You best recognize: Otto Porter Jr. and John Thompson III honored by Big East
Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III was named Big East Coach of the Year yesterday afternoon. Otto Porter Jr., his sophomore star, was named the Big East Player of the Year in a unanimous vote by league coaches.
The vote comes in Thompson’s most impressive job on the Hilltop since his arrival from Princeton University nine years ago. Thompson overcame the losses of his three top scorers from a season ago in Jason Clark, Henry Sims, and Hollis Thompson. His team also recovered from the academic suspension of second-leading scorer Greg Whittington in early January.
After a torrid start to the season that saw the Hoyas defeat national powerhouses like UCLA and take then No. 1 Indiana to overtime, Thompson’s group struggled through the beginning of the Big East slate, dropping their first two with the wheels falling completely off in a 28-point drubbing to Pittsburgh.
After a couple of more blips in the schedule, though, the Hoyas reeled off 11-straight wins and rose from an unranked afterthought to No. 5 in the nation. On Saturday, Georgetown clinched the No. 1 seed in this week’s Big East Tournament, as well as a share of the regular season title with a thorough 61-39 victory over Syracuse.
Porter has been the catalyst for much of Thompson’s success, taking on a bigger offensive role after Whittington’s untimely exodus. He led the Hoyas in points (16.4), rebounds (7.5), and steals (2.0) per game while gaining traction for national player of the year honors later in the season.
The sophomore do-everything forward’s season culminated with three Big East Player of the Week honors. He was also the only unanimous selection to the All-Big East First Team. Porter has posted 25 games this season with double figures in scoring, with 8 of those games at 20 points or higher.
Porter pulled away from other possible contenders for the Big East Player of the Year honor when he willed the Hoyas to a victory against Syracuse in front of a record-breaking crowd of over 35,000 by scoring a career-high 33 points. This performance also greatly contributed to his selection as one of 25 finalists for the Wooden Award. He would be the first Georgetown player to win the award and only the third Big East player to do so.
Porter along with the rest of Thompson’s squad will be back on the court at Madison Square Garden tomorrow at noon to take on the winner of Cincinnati and Providence, who play at noon today, in the Hoyas’ first game of the Big East Championship.
Photo: Miles Gavin Meng/Georgetown Voice