Carey Earns Award -- Auriemma ???

Mike Carey, quite deservedly, earned Big East coach of the year honors on Friday. But how in the heck was UConn's Geno Auriemma voted as a co-recipient?

First, the good. Mike Carey earned Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his career at WVU, with the first coming in 2004-05. West Virginia grabbed the No. 2 seed in the 2010 Big East Championship after finishing the conference season with a 13-3 mark, the most league wins in program history.

WVU is currently 26-4 overall, tying a school record for wins in a season. The Mountaineers strung together an 18-game winning streak from Nov. 24 to Feb. 2, when they fell at top-ranked Connecticut. All four of West Virginia's losses came on the road, and three of them were against teams ranked in the top five. West Virginia is currently ranked No. 7 nationally in both major polls, its highest ranking in program history.

Clearly, Carey did an outstanding job in rebuilding his team and guiding it to a second-place finish in the league. He has shown his versatility over the years, having developed squads with widely varying styles. From the three-point dependent teams of Kate and Meg Bulger to the inside-dominated groups led by Yinka Sanni, Carey has clearly demonstrated his mastery of the game. This award, his second in nine years as WVU's coach, was richly deserved.

The award was a bit marred, however, by the fact that UConn head coach Geno Auriemma was also voted as Coach of the Year. Excuse my cynicism, but for what? Rolling the balls out on the floor? Certainly, Auriemma gets credit for building the Huskies over the years, and for his great recruiting that has assembled what is likely the best women's hoops team ever. But is that the criteria for coach of the year?

The puzzler in all of this is that the awards were voted on by the league's coaches -- in theory, at least. There's no telling who actually did the voting, although you would think that more care would be given to this voting than to weekly polls. Still, no matter who actually filled out the ballots, it's hard to figure out how anyone in the league deserved a vote over Carey this year.

Carey accepts his award

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