Providence basketball

Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

Big East names all-conference teams, tournament pairings set

John Rooke
March 08, 2020 - 8:00 pm
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A tightly packed, closely-knit regular season in the Big East should have meant difficult decisions for the league’s head coaches when it comes to selecting the all-conference selections.

Undoubtedly, that had to have been the case as the league announced its’ 2019-20 1st and 2nd team all-Big East picks Sunday.  The Big East Player of the Year will come from the All-Big East First Team, and the conference will announce Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year and the Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, March 11. 

The press conference will be held on the first day of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Other league individual awards – Big East Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man Award and Sportsmanship Award -- will be announced Monday morning, March 9.

As evidence of the tough task at hand, six players were selected for the 1st team, with three players considered unanimous choices by the league’s 10 head coaches (Seton Hall’s Myles Powell, Marquette’s Markus Howard, Villanova’s Saddiq Bey).

Providence senior forward Alpha Diallo, a first-team preseason selection by the coaches, earned second team all-Big East honors for the second straight season. 

Diallo finished his senior season with a strong final two weeks and helped lead the team to a program-best 12 Big East wins (12-6) and a fourth-place finish overall, one game out of first place.  Diallo leads the team in scoring (14.1 ppg) and rebounding (7.8 rpg).  His 7.8 rebounds rank fifth in the league in overall action.  Diallo has also recorded nine double-doubles for the year. 

He also posted a career-best 35-point, 10-rebound effort in the Friars’ 74-71 win over Seton Hall on February 15, one of five straight wins for the Friars over Top 25 ranked opponents to finish the regular season.

For his career, Diallo has recorded 1,591 career points in 130 games (11.7 ppg).  He ranks 14th all-time in scoring at Providence.

In August, Diallo helped lead Team USA to a Bronze Medal at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru.  He led the team in scoring (15.0 ppg) and in rebounding 5.6 (rpg) during the competition last summer. 

The Friars, winners of six straight games heading into the postseason, return to action Thursday, March 12 against the No. 5 seeded Butler Bulldogs (22-9, 10-8) in the Big East Quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden.  Tip-off Thursday is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. 

All-Big East First Team

Kamar Baldwin, Butler, G, Sr., 6-1, 195, Winder, Ga.

Ty-Shon Alexander, Creighton, G, Jr., 6-4, 195, Charlotte, N.C.

*Markus Howard, Marquette, G, Sr., 5-11, 175, Chandler, Ariz.

*Myles Powell, Seton Hall, G, Sr., 6-2, 195, Trenton, N.J.

*Saddiq Bey, Villanova, F, So., 6-8, 220, Largo, Md.

Naji Marshall, Xavier, F, Jr., 6-7, 222, Atlantic City, N.J.

All-Big East Second Team

*Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton, G, So., 6-2, 180, Hamilton, Mass.

Paul Reed, DePaul, F, Jr., 6-9, 220, Orlando, Fla.

Alpha Diallo, Providence, G, Sr., 6-7, 210, New York, N.Y.

Collin Gillespie, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-3, 191, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

Tyrique Jones, Xavier, F, Sr., 6-9, 239, Bloomfield, Conn.

Big East Honorable Mention

Omer Yurtseven, Georgetown, C, Sr., 7-0, 264, Istanbul, Turkey

Quincy McKnight, Seton Hall, G, Sr., 6-4, 185, Bridgeport, Conn.

Big East All-Freshman

Romeo Weems, DePaul, F, 6-7, 210, Detroit, Mich.

Julian Champagnie, St. John’s, F, 6-8, 215, Brooklyn, N.Y.

*Justin Moore, Villanova, G, 6-4, 210, Fort Washington, Md.

*Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova, F, 6-9, 232, Overland Park, Kan.

Zach Freemantle, Xavier, F, 6-9, 225, Teaneck, N.J.

KyKy Tandy, Xavier, G, 6-2, 190, Hopkinsville, Ky.

 *Denotes unanimous selection.

2020 Big East Tournament Pairings

At Madison Square Garden

Wednesday, March 11

#9 St. John’s vs. #8 Georgetown 7:00 p.m.

#7 Xavier vs. #10 DePaul  9:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 12

#1 Creighton vs. St. John’s Georgetown winner 12:00 Noon

#5 Butler vs. #4 Providence 2:30 p.m.

#2 Villanova vs. Xavier/DePaul winner 7:00 p.m.

#6 Marquette vs. #3 Seton Hall 9:30 p.m.

Friday, March 13

Semifinal 1 (Creighton, SJU, Georgetown, Butler, PC) 6:30 p.m.

Semifinal 2 (Villanova, Xavier, DePaul, Marquette, SH) 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 14

Championship 6:30 p.m.