Villanova had another strong season this year. Although they are not done yet, here is a closer look at the 2015-2016 awards they have won so far for the season. Four unanimous selections were chosen to the All-Big East first team including junior Josh Hart.
Hart has been the leading scorer for the Wildcats with a 15.3 average per game. He is also sixth in the Big East in rebounding, averaging 6.9 per game. The 6-5 junior is also a major part of the pesky defense that forced numerous turnovers this season.
The Silver Spring native is one of five finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year award, presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He is a finalist along with Grayson Allen (Duke), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), A.J. English (Iona), and Buddy Hield (Oklahoma). Fans can vote until March 25 on www.HoopHallAwards.com.
Hart was also named by the United States Basketball Writers Association as the District II Player of the Year for New York, New Jersey, Delaware, the District of Colombia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Senior Ryan Arcidiacono was joined Hart as one of the 10 players on the District II team.
Arcidiacono is one of three seniors on the Big East second team. He has been a leader for the Wildcats all four years. Arcidiacono averages 11.9 points and 4.5 assists per game. The 6-3 guard is shooting 81.8 percent from the free throw line. Last year, Arcidiacono was Co-Player of the Year for the Big East and shared the title with Chris Dunn of Providence.
Senior forward Daniel Ochefu was named to the Big East Honorable Mention. Ochefu has missed three games this season due to a concussion. He has averaged 10 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He also has 50 blocks on the season. The 6-11 senior provides Villanova an inside presence.
Freshman Jalen Brunson was a unanimous pick for the Big East All-Freshman team. Brunson started every game except one at point guard for the Wildcats this season. He has averaged 9.9 points per game and 2.6 assists.
On the first day of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden, the conference announced the Freshmen of the year, Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year presented by the Jeep Brand. For the third consecutive year, Wright was named the Big East Coach of the Year. He was named the co-coach of the year with Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard.
Jay Wright received his fifth overall coach of the year. The fifth coaching honor puts him ahead of Jim Calhoun (UConn) and Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) who each have four. Jay Wright was also named the District II Coach of the Year for the third consecutive season by the United States Basketball Writers Association. Wright is in his 15th season at Villanova and currently has a 468-241 (.660) career record, 162-98 (.623) Big East record.
With the help of Arcidiacono, Hart, Brunson, and HC Jay Wright the Wildcats finished 16-2 in the Big East and 27-4 overall. In the last three years, the Wildcats have won three consecutive regular season titles and won the conference tournament last season. Villanova also became the first team in Big East history to win 16 conference games in three straight seasons.