Pitt missed on another award as Jim Boeheim took home Big East Coach of the Year, besting Jamie Dixon, keeping him from winning his second such award.
As I said in a recent Q&A with another Big East blogger, I've got no beef with this. If I had a vote, I would have given it to Boeheim as well. His team is led by Wes Johnson, who's a very good, but not great player. Pitt and Syracuse both match up pretty well numbers-wise and neither has a drop-dead complete star. Ashton Gibbs even averages slightly more ppg than Johnson. Gibbs is a deep threat while Johnson is a very good rebounder. Johnson may be a better player, but I don't think it's by all that much.
Pitt has four players average 10+ ppg, while Syracuse has five. Syracuse scores about 13 more ppg, but both teams rebound about the same. What I'm trying to say is, I think the two teams are pretty comparable. Both teams lost arguably their top three players from last season. So that aside, as great a job as Dixon has done this year, Boeheim's team has four fewer losses and has been unbelievable. I'd have given the nod to him as well. Ray Fittipaldo of the PG makes a good point in that Dixon did a great job with Pitt when both Jermaine Dixon and Gilbert Brown were out. That's true, but I'd still go with Boeheim by a hair.
In related news, Wes Johnson took home conference Player of the Year. He had a very good year, but I would have gone with Luke Harangody - sorry, but nearly 25 and 10 on a team likely to make the NCAA tournament is too hard for me to ignore.