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Men’s Basketball: Quinn selected to All-Big East team

Bobby Griffin | Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Notre Dame point guard Chris Quinn was selected to the All-Big East first team Monday, becoming the first Irish player to receive the honor since guard Matt Carroll – now with the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats – in 2003.

Quinn averaged 20.2 points per game during the Big East regular season (18.2 overall), the third highest average in the league behind Rutgers guard Quincy Douby (27.0) and Villanova guard Randy Foye (21.0). Quinn also averaged 6.3 assists in 16 league games (6.2 overall).

“It’s just a great honor to be on the first team, to be mentioned with the best in our league,” Quinn said in a press conference at the Joyce Center Monday. “Especially knowing that the coaches vote on that, it’s a great honor to know they think highly of me.”

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard scored in double figures 25 times this season and scored 30 points or more four times. He scored a season-high 37 points in a double-overtime road loss to Pittsburgh Jan. 4.

“[The recognition is] very well deserved,” Irish coach Mike Brey said in a teleconference Monday morning. “[I’m] really happy for [Quinn]. He’s been such a key for us. I don’t think the coaches in this league … are really shocked.”

Quinn joins Douby, Foye, Villanova guard Allan Ray, Cincinnati forward Eric Hicks, Connecticut forward Rudy Gay, Marquette forward Steve Novak, Pittsburgh forward Aaron Gray, Syracuse guard Gerry McNamara, West Virginia forward Kevin Pittsnogle and guard Mike Gansey as the 11 players named to the first team.

Gay, Foye, Ray and Novak were all unanimous picks, chosen by all eligible Big East coaches. Coaches were not allowed to select players from their own teams.

Brey informed Quinn Monday morning he was selected to the all-conference team. Quinn said he does not think about personal statistics but acknowledged the magnitude of the selection.

“It’s real cool, it’s a tremendous honor for me to be mentioned with the great players of this year and the great players of the past,” Quinn said.

Quinn joins an elite level of Notre Dame players to earn this honor since the Irish joined the Big East in 1995. Before Quinn and Carroll, forward Ryan Humphreys was selected in 2002, forward Troy Murphy earned the award in 2001, 2000 and 1999 and so did forward Pat Garrity in 1997 and 1996.

Quinn led Notre Dame to a 15-12 overall record and a 6-10 mark in the Big East this season. The Irish struggled out of the gate, falling to 1-8 in their first nine league games. But Quinn helped Notre Dame turn around its season, as the Irish went 5-2 in their last seven games – earning the final Big East tournament seed.

“A lot of teams might have faded away,” Quinn said. “Over the season, there have been tough times when we’ve really been down as a group, but we’ve had to battle back and get ready for the next game. So being resilient is very important for our group.”

Quinn was careful not to let Monday’s announcement distract him from his primary focus. Notre Dame is playing Georgetown in the No. 5-seed vs. No. 12-seed match up at Madison Square Garden in New York City at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

“They’re a great team and they’ve had a heck of a year,” Quinn said of Georgetown. “Wednesday’s all about our team and [our] playing well.”