Honors start rolling in for Hoyas' Porter

Honors start rolling in for Hoyas' Porter
March 11, 2013, 9:15 am
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Now with the college basketball regular season complete, we turn to the next two phases of the campaign: post and award seasons. Georgetown's Otto Porter is poised for a busy time in both.

The official honors have already begun rolling in. Porter, the Hoyas' leader in points, rebounds, steals and 3-point shooting, was the only unanimous selection to the All-Big East first team as voted on by the conference's coaches, the league announced on Sunday.

After clinching a share of the Big East title with Saturday's romp over Syracuse, the top seeded Hoyas return to the court Thursday at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Georgetown received a double-round bye into the quarterfinals where they will meet either No. 8 Providence or No. 9 Cincinnati.

Georgetown's Markel Starks was selected to the All-Big East third team and freshman D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera to the All-rookie team.

Ironically Porter skipped the All-rookie step last season, though not by his doing. He led Georgetown in rebounding and turned in a more than worthy overall performance. The conference coaches botched that call, but they appear on the ball when it comes to honoring Porter this season.

The announcement for Big East Player of the Year comes on Tuesday, but there is no suspense in who wins, not after Porter's stellar season.

This season, the 6-foot-8 all-court performer averaged 16.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.0 block while shooting 50.2 percent from the field, 77.4 percent on free throws and 44.0 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

Porter's numbers rose in conference play as he carried the Hoyas to a share of the conference title despite the team starting 0-2 and then losing second-leading scorer and rebounder Greg Whittington to an academic suspension. In conference games only, Porter finished second in scoring (18.1) and 3-point shooting (44.1), third in steals and among the top-10 in rebounding and field goal percentage.

Per ESPN, Porter is the only Division I player averaging at least 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 40 percent on 3-point attempts this season. He's also the only D-I player to put up those numbers since New Mexico's Danny Granger in 2004-05.

Porter's defining game of the season -- 33 points, eight rebounds, five steals and five 3-pointers in a 57-46 win at Syracuse last month -- also boosted his coast-to-coast profile to the point where he is among the legitimate contenders for various national Player of the Year awards.

In some cases, the resumes are complete; the The Robertson Award, given out by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, required ballots in by this past Sunday. In other cases, Porter and the other candidates have more time to impress. Per ESPN's Michael Rothstein, the Associated Press wants its ballots on Selection Sunday; The Wooden Award by March 25 (after the first weekend of NCAA tournament games); and the Naismith Award by April 6, the Saturday of Final Four weekend.

Georgetown's second-leading scorer, Starks averaged 12.4 points and 2.9 assists while shooting 41.5 percent on 3-point attempts this season.

Smith-Rivera, the Hoyas' primary reserve, averaged 9.0 points. His 33-point outburst against DePaul was the most by a Georgetown freshman since 1996.

In addition to Porter, Louisville's Russ Smith and Gorgui Dieng were named to the All-Big East first team along with Connecticut's Shabazz Napier, Notre Dame's Jack Cooley and Providence's Bryce Cotton.