OMAHA, Neb. — Creighton junior Denzel Mahoney has earned the BIG EAST Sixth Man Award, a recognition voted on by league coaches.
In addition, Seton Hall senior Romaro Gill has been named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and BIG EAST Most Improved Player. Due to a tie in the voting, the BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award will be shared by Butler’s Kamar Baldwin, Georgetown’s Jagan Mosely and Providence’s Emmitt Holt.
A native of Oviedo, Fla., Mahoney has averaged 12.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per game for Creighton since gaining eligibility on December 17th. Mahoney has scored in double-figures in 14 of 21 appearances, helping CU win 16 of those games. In BIG EAST play, Mahoney shot a league-leading 89.8 percent (53-59) at the charity stripe.
In three games against top-10 competition, Mahoney has excelled, averaging 18.3 points per game while helping CU win all three contests. He scored a season-high 21 points in Creighton’s victory at Villanova, and scored 16 and 18 points in triumphs over Seton Hall.
Mahoney is the 12th different recipient of the award, which was first handed out in 2007-08. Past winners include Dion Waiters, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo.
Gill, a 7-2 center from St. Thomas, Jamaica, has been the defensive force that has helped fuel the Seton Hall success and concluded with a share of the BIG EAST regular-season. The senior averaged 7.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, a league-leading 3.2 blocks and ranked second in field goal percentage, making 62.8 percent. As a defensive force, he helped the Pirates lead the BIG EAST in field goal percentage defense in league games, holding opponents to 40.9 percent. He twice blocked eight shots in a conference game. Gill’s improvement this season was significant. Last year, he was a deep reserve on the bench, averaging 2.3 points and 2.7 rebounds while playing only 10.7 minutes per game.
The Sportsmanship Award winners are strong contributors to their respective teams on and off the court. Baldwin, a 6-2 senior from Winder, Ga., who is a four-year starter who leads the Bulldogs in scoring with a 16.2 average. A Butler player has won or shared the Sportsmanship Award in five of the last seven years. Mosely, a 6-3 senior from Marlboro, N.J., has earned a reputation as a strong defender and leader who plays the game cleanly. He is averaging 8.4 points per game. Providence’s Emmitt Holt has come back from serious abdominal surgery that caused him to miss the 2017-18 season and most of the 2018-19 campaign. This season, the 6-7 graduate student from Rochester, N.Y., is averaging 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds while playing 15.2 minutes per game.
Ranked 11th nationally, Creighton (24-7, 13-5 BIG EAST) earned a share of its first BIG EAST title on Saturday with a victory over No. 8 Seton Hall. The Bluejays will be the top seed in the BIG EAST Tournament Presented by Jeep and play on FS1 on Thursday at 11 a.m. Central against the winner of Wednesday night’s First Round match-up between Georgetown and St. John’s.
The BIG EAST will announce the remaining individual awards: Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year and outstanding Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete at a press conference at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, March 11, at 4:30 p.m. ET.