year on Monday. This is the first time in Big East history that the award is being shared by three players. Big East coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own players, split their votes between the three elite defenders.

Hart and Bridges have helped make Villanova the leagues best scoring defense at just 63.1 points per game. The Wildcats are atop the league in field goal defense (41.7%) and 3-point defense (31.1%).

There were three other league awards announced Monday. Kyron Cartwright of Providence won the Big East Most Improved Player Award. Marquette’s Andrew Rowsey was named given the Big East Sixth Man Award. And finally, Billy Garrett Jr. of DePaul earned the Big East Sportsmanship Award.

The remaining individual awards (including Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and Outstanding Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete) will be announced at 4:30 on Wednesday, March 8th to kick off the Big East Tournament.