first_imgOverlooked before the season in the Big East, the No. 3-ranked Syracuse men’s basketball team has cleaned house.On Tuesday, Jim Boeheim was named Big East Coach of the Year and Wes Johnson was awarded Big East Player of the Year. Syracuse plays the winner of Georgetown vs. South Florida on Thursday in the quarterfinal round of the Big East tournament.Before this season, Syracuse was predicted to finish sixth in conference — widely billed as a wild card with replenished pieces. After finishing as the Big East’s outright regular-season champions, the Orange (28-3) has reeled in the hardware.Boeheim was honored for SU’s unlikely turnaround, while Johnson leads the balanced team in points per game (15.7), rebounds (8.5) and minutes (34.5). Johnson is the first transfer from a Division I school to win the award and the fourth-ever Syracuse winner. Hakim Warrick (2005), Billy Owens (1991) and Derrick Coleman (1990) have also won. A day earlier, Kris Joseph was named the Big East’s Sixth Man of the Year.Among a field of premier scorers — such as Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds, Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody and South Florida’s Dominique Jones — Johnson’s overall game stood out. Fighting through injuries, he has handled a wealth of minutes while scoring in double figures in 28 of Syracuse’s 31 games.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor Boeheim, this is simply more hardware. As the winningest coach in Big East history, he also won Coach of the Year in 1984, 1991 and 2000. For Johnson, the news was somewhat surprising considering his numbers have ebbed of late. After a furious start, he has been hobbled by a pair of injuries.The aftershock of a head-over-heels spill against Providence and a hand injury against Connecticut has hurt Johnson’s shot. He is averaging 12.3 points in his last nine games. Others, namely Andy Rautins, have picked up the slack. Johnson recently campaigned for Rautins to win the award.thdunne@syr.edu  Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Published on March 9, 2010 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more