Andrew Rowsey was named the Big East’s sixth man of the year on Monday morning, becoming the first Golden Eagles player since Davante’ Gardner earned that recognition from the league’s head coaches in 2013 and 2014.
The 5-foot-10 redshirt junior transfer from UNC-Asheville, Rowsey made a major impact during his first season of eligibility at Marquette. He averaged 11.2 points and 2.3 assists per game while making 45.5% of his three-point attempts. Rowsey was also a 94.3% free-throw shooter this season, the second-best mark in the country.
However, Rowsey recorded two starts during the nonconference portion of Marquette’s schedule before coming off the bench for the Golden Eagles’ first 13 Big East contests. In those 13 games, he averaged 11.9 points and 2.3 assists in 18.5 minutes per game while making 2.5 three-pointers per game and shooting 53.6% from beyond the arc.
According to Journey Sentinel, during the stretch run Rowsey moved into the starting lineup and helped the Golden Eagles win four of their final five games to finish tied for third in the Big East and enter the conference tournament as the No. 4 seed. In that five-game stint as a starter, Rowsey logged nearly 30 minutes per game and contributed in 14.4 points, 4.6 points and 1.6 steals per game.
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Rowsey scored 20-plus points eight times this season, doing so off the bench six times. His season-high, 24-point effort came on Jan. 16 against DePaul at the BMO Harris Bradley Center when Rowsey went 9 of 10 from the field, including making nine baskets in a row after missing his first attempt. He also made a habit of turning his deceptive pump fake into three free throws, with no example being more memorable than his four-point play against Providence when he made a left-handed three-pointer through a foul late in the game.
Also, while the runners-up for the award are not usually disclosed, Marquette graduate transfer Katin Reinhardt was likely considered by the league’s head coaches. Reinhardt opened the season as a starter for four games before coming off the bench for the next 23 games in which he appeared. He finished with an average of 10.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while making 38.3% of his three-pointers and 44 of 50 free-throw attempts (88.0%).
The Big East announced three other individual awards on Monday. There was an unprecedented three-way tie for defensive player of the year as Creighton’s Khyri Thomas and Villanova’s Mikal Bridges and Josh Hart split the vote. Providence junior guard Kyron Cartwright took home the conference’s most improved player award and DePaul senior Billy Garrett Jr. was recognized with the sportsmanship award.