Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 3/11/13
MILWAUKEE -- Marquette University had two players honored Monday, as the Big East announced the first batch of individual postseason awards. Junior forward Davante Gardner was named the Big East's Sixth Man of the Year, while senior point guard Junior Cadougan was given the Big East's Sportsmanship Award. Gardner and Cadougan are the fourth and fifth players from Marquette to win individual postseason awards since the Golden Eagles joined the Big East for the 2005-06 season. Dominic James won Rookie of the Year in 2005-06, Jerel McNeal was Defensive Player of the Year in 2006-07 and Jae Crowder won Player of the Year in 2011-12. Coming off the bench in all 30 of Marquette's games, Gardner averaged 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while playing just 21.3 minutes per game. He finished fourth in the conference in both field goal percentage at 57.7 percent and free throw percentage at 84.8 percent. During Big East games, Gardner was second in the league in field goal percentage at 56.3 percent and third in free throw percentage at 86.3 percent. Gardner scored a career-high 26 points and was a perfect 7 of 7 from the field in Marquette's 74-71 victory over Syracuse on Feb. 25. His performance against the Orange marked the first time a bench player had scored 26 points and finished perfect from the field since Maryland's Lonnie Baxter in 1998. Starting all 30 games as Marquette's point guard and co-captain, Cadougan was recognized by the Big East coaches for how he handled himself on the court. Averaging 8.6 points and 4.3 assists per game, Cadougan has overcome adversity on numerous occasions to become the player he is today. In other awards announced Monday, Louisville's Gorgui Dieng was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, and Providence's Kadeem Batts and Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams are co-winners of the conference's Most Improved Player Award. The Big East will announce its Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Tuesday in a press conference at Madison Square Garden. Marquette's Buzz Williams is expected to be named Coach of the Year after leading the Golden Eagles to a share of the regular season conference championship. Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.
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