NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior Ben Hansbrough (Poplar Bluff, Mo.), who was not named to any one of the preseason all-BIG EAST teams in October at the BIG EAST Conference's annual Media Day, unanimously was selected today (March 6) as a first-team honoree.
In addition to Hansbrough, graduate student Tim Abromaitis (Unionville, Conn.) earned third-team all-conference selection.
All four were selected by a vote of the league's 16 head coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own players. The selection of the four marks the 11th straight year that Notre Dame has placed an individual on the one of the all-conference teams and the sixth consecutive year that an Irish player has been selected for first-team honors. In fact, Notre Dame is the only school to have a player earn first-team accolades each of the last six seasons. Irish players have earned first-team accolades on 14 occasions and all-conference honors on 31 times.
Hansbrough was the only unanimous selection to the first team.
There were six players selected to the all-rookie team were Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati), Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut), Shabazz Napier (Connecticut), Cleveland Melvin (DePaul), Brandon Young (DePaul) and Gilvaydas Biruta (Rutgers).
Hanbrough is the 10th different Irish player to earn first-team honors. Notre Dame's other first-team honorees have included Pat Garrity (1996-97 and 1997-98), Troy Murphy (1999-2000 and 2000-01), Ryan Humphrey (2001-02), Matt Carroll (2002-03), Chris Quinn (2005-06), Colin Falls (2006-07), Russell Carter (2006-07), Kyle McAlarney (2007-08) and Luke Harangody (2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10).
Abromaitis becomes the fourth Notre Dame player to earn third team all-conference honors. Notre Dame's past third-team honorees have been Pat Garrity (1995-96), Ryan Humphrey (2000-01) and ChrisThomas (2001-02 and 2004-05).
Hansbrough is currently averaging 18.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists for the Irish who currently are 25-5 on the season. The 25 wins are the most in the modern era for a Notre Dame team during the regular season.
In leading his team to a 14-4 record in regular-season (matching the best in program history), Hanbrough averaged 20.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 18 BIG EAST regular-season contests.
Hanbrough has scored in double figures in all but two games this season, topped the 30-point mark on two occasions and netted 20-plus points on 14 occasions. He enters the BIG EAST tournament having scored 20 or more points in four consecutive outings.
Abromaitis, who was named to the Honorable Mention team in 2010, stands second behind Hansbrough in scoring with a 15.2 scoring average and is averaging a career-best 6.2 rebounds. In BIG EAST play, he netted 14.7 points and grabbed 5.4 rebounds.
Abromaitis has scored in double figures in all but four contests and netted 20-plus points on 11 occasions. In his 30-point effort on Feb. 28 against Villanova, he tied a Purcell Pavilion record with nine three-pointers.
By virtue of having the second-best regular record, Notre Dame earns the No. 2 seed in the upcoming 2011 BIG EAST Men's Basketball Championship presented by American Eagle Outfitters and receives a double bye. The tournament, held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, will run from March 8-12.