McCoughtry snubbed for Big East POY

I want to be careful here, because I sure don’t want to say anything that casts Connecticut sophomore forward Maya Moore in anything but a positive light. Moore won the Big East Player of the Year award for the second straight year, it was announced today. And she is certainly deserving.

But so is University of Louisville senior Angel McCoughtry. And by not voting McCoughtry at least a share of the award, Big East coaches have made an embarrassing omission.

McCoughtry was named defensive player of the year. She is the league’s leading rebounder. And she also leads the league in scoring. If you are the league’s best defender, rebouner and scorer, I don’t see how you’re not player of the year.

Unless it’s that you don’t play for Connecticut.

The Huskies’ women’s basketball team is the most dominant program in college basketball right now. I can’t argue with Geno Auriemma being coach of the year. Who could? This could well be one of the great women’s teams of all time. But again, Louisville coach Jeff Walz led his team to a clear second-place finish in the league and kept his team in the top 10 in all but the first week of the conference season, all after losing his starting center and breaking in a new point guard who few thought could play the position effectively.

But this is about McCoughtry. She stayed four years. She was not a good ambassador for women’s and Big East basketball — she was a great one. She’s going to go on to a professional career and might well be the top player taken in the WNBA Draft, though that has no bearing on a college award.

And then there’s this. Moore plays with a group of prep blue-chippers. McCoughtry plays with a great supporting cast, but nobody has what UConn has. McCoughtry not only put up better numbers than Moore in just about every category, but had to lead a team through adversity to maintain a spot in the top 10 that few thought it would hold after the preseason injury of Chauntise Wright. While Moore is the top talent for the Huskies, but she was not her team’s floor leader — that was Renee Montgomery.

Moore’s fantastic. She’s the first player to win Big East player of the year twice.

McCoughtry should have been. Or at least have shared the honor. The 43 points she scored against Providence this season were the most ever scored in a Big East women’s game.

McCoughtry was Big East player of the week seven times in 15 weeks. But she can’t be player of the year? Seven weeks McCoughtry was judged to be the Big East’s best player. Moore won the honor once.

I hate discussions like this with two players who are so good. But I can’t make sense of it.

Moore is a great player. But the league did not do McCoughtry justice on this one.


21 thoughts on “McCoughtry snubbed for Big East POY

  1. Eric,You are absolutely right on this. How can a player post the numbers that Angel did week after week – better numbers than Moore – and not be voted POY? I believe that just this week she was again voted player of the month (for Feb). The attitude and pompousness of the Big East concerning their favored child in womens BBall, UConn, has now gone beyond the typical eye rolls that occur when some less deserving UConn player wins an award. This one stinks the place up and I hope it serves as a little extra motivation for Angel and the Cards here at tourney time. I’d love to see the Queens of the game knocked on their royal big behinds. And you cannot tell me that the coach of 18-12 Villanova – voted as co-coach of the year did a better job than Jeff Walz? We lose our starting center before the first tip of the season, have to play younger players far more than they are ready for, and we still end up with a 27-3 record. This isn’t better than 18-12? Was Villanova playing blindfolded or something? What am I missing?Let’s face it folks…it might be womens basketball, but the “good ol’ boys” network is alive and well amongst those in the Big East who were there long before Louisville, Cincinnati and the rest of those upstart schools joined the league. I mean who are they…thinking they can compete with mighty UConn and Rutgers? Angel is going to be a star in the pros and is a class act. Even in our loss to UConn this year, it can be argued that she outplayed Moore. Moore had 3 more points (27 to 24) but less rebounds, steals and blocks. Here’s hoping there’s at least one more chance to show UConn and the world who the real POY in the Big East and in all of NCAA womens B-ball really is!

  2. This is absolutely incredible. I don’t know what to say.Leads in scoring.Leads in rebounding.Leads in steals.Second best team in the conference.Dumbfounded.

  3. So, based on this conspiracy, I guess “T-Will” won’t get POY either? Wrong.Moore had just as good of an argument for the award as Angel. Who will be the better WNBA player in the future is irrelevant.They are both great players, and it is easy to argue for either. But to cast this as some big injustice is wrong.

  4. Led the conference in scoring.Led the conference in rebounding.Was chosen the conference defensive player of the year.Moore has no argument up against that.

  5. Leading your team to a #1 ranking, conference championship, undefeated season, and smacking Louisville head to head.Angel has no argument against that.

  6. “Leading” is the operative word. You’re right that it’s about more than stats. If Moore were the UConn “leader” I’d probably have less of an argument here. But Montgomery is the acknowledged “engine” of the UConn team, as described by one of the Connecticut papers in the past couple of days.McCoughtry isn’t just putting up the stats, but was the acknowledged emotional leader on the floor.I wasn’t trying to make a case against Moore here. Not at all. I tried to make that clear.I just don’t see any objective measure by which it can be said that McCoughtry doesn’t deserve at least a piece of this award.

  7. Anonymous,This award is for Big East Player of the year, not Big East Team of the year.All of your arguments are team accomplishments.And it’s not like Angel is playing for a cellar-dweller. The Cards are #7 in the nation and the undisputed #2 team in the BE. This isn’t Jodie Meeks running wild for a bad team in a bad league.

  8. I agree this was a terrible injustice — for the second year in a row. Guess if you are not UConn you do not matter.Moore is a great player — surrounded by great players so it is easy to look good. As to the person saying that Uconn went undefeated blah blah, that is true. But their team has more blue chippers than most conferences have across the board. Of course they should be the best. Angel brought this team from out of nowhere 4 years ago to be a top 10 team. She can outplay any other woman around. She set records that NO other player has ever done –including all the almighties who have come through Uconn in the past. Yet she is not POY. A total joke — and makes the conference look stupid — and definitely “good ole boys” to the Uconn elite.She also set the record of points for ANY Louisville player, male or female, in the history of the program, and UL has been a storied program in the country in men’s BB for decades. That was no easy feat and many thought that record would never be broken — certainly not by a female player.I also agree that Jeff got ripped off — he did a fantastic job with this team without all the blue chippers that Gino gets year in and year out. Gino is good — but when you have that talent all the time, it doesn’t mean you are the best coach over others who come from less talent yet win, win, win.

  9. You all forget it is a POTY award and NOT MVP awardAngel is Louisville’s MVP, Renee is UConn’s MVP, but Maya is the Big East’s Best Player therefore the POTY…her team went UNDEFEATED, plus if you watch her play, she plays hard on every possession, shoots way better than both Renee and Angel, leads the league in A/TO (has over 100 asts), and plays HUGE in BIG games…as well as defends just as well as Angel (neither are lock-down defenders), Angel just plays the passing lanes more and in turn gets more steals, Maya gets more blocks than Angel and is shorter…They are BOTH great players, but UConn won the league and played a tougher schedule all season and went UNDEFEATED and Louisville didn’t do either plus lost at Nevada and at home to West Virginia as well as lost head-to-head with UConn (and they both played equally great in that game)…it is not just about Numbers, its about BIG Wins plus Numbers!!!

  10. I agree that Angel should have had the award. I was dumbfounded when she didn’t. I think she should have won it last year too, but to deny it to her during her Senior year when she leads in all the stats that she does is ridiculous. Angel – keep your head up high – we know you are the BEST.

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