Sensational Louisville sophomore Angel McCoughtry was named Big East Conference Player of the Year last night.
"When they called my name, it was just amazing," she said. "I don't even know what to say. I was so nervous. It's a great feeling. I'm just glad that they picked me for the award. I was going against a lot of great competition."
McCoughtry leads the league in scoring (22.4), rebounding (10.9) and steals (3.63). Her play has been the biggest reason Louisville is ranked 20th in the current AP Poll and can tie a school record for wins if they beat St. John's in the Big East Tournament today. She's just the second player overall and the first since Georgetown's Rebekkah Brunson (2003-04) to lead the league in both scoring and rebounding.
It was the first time a player from a team that didn't finish either first or second in the final league standings won player of the year
"I worked so hard over the summer," McCoughtry said. "But I never thought it would lead to this. People had been telling me, but I was a little surprised."
It's just the fourth time in 25 years that a sophomore has been Player of the Year, which means that the whole conference is wondering whether or not McCoughtry will be able to repeat the feat in '08.
"Why not try?" she said. "I think I can do it."
This season McCoughtry set the program's single-game scoring record with 41 points against Eastern Illinois, a performance that came just two games after she had dropped 38 on Butler.
"This not only brings a lot of attention to me, but it brings a lot of attention to the school," said McCoughtry, a candidate for the Naismith and Wooden awards as the nation's best player. "... To receive this award for the University of Louisville, this is history right here. It's great."