For the first time since 1993, the Big East Men’s Basketball Player of the Year award is going to a Seton Hall Pirate.
Senior shooting guard Myles Powell was honored as the conference player of the year at a press conference at Madison Square Garden on Monday afternoon. The Trenton native is the third Seton Hall player to win the award. Terry Dehere earned the honor in 1993, while Dan Callandrillo won the award in 1982. Powell’s Player of the Year honor coincides with his first-team All-Big East selection.
“For me to have the respect of the other nine coaches, it means a lot to me,” Powell said in his acceptance speech.
After testing the NBA Draft waters last spring, Powell returned for his senior year with All-American and Big East Player of the Year honors in mind. Powell’s season got off to a prolific start with a 27-point season debut against Wagner. Disaster struck when he rolled his ankle against Stony Brook a game later, but Powell made a heroic return against Michigan State less than a week later, posting a career-high 37 points in a narrow loss to the Spartans.
Powell continued his hot-shooting ways when Seton Hall traveled to the Bahamas over Thanksgiving break, setting the Battle 4 Atlantis record for points scored with 74. The injury bug bit again a couple of weeks later, as Powell suffered a concussion in the Garden State Hardwood Classic against Rutgers. He missed two games, but return for Seton Hall’s Big East opener with a 27-point performance against DePaul on Dec. 30.
Powell concluded Big East play averaging 21 points per game in 18 games. He finished the season averaging 21 points on 39.8% shooting from the field and 30.6% shooting from three, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game overall.
“It’s unbelievable,” Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard said of Powell winning the award. Markus [Howard] could have been up there with him as a co [winner], to be honest, and Myles said that to me. It’s a great accomplishment that shows the hard work he has put in.”
With the regular season in the books, Powell will have one last opportunity to create some magic for the Pirates in the Big East and NCAA Tournaments beginning against Marquette on Thursday night. Regardless, with a Player of the Year trophy in the bag, Powell’s name is officially etched in conference lore.
Tyler Calvaruso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.