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Big East news, awards, and Napier earns another honor

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published March 12. 2013 8:00PM   Updated March 12. 2013 8:04PM

March is Award Season for college basketball.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association selected UConn junior Shabazz Napier as the District I player of the year.

Napier and sophomore teammate Ryan Boatright made the All-District I team.

District I covers Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The Big East handed its major individual awards on Tuesday, the first day of the conference tournament inNew York.

As expected, Georgetown received two honors. Otto Porter, Jr. was named the Big East player-of-the-year and John Thompson III the top coach. The pair helped the Hoyas claim a share of the regular season crown and the conference tournament’s top seed. Porter averaged 18.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals in league games.

Porter is the first Hoya to collect top player honors since Jeff Green in 2006-07.

It also was no surprise that St. John’sJakarr Sampson earned top rookie honors. He’s the second straight Red Storm player to win the award, joining Moe Harkless.

Louisville’s Peyton Siva was the league’s scholar-athlete award winner.

In other news, the Big East announced that Notre Dame is leaving the conference for the ACC effective on July 1.

“This decision makes sense for the Big East,” Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said in a released statement. “In view of Notre Dame's expressed desire to join the ACC on an earlier timetable, the Big East and Notre Dame were able to arrive at an acceptable resolution.

“The Big East can now focus fully on its future alignment and rebranding efforts.”

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