Garrett Has Big East Award and Big Plans

After a tremendous freshman campaign, and what was known as a formality came to fruition when Billy Garrett Jr. was officially announced the Big East Rookie of the Year, as announced by the conference on Wednesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

Billy Garrett Jr. led all Big East freshmen in scoring (12.4 ppg), assists (3.1 apg) and free-throw percentage (.827). He edged out St. John's exciting freshman Rysheed Jordan for the award.

Garrett Jr. was humbled by the award.

"It's an honor" Garrett Jr. said. "It hasn't really sunk it yet. When I won the award I thought about all the great players that passed through the Big East and to be in the same category as those players, like Johnny Flynn, Carmelo Anthony (who also won Rookie of the Year) and guys like that. It's an honor."

Although DePaul did not have the year they would have liked, while struggling to a 11-20 record in the regular season, Garrett Jr. vowed that he will do all in his power to make DePaul a better team next season.

"We have to gel," Garrett Jr. said. "We have some talented guys coming in and we have a talented transfer (Myke Henry from Illinois) sitting out now. I think we'll be a good team. If we can bring it together, we'll be pretty good."

With the departures of Brandon Young, Cleveland Melvin, Sandi Marcius, and Edwin McGhee, this Blue Demon squad will unequivocally be Garrett Jr.'s team now and he's ready for the task of leading the Demons.

"I'm getting ready to embrace that (leadership) role," Garrett Jr. said. "Brandon (Young) and Edwin (McGhee) are great leaders and I'm learning from them. I'm picking up on the things they do, so next year when it comes to my chance to lead this team I'm able to do so effectively."

Garrett Jr. made his impact felt right away and as soon as he was made a starter, that's when things started to really click. He nabbed five Big East Rookie of the Week honors along the way. Garrett Jr. is DePaul's second player to win Big East Rookie of the Year. Cleveland Melvin also won the award back in 2011.

Although Garrett Jr. has made quite the impression in his freshman season, he admitted he has some things to work on.

"(I have ) to be more consistent," Garrett Jr. said. "I have to work on my athleticism and things like that."

What was so appropriate for Garrett Jr. was that on the day he won Rookie of the Year, he and his team had perhaps their best, and surely most stunning, win of the year when they beat Georgetown in the first round of the Big East Tournament. It was Garrett's team-high 17 points and clutch free-throw shooting that carried the team past the finish line.

"I've had a pretty nice week so far, huh?" asked an elated Garrett Jr. "It was good to come to New York, stay in a nice hotel, win Big East Rookie of the Year, win a game and have another chance to win a game tomorrow (vs. Creighton). So, it's been a pretty good week."

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