WVU Award Winners

Mountaineers Carter, Phillip honored by the Big 12

Photo courtesy of West Virginia University West Virginia’s senior guard Jevon Carter has been named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s Jevon Carter has been named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, while his teammate Tarik Phillip has been announced as the Big 12’s Sixth Man of the Year.

Carter leads the Big 12 with 85 steals and is the third player in conference history to be a three-time member of the All-Defensive Team.

He ranks sixth nationally in steals and is third all-time in school history for thefts in a season.

Carter is the first West Virginia University player to earn the conference defensive award since the school joined the Big 12.

Phillip came off the bench 10 times in conference play and 17 times overall and was fourth on the Mountaineer squad with 9.3 points per contest. He was second for WVU in both assists (100) and steals (61), with the thefts total ranking third in the Big 12 overall.

Photo by Nick Krug for The Inter-Mountain WVU’s Tarik Phillip reacts to a call during a game against Kansas at the WVU Coliseum.

An extremely hard worker, Carter is beginning to get some accolades for his work.

Carter’s strong February boosted him to All-Big 12 Second Team status in perhaps the best guard league in the country this year.

This year’s first team was comprised of four guards — Iowa State’s Monte Morris, Kansas’ Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson and Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans — while the second team was also made up of four guards — Nazareth Mitrou-Long, Devonte’ Graham, Jeffrey Carroll and Carter.

That’s eight of the top 10 players in the Big 12 this year coming from the backcourt.

“I kept watching game film and you keep seeing our expert analysts who do our games put up their five top five point guards in the league and our guy is never in there,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said. “If Jevon Carter is not the top five in any league in America, I mean it’s one heck of a league.

“And it’s hard to argue with the five they put up there because the five they put up there are really good,” Huggins added.

Carter is probably a little underrated as a scorer, shooter, playmaker and ball handler, but he is certainly not not an underrated defender.

“He’s got exceptional lateral quickness, but his work ethic and his competitiveness are second to none,” Huggins said. “He puts an enormous amount of time in the gym and in the weight room making sure he’s prepared to go.”

Eleventh-ranked West Virginia will face either Texas Tech or Texas in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals on Thursday evening at 7 p.m.