Men's Basketball |
March 9, 2010
NEW YORK - Two days after being selected as one of two unanimous selections to the BIG EAST Conference All-Rookie Team, University of Cincinnati freshman guard Lance Stephenson (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) was named the league's Rookie of the Year, the conference office announced.
Stephenson is the first UC men's basketball player to earn the distinction since the Bearcats joined the BIG EAST in 2005-06. He joins DerMarr Johnson (1999-00 - Conference USA), Danny Fortson (1994-95 - Great Midwest Conference), and Dontonio Wingfield (1993-94 - Great Midwest Conference) as the only players in program history to earn freshman/rookie/newcomer of the year honors.
The preseason BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, Stephenson led all BIG EAST freshmen in scoring in overall (12.0 ppg) and conference-only games (12.1 ppg). He also finished in the Top 5 overall among league freshmen in rebounds (5.3 rpg/4th), steals (1.0 spg/5th), and assists (2.4 apg/4th).
Four times this season, the 6-foot-5 guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., has been named BIG EAST Rookie of the Week, the most by any incoming player. Stephenson won the weekly award the last two weeks of the regular season after averaging 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game over UC's last four contests. He also added 11 assists and five steals during the stretch.
Stephenson committed to the Bearcats this past summer after a highly-decorated prep career at Lincoln High School (Brooklyn, N.Y.), where he averaged 28.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists to earn Class AA New York State Sports Writers Association (NYSSWA) Player of the Year honors his senior year. He graduated high school as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the state of New York with 2,946 points, passing fellow Lincoln High grad Sebastian Telfair, who was the 13th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and now plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The BIG EAST Rookie of the Year award was presented between Day 1 sessions of the BIG EAST Championship Presented by New York Life, at Madison Square Garden along with Player of the Year, Oppenheimer Funds/BIG EAST Coach of the Year, and the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete.
The Cincinnati Bearcats (16-14, 7-11 BIG EAST), the No. 11-seed in the BIG EAST Championship, open postseason play vs. Rutgers (15-16, 5-13 BIG EAST), the No. 14 seed, in the first round of the league tournament tonight (March 9) at 9 p.m. EST at Madison Square Garden. The game will be aired nationally on ESPNU.
BIG EAST Conference Rookies of the Year
Season Player, Team
1979-1980 David Russell, St. John's
1980-1981 Fred Brown, Georgetown
1981-1982 Patrick Ewing, Georgetown
1982-1983 Earl Kelley, Connecticut
1983-1984 Dwayne Washington, Syracuse
1984-1985 Charles Smith, Pittsburgh
1985-1986 Dana Barros, Boston College
1986-1987 Derrick Coleman, Syracuse
1987-1988 Sean Miller, Pittsburgh
1988-1989 Brian Shorter, Pittsburgh
1989-1990 Nadav Henefeld, Connecticut
1990-1991 Billy Curley, Boston College
1991-1992 Lawrence Moten, Syracuse
1992-1993 Othella Harrington, Georgetown
1993-1994 Doron Sheffer, Connecticut
1994-1995 Allen Iverson, Georgetown
1995-1996 James "Scoonie" Penn, Boston College
1996-1997 Tim Thomas, Villanova
1997-1998 Khalid El-Amin, Connecticut
1998-1999 Troy Murphy, Notre Dame
1999-2000 Troy Bell, Boston College
2000-2001 Eddie Griffin, Seton Hall
2001-2002 Chris Thomas, Notre Dame
2002-2003 Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse
2003-2004 Chris Taft, Pittsburgh
2004-2005 Rudy Gay, Connecticut and Jeff Green, Georgetown
2005-2006 Dominic James, Marquette
2006-2007 Scottie Reynolds, Villanova
2007-2008 DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh and Jonny Flynn, Syracuse
2008-2009 Greg Monroe, Georgetown
2009-2010 Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati