March 10, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Jack Cooley (Glenview, Ill.), the only BIG EAST player to average double figures in both scoring and rebounding during the 2012-13 campaign, was honored on Sunday (March 10) as a first team all-BIG EAST selection, while teammate Jerian Grant (Bowie, Md.) as named to the league's second team.
The duo was selected by a vote of the league's 16 head coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own players.
This marks the second consecutive year that both Cooley and Grant earned all-conference honors. The league's most improved player in 2012, Cooley was a member of the all-conference second team a year ago, while Grant copped all-rookie team honors. Their selection also marks the 13th straight year that Notre Dame has placed an individual on one of the all-conference teams and the seventh time in eight years that an Irish player has been selected for first-team accolades. Notre Dame players now have earned first-team accolades on 15 occasions and all-conference honors 34 times. It also marks the first time since 2011 that two Irish players have earned all-conference honors in the same season.
Cooley, who has started all 31 games for the Irish, leads the team in both scoring and rebounding as he is averaging 13.6 points and 10. 6. During the BIG EAST regular season, he averaged 12.4 points and 10.1 rebounds. The 6-9, 246-poind forward led the league with 19 double-doubles, including 10 in BIG EAST play. He scored a season-high 26 points and grabbed a season-best 16 rebounds for the second time during the season in overtime win (79-71) at DePaul on Feb. 2, 2013. Cooley also put together a string of six consecutive double-doubles during the BIG EAST regular season. He was three times named to the league's weekly honor roll during the '12-'13 campaign while scoring in double figures in 15 of 18 contests and grabbing 10-plus boards in 11 games. Cooley also tops the Irish with 27 games in double figures this season.
Grant is averaging a career-best of 13.4 points this season and led Notre Dame in scoring during the BIG EAST regular-season as he averaged 14.2 points during the 18-game conference campaign. The 6-5, 202-pound guard has scored in double figures 25 times and netted double figures in 15 of 18 league contests during the BIG EAST regular season. Grant ranks fifth in the BIG EAST in assists in overall games with 5.68 per game and was second in league games at 5.94 per game. He registered back-to-back 20-plus point scoring efforts for the first time in his career against Marquette and St. John's as he netted 21 points in both of the contests.
Grant posted two double-doubles this season that included a 12-point and 10-assist performance against Villanova. He also dished off eight or more assists in seven BIG EAST contests.
Georgetown's Otto Porter, the only unanimous first team all-conference selection, led the six-member first-team all-BIG EAST squad. Gorgui Dieng and Russ Smith of Louisville also garnered first-team recognition. Rounding out the first team were Shabazz Napier of Connecticut and Byrce Cotton of Providence.
Joining Grant on the second team were Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams and C.J. Fair, Sean Kilpatrick of Cincinnati and Vander Blue of Marquette.
The all-BIG EAST third team was comprised of Markel Starks (Georgetown), Peyton Siva (Louisville), Tray Woodall (Pittsburgh), Brandon Triche (Syracuse) and JayVaughan Pinkston (Villanova).
Named to the honorable mention team were Marquette's Davante Gardner, Providence's Kadeem Batts, St. John's Jakarr Sampson and Seton Hall's Fuquan Edwin.
Jakarr Sampson (St. John's) and Ryan Aricdiacono were unanimous selections to the six-member BIG EAST All-Rookie Team. Also named to the squad were Omar Calhoun of Connecticut, Steven Adams of Pittsburgh, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera of Georgetown and Chris Obekpa of St. John's.
Notre Dame (23-8, 11-7) is the No. 6 seed in the upcoming 2013 BIG EAST Men's Basketball Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitter at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. The Irish open up play on Wednesday evening, March 13 against winner of a first-round matchup between No. 11 seed Rutgers and No. 14 seed DePaul.