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Julian Champagnie Named to All-BIG EAST First Team, Posh Alexander Earns Honorable Mention Nod

For the second consecutive season, Julian Champagnie has been named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, it was announced Sunday afternoon by the league office.  Champagnie was not the only St. John’s player to garner recognition from the conference’s coaches, as Posh Alexander earned Honorable Mention All-BIG EAST accolades. 

Champagnie, who last season shared the conference’s Most Improved Player Award, becomes just the sixth player in program history to earn back-to-back First Team All-BIG EAST selections.  He joins an elite fraternity in that regard, etching his name in the St. John’s record book alongside the likes of Chris Mullin, Mark Jackson, Malik Sealy, Marcus Hatten and Shamorie Ponds.

Champagnie finished the regular season ranked second in the league in scoring at 18.9 points per game.  He has reached double figures 24 times in 29 opportunities with 13 efforts of 20 or more points, including a trio of 30-point performances against Indiana, DePaul and Butler. 

Not only a prolific scorer, Champagnie is also the Red Storm’s leading rebounder at 6.6 boards per contest in addition to ranking second in the league in steals per game (1.9) and 10th in blocks per outing (1.2). 

The owner of 1,359 points in 86 career appearances, Champagnie currently ranks 23rd on the program’s all-time scoring list while his 145 made 3-pointers rank sixth.  His 582 boards are presently tied with D’Angelo Harrison for 34th on the program’s all-time rebounding ledger. 

Champagnie has received his fair share of nationally accolades this season, earning spots on watch lists for the Naismith Trophy, the Wooden Award and the NABC Player of the Year Award.  Earlier this week, he was named as one of the five finalists for the Julius Erving Award, presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the top small forward in the nation.

After becoming only the third player in conference history alongside Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson to be named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year simultaneously, Alexander has still managed to take a step forward during his sophomore campaign.  Entering the postseason, Alexander ranks second on the team and 11th in the conference averaging 14.1 points per game.  He reached double figures 23 times in 27 regular season opportunities and scored 20 or more points three times, including a career-high 29-point effort against Providence in early February. 

The Brooklyn native is also one of the league’s top distributors, averaging 5.4 assists per outing to rank second in the conference.  He is one of only two players in the conference to rank in the top 11 in both scoring and assists alongside UConn’s R.J. Cole.  Alexander has tallied double-digit assists twice this season, including a career-high 12 dimes in the aforementioned game against Providence at Carnesecca Arena. 

For the second consecutive season, Alexander is far and away the BIG EAST’s leader when it comes to steals.  Through games played on Saturday, Alexander ranks 12th nationally overall and second among high-major players with 2.3 thefts per contest.  As a freshman, Alexander’s 2.6 steals per game ranked sixth in the country.

Despite standing at just 6-foot, Alexander is also one of the league’s top offensive rebounders, ranking fifth in the BIG EAST with 2.7 offensive boards per game. 

Last season, Alexander won MBWA Rookie of the Year honors and was a four-time BIG EAST Freshman of the Week after averaging 10.9 points and 4.3 assists per contest. 

The seventh-seeded Red Storm will begin postseason play on Wednesday at 7 p.m., taking on 10th-seeded DePaul in the opening round of the BIG EAST Tournament at Madison Square Garden.

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