April 17, 2014
NEW YORK -
As the NBA playoffs tip-off this weekend, 15 players from current BIG EAST schools will be featured on postseason rosters.
Marquette leads the way with six postseason players with seven of the BIG EAST's ten schools represented. The list includes NBA All-Stars, BIG EAST Tournament Champions, Conference Players of the Year and All-Americans.
Here is a breakdown of the BIG EAST's representatives in this year's NBA playoffs:
Shelvin Mack (Atlanta Hawks) - Mack has found a critical role on the eighth-seeded Hawks, averaging 7.5 points and 3.7 assists per game this season, and will look to provide a spark against the top-seeded Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Mack averaged 14.1 points per game in his three seasons at Butler and helped guide the Bulldogs to two consecutive NCAA National Championship games.
Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks) - The NBA record holder with 127 consecutive games with a made three-pointer, Korver has developed a reputation in Atlanta as one of the league's top shooters. Creighton's all-time record holder for made three-pointers, Korver averaged 12.0 points per game in 2013-14 and connected at an NBA-leading 47.2 percent clip from downtown.
Anthony Tolliver (Charlotte Bobcats) - A six-year NBA veteran, Tolliver has helped the Bobcats return to the playoffs for the second time in the franchise's history. A 1,000-point scorer at Creighton, Tolliver averaged 6.1 points per game this season.
Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers) - Hibbert's development into a dominant defensive center has helped propel the Indiana Pacers to the top-ranked defense in the NBA and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The center, whose averaged 10.8 points and 2.2 blocks this season, was a three-time All-BIG EAST selection during his career at Georgetown.
Otto Porter Jr. (Washington Wizards)
- After battling injuries for much of the season's first half, Porter has contributed meaningful minutes for the Wizards down the stretch. Porter was the third overall pick in last year's draft after being named the 2012-13 BIG EAST Player of the Year and a First Team All-American.
Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls) - A do-everything guard for the fourth-seeded Bulls, Butler averaged the most minutes in the league at 38.7 per game (tied with Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks) and added 13.1 points per game. Butler averaged 12.0 points and 5.5 rebounds while at Marquette and helped the Golden Eagles to three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances during his career.
Dwight Buycks (Toronto Raptors) - A reserve guard who has battled through the NBA D-League ranks, Buycks has earned his spot with the Toronto Raptors. Buycks was an intricate part of NCAA Tournament teams in his two seasons at Marquette averaging 7.7 points and 2.8 assists per game.
Jae Crowder (Dallas Mavericks) - In his second-year in the NBA, Crowder found a role as a high-energy player off the bench for the Dallas Mavericks in their return to the playoffs. Crowder was named the 2011-12 BIG EAST Player of the Year and led the Golden Eagles to the Sweet Sixteen.
Wesley Matthews (Portland Trailblazers) - Matthews has been a consistent scorer all-season for the fifth-seeded Trailblazers averaging 16.4 points per game. Matthews, in his fifth-year in the NBA, ranks ninth all-time in scoring at Marquette and holds the program record for free throws made in a career.
Steve Novak (Toronto Raptors) - Novak has built a reputation as one of the NBA's most dangerous three-point shooters, which could prove essential for the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs. During his senior season at Marquette, Novak was First Team All-BIG EAST and set the record for three-pointers made in one season during conference play with 70.
Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat) - Wade heads into this season's playoffs searching for his third-straight NBA title and fourth overall with the Miami Heat. Wade led Marquette to the 2003 Final Four after recording a triple-double against top-ranked Kentucky in the Regional Final.
Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors) - Lowry has put together his best NBA season yet, averaging 17.9 points, 7.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game for the Atlantic Division Champion Raptors. The former member of Villanova's Guard U played two seasons at Villanova and helped comprise the talented four-guard offense that propelled the Wildcats to the 2005 Sweet Sixteen and the 2006 Elite Eight.
Jordan Crawford (Golden State Warriors) - The Warriors traded for Crawford and his 11.0 points per game midseason to be a valuable contributor off the bench. The former Xavier guard showed his playoff potential with 41 points in the season finale against the Denver Nuggets. In one season with Xavier, Crawford totaled 20.5 points per game and led the Musketeers to their third-straight Sweet Sixteen.
David West (Indiana Pacers) - The veteran forward has provided toughness on both ends of the floor for the Indiana Pacers with 14.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. West put together an impressive career at Xavier, finishing second all-time in points and as the all-time leader in blocked shots.
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Samuel Dalembert (Dallas Mavericks) - The 12th-year center has been a strong veteran presence all season, as his 6.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game have helped the Mavericks return to the playoffs. Dalembert also left a lasting mark on the Seton Hall program, as he finished his career as the all-time leader in blocked shots.