Not only was West Virginia the top dog in the Big East Conference, but the Mountaineers were also the top academic team as well.

Today, the Big East announced the 25 teams that have been recognized with the 2009-10 Team Academic Excellence Awards, recognizing the highest collective grade-point averages in each conference sport and Coach Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers finished the highest among all men’s basketball schools.

The winners were chosen based on the 2009-10 grade-point average of each student-athlete who appears on an institution’s squad list as the last contest of the championship segment in each conference-sponsored sport.

WVU seniors Da’Sean Butler, Wellington Smith and Jonnie West recently earned their degrees, while Joe Mazzulla and Cam Thoroughman are currently enrolled in graduate school.

West Virginia won a school record 31 games on the way to making its first Final Four appearance in 51 years in 2010. The Mountaineers also captured their first-ever Big East tournament championship with their 60-58 victory over Georgetown.

Eleven Big East schools had at least one team recognized by the conference, with Providence finishing with a conference-best five teams recognized. DePaul and Syracuse had four teams recognized, while Cincinnati, Louisville, Notre Dame and St. John’s had two each. Georgetown, Rutgers, USF and West Virginia all had single teams represented.

By John Antonik


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