By Elise Manchester
Villanova guard Collin Gillespie was named Big 5 Player of the Year, while Temple’s Damian Dunn and Saint Joseph’s Jordan Hall were named Co-Rookie of the Year, and Villanova head coach Jay Wright was chosen as Big 5 Coach of the Year.
The major award winners on the men’s side include Gillespie, Dunn, Hall, and Wright, in addition to Saint Joseph’s forward Taylor Funk earning the Most Improved Player Award, while La Salle’s Christian Ray garnering Big 5 Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors.
In 20 games, Gillespie averaged 14.0 points per game to go with a 2.88 assist-to-turnover ratio. For his efforts in 202-21, Gillespie was named 3rd Team All-American by the National Associates of Basketball Coaches and was named Co-BIG EAST Player of the Year.
In his rookie season, Dunn appeared in 13 games and averaged 13.5 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per game, and earned a spot on the AAC All-Rookie Team. Hall during his rookie season at Saint Joseph’s was a A-10 All-Rookie Team selection and averaged 10.6 points per game and 5.9 assists per contest. Hall’s assist per game led all freshman nationally and he recorded the fourth triple-double in Saint Joseph’s program history. Wright led Villanova to the BIG EAST regular season title and an 18-7 overall record and a trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Funk averaged 17.4 points per game and led the team with 52 made three-points this season, nearly doubling his points per game total from last season. Ray, who has a 4.0 grade point average as a double major in accounting and finance, averaged 7.5 points per game and led the team in rebounds per game with 6.0 this season.
Philadelphia Big 5 Men’s Basketball Award Winners
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Collin Gillespie, Villanova (Senior, Guard)
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Damian Dunn, Temple (Freshman, Guard)
Jordan Hall, Saint Joseph’s (Freshman, Guard)
COACH OF THE YEAR
Jay Wright, Villanova
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
Taylor Funk, Saint Joseph’s (Redshirt Junior, Forward)
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Christian Ray, La Salle (Sophomore, Guard)
Ryan Daly, Saint Joseph’s (Redshirt Senior, Guard) – 18.5 points per game
LEADING FREE THROW SHOOTER
Taylor Funk, Saint Joseph’s (Redshirt Junior, Forward) – 83.8 percent (57-of-68)
ALL-BIG 5 FIRST TEAM
Ryan Daly, Saint Joseph’s
Taylor Funk, Saint Joseph’s
Collin Gillespie, Villanova
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova
Jermaine Samuels, Villanova
ALL-BIG 5 SECOND TEAM
Khalif Battle, Temple
Caleb Daniels, Villanova
Damian Dunn, Temple
Jordan Hall, Saint Joseph’s
Sherif Kenney, La Salle
Justin Moore, Villanova