VILLANOVA, Pa. - The BIG EAST Conference has announced its Team Academic Excellence Award Winners and a pair of Villanova squads are among the recipients. The conference honored both the Men's Basketball and Men's Lacrosse teams for their work in 2013-14.
The winners were chosen based on the 2013-14 grade-point average of each student-athlete who appeared on an institution's roster as of the last contest of the championship segment in each conference-sponsored sport. The BIG EAST sponsors 22 varsity sports.
The Villanova's men's basketball and men's lacrosse teams both earned distinction as having the top GPA's in their respective sports after successful seasons both on the field and in the classroom.
In men's basketball, the Wildcats recorded a new program record 28 regular season victories and claimed their first outright BIG EAST regular season championship since 1982. Among the members of the 2013-14 team tabbed last week by the conference as Academic All-Stars are: Ryan Arcidiacono, Tony Chennault, Denny Grace, Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins and Henry Lowe.
This is the first time the men's basketball team has been honored with the BIG EAST Team Academic Excellence Award. This marks the second such honor for the men's lacrosse team, which was also honored in 2010-11.
A total of 26 men's lacrosse team members were selected as BIG EAST Academic All-Stars. Senior John LoCascio was chosen a first team All-American and the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. In addition, he received a BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award and was a third team Capital One Academic All-American and a USILA Scholar All-American. Villanova advanced to the BIG EAST Championship final before falling to No. 2 Denver.
The full list of Villanova Team Academic Excellence Award winners include:
2013-14: Men's Basketball
2013-14: Men's Lacrosse
2012-13: Men's Swimming & Diving
2012-13: Women's Swimming & Diving
2011-12: Men's Cross Country
2011-12: Women's Swimming & Diving
2011-12: Men's Swimming & Diving
2010-11: Men's Lacrosse