Pitt had a player take home the Big East Most Improved Player of the Year Award once again. This time it was Ashton Gibbs. That gives Pitt six winners in the past eleven years.
Can't say it was completely unexpected. My vote would have probably gone to Notre Dame's Tim Abromaitis, who averaged only 1.7 ppg as a freshman two years ago and did not play last year. This year, he's averaging an incredible 17.2 ppg. Not sure if he was eligible as he didn't play last year, but if he was, he would have been my pick. I've got no problem with Gibbs winning it, though, and he was well deserving.
As I mentioned before, this is kind of a hard award to judge because many times, a player's numbers will go up dramatically due to increased playing time - not necessarily due to any great increase in skill set.
There's been no mention of this by Bob Smizik of the PG, who made the incredulous statement that Gary McGhee was not only the Most Improved Player of this year, but perhaps in the history of the conference. Previously, I detailed why this was likely not true and despite improving this year, I wasn't so sure he was a worthy winner of this award.
Again, I really like Bob, but I don't think he could be more wrong about this. Hard to rip him too badly, though. Blogging is far from an exact science - it's more about random thoughts of how you're feeling at a particular moment. Plus, it's not like I've never said anything stupid on here.
Back to Gibbs - He really had a heck of a year. He went from being a role player as a freshman to a leader of a top ranked basketball team. It's easy to forget he's only a sophomore and had he not been forced to play the point so much this year, I think his numbers could have been even better.