Cardinal Trio Earns All-BIG EAST Honors

Cardinal Trio Earns All-BIG EAST Honors

Credit: Getty Images

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 04: Russ Smith #2 of the Louisville Cardinals celebrates during the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at KFC YUM! Center on March 4, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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by Kenneth Klein

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 10, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 10 at 7:05 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville men’s basketball student-athletes Gorgui Dieng, Russ Smith and Peyton Siva each earned All-BIG EAST Conference honors, the conference office announced Sunday morning in a vote by the league’s head coaches.

Dieng and Smith earned first-team honors, marking the first time in school history that Louisville had two first-team picks. Siva, the league’s preseason player of the year, was named a third-team selection. Overall, it is the first time the Cardinals -- excluding the all-rookie team -- have combined to place three among the all-league first, second, and third team squads.

Dieng, a junior, averaged 10.3 points and 10.1 rebounds in all games. In BIG EAST play, he was the league rebounding champion with a 10.8 average and was second in blocked shots with a 2.8 average.  Overall, he had 63 blocks in just 24 games, while also collecting 34 steals and shooting 52 percent from the field.  On a national scale, as of March 7, he ranks 17th in rebounds per game and 24th in blocked shots per game.

A 6-foot junior, Smith is second in the BIG EAST in overall scoring, averaging 17.9 points. He was third in steals, averaging two per game. Nationally, he ranks 34th in steals per game and 35th in points per game. Earlier this season, he became Louisville’s 65th player in school history to reach the 1,000-career point plateau. In terms of honors, Smith was named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 and, in late February, was selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2013 Naismith Men's College Player of the Year Award.

Siva, who was an all-conference honorable mention selection in 2011, concluded the regular season by averaging 9.9 points and 5.9 assists.  He also had 62 steals in that span.  Siva averaged 8.4 points and had 106 assists and 33 steals in 18 league games. Nationally, the senior ranks 22nd in assists per game and 46th in steals per game.

Terrence Williams was the Cardinals’ most recent all-BIG EAST first-team pick, earning the award in 2009.

The BIG EAST Player of the Year will come from the All-BIG EAST First Team. The conference will announce Player of the Year, BIG EAST Coach of the Year, BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, March 12. The announcement will be made on the first day of The BIG EAST Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden. The other league individual awards will be announced Monday, March 11.

Louisville, which captured a share of the BIG EAST regular-season title, earned the No. 2 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament. The Cardinals will face the winner of St. John’s-Villanova on Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, G, Jr., 6-1, 171, Roxbury, Mass.
*Otto Porter, Jr., Georgetown, F, So., 6-8, 205, Sikeston, Mo.
Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, C, Jr., 6-11, 245, Kebemer, Senegal
Russ Smith, Louisville, G, Jr., 6-0, 165, Briarwood, N.Y.
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame, F, Sr., 6-9, 246, Glenview, Ill.
Bryce Cotton, Providence, G, Jr., 6-1, 165, Tucson, Ariz.

ALL-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM
Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati, G, Jr., 6-4, 221, White Plains, N.Y.
Vander Blue, Marquette, G, Sr., 6-4, 200, Madison, Wisc.
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame, G, Jr., 6-5, 202, Bowie, Md.
Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, G, So., 6-6, 185, Hamilton, Mass.
C.J. Fair, Syracuse, F, Jr., 6-8, 215, Baltimore, Md.

ALL-BIG EAST THIRD TEAM
Markel Starks, Georgetown, G, Jr., 6-2, 175, Accokeek, Md.
Peyton Siva, Louisville, G, Sr., 6-0, 185, Seattle, Wash.
Tray Woodall, Pittsburgh, G, Sr., 6-0, 190, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Brandon Triche, Syracuse, G, Sr., 6-4,210, Jamesville, N.Y.
JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova, F, So., 6-6, 240, Brooklyn, N.Y.

BIG EAST HONORABLE MENTION
Davonte Gardner, Marquette, F, Jr., 6-8, 290, Suffolk, Va.
Kadeem Batts, Providence, F, Jr., 6-9, 245, Powder Springs, Ga.
JaKarr Sampson, St. John’s, F, Fr., 6-8, 204, Barberton, Ohio
Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall, F, Jr., G-F, 6-6, 205, Paterson, N.J.

BIG EAST ALL-ROOKIE TEAM^
Omar Calhoun, Connecticut, G, Fr., 6-5, 195, Brooklyn, N.Y.
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown, G, Fr., 6-3, 227, Indianapolis, Ind.
Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, C, Fr., 7-0, 250, Roturua, New Zealand
Chris Obekpa, St. John’s, C, Fr., 6-9, 223, Makurdi, Nigeria
*JaKarr Sampson, St. John’s, F, Fr., 6-8, 204, Barberton, Ohio
*Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova, G, Fr., 6-3, 195, Langhorne, Pa.

*Denotes unanimous selection.
^Due to a tie in the voting, an additional position was named.

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