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McDermott is Big East's top player

NEW YORK -- Doug McDermott was named the Big East Player of the Year on Wednesday, one of many awards the Creighton senior is expected to win this month.

McDermott, the leading scorer in the country at 26.5 points per game, is the heavy favorite to win several national player of the year honors.

"Being the Big East Player of the Year, it doesn't get much better than that," McDermott said. "There's been so many great players to come through this league, and to do it in our first year, that's pretty cool."

No. 14-ranked Creighton (24-6, 14-4), one of three new members in the Big East this season, earned the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, and will play either No. 7 seed Georgetown or No. 10 seed DePaul on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

No. 3-ranked Villanova (28-3, 16-2) is the tournament's top seed, and Wildcats coach Jay Wright was named the Big East Coach of the Year on Wednesday as well.

Villanova was picked to finish fourth in the Big East this season in the conference's preseason coaches poll. This is the third time Wright has won the award in his 13 years with the Wildcats.

DePaul freshman guard Billy Garrett Jr. was named the Big East Rookie of the Year. Garrett Jr. averaged 12.4 points per game this season, tops among rookies in the conference. He beat out St. John's guard Rysheed Jordan (9.4 ppg), who was the preseason Big East Rookie of the Year.