Well, it was sunny today in the greater Boston area, so that’s a pleasant surprise. However, the two weeks of gray have finally worn thin on me. So, this week will be short again. I promised some awards, so here they are.
First Annual Boston College Revenue Sports Awards:
Okay, that title sound too formal and implies that I may have actually consulted a panel to select the award winners. I will make it very clear right now: these awards are what I think and what I want. As a weekly columnist, I have given myself the right to pick whoever I want. That being said, I think that you will agree with most of my selections. If you don’t, let me know, but I will stand by my choices.
A quick note: with only one of the four revenue teams being female, I will only present Player of the Year to both a man and a woman. The rest of the awards will be given just once, with all players and teams receiving equal consideration.
So, here are the winners:
Player of the Year: Male
Some fans, especially hockey fans, may disagree with my choice, but I believe that you cannot dispute my selection. He was named Big East Player of the Year for the second time, was selected to the AP All-America Second Team, and he leaves Boston College second on the Big East scoring list and first on the school list. In 2002-2003, Troy Bell carried a young, struggling team to the Big East Eastern Division title, the semifinals of the conference tournament, NCAA tournament consideration, and a spot in the NIT. Both Ben Eaves and Derrick Knight deserve consideration for the top men’s honor, but Bell’s record-breaking season cannot be ignored. Troy Bell gets my vote.
Player of the Year: Female
This award goes to the leader of the women’s basketball team, fifth-year senior Becky Gottstein. She averaged 15.3 points and team-best 8.2 rebounds per game in leading the Eagles to a 22-9 record and a second-straight #5 seed in the NCAA tournament. Gottstein was named to the All-Big East first team and the All-District Region 1 team. Amber Jacobs, Brianne Stepherson, and others deserve recognition, but Gottstein was the heart and soul of a very good basketball team.
Dud of the Year
Everyone loves to pick on Nate Doornekamp, but he actually improved this year. To me, and this will be rather controversial, this “award” must go to senior quarterback Brian St. Pierre. He entered the 2002 season after leading the Big East in touchdown passes and earning second team All-Big East honors. The Eagles finished 2002 at 9-4 and St. Pierre turned in decent numbers of 2641 yards and 15 touchdowns, but his 17 interceptions and 57% completion rate were disappointing. Labeling him the “Dud of the Year” may be a little harsh, but his ill-timed interceptions broke thousands of hearts this year. It would probably be better to call St. Pierre’s performance in 2002 disappointing, but I am a journalist and like to keep things interesting, so this award goes to him.
Freshman of the Year
There is no question about this one; the award must go to Craig Smith. Troy Bell was the man this year for the BC men’s basketball team, but even thinking about the NCAA tournament would have been blasphemous if it weren’t for BC’s beast of a freshman. He single-handedly carried the Eagles past St. John’s in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament. Craig Smith stepped in as a freshman into the huge shoes of Uka Agbai and terrorized opposing forwards and centers in one of the toughest conferences in the country. He was named to the Big East All-Rookie team and the All-Big East second team. Two other players worth noting are William Blackmon and Ricky Brown, who both excelled as true freshmen on one of the top defenses in the Big East.
Disappointing Freshman of the Year
For some reason that none of us know, high-profile recruit Johnnie Jackson played in less than half of Boston College’s games in 2002-2003. When he did play, it was generally in garbage time and we only got to see a few attempts of his reportedly sweet jump shot. With the loss of Bell (and nearly 26 points per game), the Eagles need a scorer next year. Hopefully Jackson will get his chance and we will see what he can do, albeit a year later than expected.
Best Moment(s) of the Year
I had one moment in mind, but I have to go with two here. First is Notre Dame. That one speaks for itself. Second is Amber Jacobs against Vanderbilt. With one second remaining in overtime and BC down one point, Jacobs hit a lay-up to defeat Vanderbilt and send the Eagles to their first ever Sweet 16 appearance. To make it even sweeter, it was the second straight game that Amber won a game on her final shot.
Worst Moment of the Year
I think all I need to say for this one is Tom Martin. His personal foul against Virginia Tech gave the Hokies a first down when they were going to punt. VT scored a touchdown only a few plays later. The seven points effectively made the difference in a 28-23 loss to then-#4 Virginia Tech on Thursday night Prime Time.
Too Little, Too Late Moment of the Year
Brian St. Pierre had the game of his life in his final game as a Boston College quarterback. He completed 25 of 35 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns and was named MVP of the Eagles 51-25 romp over Toledo in the Motor City Bowl. St. Pierre was sharp from his first pass, as he led the Eagles to touchdowns on their first six possessions. However, as you can see from a few awards earlier, this performance was not enough to remove him from Dud of the Year consideration. In fact, his great game in Detroit may have solidified his prior award. If he could make it look so easy, what happened the rest of the season?
Coach of the Year
Okay, I will once again make my own rules here. Jerry York deserves recognition for the tremendous job he did with the men’s hockey team, but this award goes to Ed Kelly, the head coach of the men’s soccer team. Yes, I know that men’s soccer is technically not a BC revenue sport, but Kelly led the Eagles to their best season in school history. He led BC to a school-record 18 wins en route to a number 5 seed in the NCAA tournament, a quarterfinal tournament match, and a number 6 final NSCAA/adidas ranking. For 2002, Ed Kelly was named Big East and Soccer America coach of the year. So, he may not coach a revenue sport, but he gets my award. Plus, he’s Irish, so how can I not pick him?
Team of the Year
To me, the most coveted award (if people actually cared about my awards) goes to the women’s basketball team. As mentioned previously, the team finished 2002-2003 with a 22-9 record, a fifth seed in the NCAA tournament, and the school’s first Sweet 16 appearance. The men’s hockey team was a goal away from the Frozen Four and the soccer team made it to the quarterfinals, but the women’s basketball team rebounded from a disappointing first round loss in the 2002 NCAA tournament to have one of the best seasons in Boston College history. So, hats off to Cathy Inglese, Becky Gottstein and company.
There you have for the First Annual Boston College Revenue Sports Awards. If you disagreed with any of the choices, remember that I do not pretend to have consulted anyone else. I hope you enjoyed this week’s slightly different edition of TER and I will see you next week.
Aaron Rose is a staff writer for EagleInsider.com. If you disagree with any of Aaron’s awards, he can be reached at InsideTheEagles@yahoo.com for personal insults and death-threats.