Hart wins Big East player of year; Holtmann, Patton honored

NEW YORK (AP) Josh Hart, who led Villanova to a fourth straight Big East regular-season title, has been selected the conference player of the year.

Butler's Chris Holtmann was chosen coach of the year on Wednesday and center Justin Patton of Creighton was freshman of the year.

Hart, a 6-foot-5 senior guard, averaged 18.6 points and 6.5 rebounds for the defending national champions. He is one of only two players in Villanova history to amass 1,800 points, 700 rebounds, 250 assists and 150 steals. The other player to do it was Kerry Kittles, who was the Big East player of the year in 1994-95.

Holtmann led Butler to a 23-7 record, including 12-6 and second place in the Big East. Picked sixth in the coaches' preseason poll, the Bulldogs own a 6-2 mark against ranked teams with five of the wins coming against teams in the top 15. Holtmann's three-year record at Butler is 68-29 (.701).

Patton, a 7-foot center, averaged 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 69.3 percent from the field, which is third in the country and on pace to set the NCAA record for a freshman. He has shot better than 54 percent from the field in 30 of 31 games this season.

The voting was by the conference's coaches.

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