UConn’s Adama Sanogo, Jordan Hawkins named First Team All-Big East; Karaban, Clingan on All-Freshman team
After finishing its regular season with a 24-7 overall record Saturday night, the UConn men’s basketball team had several players earn end-of-season recognition on Sunday.
The program had two First Team All-Big East selections for the second consecutive season in Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins, while Alex Karaban was a unanimous selection for the All-Freshman team and was joined on the list by Bristol’s Donovan Clingan.
Picking up his second first-team selection, Sanogo joins an elite group of seven players who have been recognized twice in their careers. That list includes Corny Thompson (‘81,‘82), Donyell Marshall (’93, ’94), Ray Allen (’95. ’96), Richard Hamilton (’98, ’99), Emeka Okafor (’03, ’04), and Shabazz Napier (’13 Big East , ’14 American Athletic).
It is only the fourth time that the UConn men’s program has had two players named to the first team; the others were Sanogo and R.J. Cole last season, Okafor and Ben Gordon in 2004 and Jeff Adrien and A.J. Price in 2008.
The teams were selected by a vote of the 11 head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.
Marquette’s Tyler Kolek and Providence’s Bryce Hopkins were each unanimous first team selections with Ryan Kalkbrenner (Creighton) and Souley Boum (Xavier) rounding out the list. The Big East Player of the Year will be selected out of that group and announced on Wednesday.
Sanogo, a 6-foot-9 center and co-captain for the Huskies, averaged 16.9 points per game, which led all Big East scorers when you include both non-conference and in-conference games. In only league games, Sanogo finished fourth in scoring (16.2), fifth in rebounding (7.6), seventh in field goal percentage (.568) and No. 14 in free throw percentage (.763). The junior produced nine 20-plus point games and five double-doubles this season.
Hawkins captured the Big East scoring title with 17.3 points per game in conference play and combined with Sanogo to form the highest-scoring duo in the league (34 points per game). Hawkins joins Chris Smith (’91-‘92), Marshall and Hamilton as the only Huskies to win the Big East’s scoring crown.
Sanogo and Hawkins are the 25th and 26th Huskies all-time to be named First Team All-Big East – UConn also had four first team selections while a member of the American Athletic Conference. Karaban and Clingan are the 29th and 30th players to be named to the Big East All-Freshman Team, plus four others who were named while UConn was in the AAC. It is the seventh time UConn has had two players selected for the All-Freshman Team.
Villanova’s Cam Whitmore joined Karaban as the only unanimous selections, while A.J. Storr (St. John’s), Mark Armstrong (Villanova) and Desmond Claude (Xavier) rounded out the list. Claude is a New Haven product and attended Putnam Science Academy. The Freshman of the Year award will be selected from that group and announced Wednesday.
Karaban also picked up his league-leading sixth Freshman of the Week recognition on Sunday after putting together 13.5 points, six rebounds, four assists, and 2.5 blocked shots in two games this week, while shooting 58.8% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc. Starting in 30 games this season, Karaban scored in double figures 18 times. He averaged 9.7 points, 4.4 rebounds while shooting 47.1% overall, 39.7% from 3-point range and 83.3% from the foul line.
Clingan was named Big East Freshman of the Week twice and was recognized in non-conference play as the Phil Knight Invitational tournament MVP. Playing 13.3 minutes per game, Clingan led the Huskies in field goal percentage (65.7%) and blocks (1.8 per game), while adding 7.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He scored in double-figures nine times and had four double-doubles.
Also recognized on Sunday was the Huskies’ other co-captain, Andre Jackson, who was named to the Big East’s weekly honor roll for the third time this season. He averaged 10.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and seven assists while shooting 77.8% from the field in UConn’s two games.
UConn enters the Big East tournament as the No. 4 seed, and will play fifth-seeded Providence at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
Here is the full list of Big East honors:
All-Big East First Team:
Adama Sanogo, UConn
Jordan Hawkins, UConn
Tyler Kolek, Marquette*
Bryce Hopkins, Providence*
Ryan Kalkbrenner, Creighton
Souley Boum, Xavier
All-Big East Second Team
Oso Ighodaro, Marquette
Kam Jones, Marquette
Joel Soriano, St. John’s
Eric Dixon, Villanova
Colby Jones, Xavier
All-Big East Honorable Mention
Trey Alexander, Creighton
Baylor Scheierman, Creighton
Devin Carer, Providence
Jack Nunge, Xavier
Big East All-Freshman Team
Alex Karaban, UConn*
Donovan Clingan, UConn
AJ Storr, St. John’s
Mark Armstrong, Villanova
Cam Whitmore, Villanova *
Desmond Claude, Xavier
* — denotes unanimous selection