With the Big East expanding to 47 teams this year, not even WSOU’s most PCP-addled listener would’ve picked Seton Hall to be on the cusp of an NCAA tournament invitation. The Newark Star-Ledger’s M.A. Mehta, who will not appreciate a Google search with the a reference to such substances, review’s Orr’s 2005-06 campaign.
Despite the Pirates’ remarkable turnaround season, Orr did not earn Big East Coach of the Year honors, according to a university official. The conference will announce the Coach, Player and Rookie of the Year awards today.
“Louis Orr was my vote for Coach of the Year,” said Villanova coach Jay Wright, whose team overcame a six-point halftime deficit to defeat the Hall, 73-64, on Jan. 17. “He deserved that … if you look at a coach who took a team that people didn’t expect to be successful. I’m sure he knew he was going to make them a good team, but no one else did. I thought he did an incredible job. They jumped on us (and) we were lucky to beat them at our house. He did the best job of anyone in the league.”
Said Donald Copeland: “I definitely think he deserved (Coach of the Year honors). Nobody expected this from our team. We were not even picked to make the Big East Tournament, and now we’re being considered for the NCAAs. That’s a direct reflection of our coach.”
Orr, whose job security was called into question after the Hall went 12-16 last season, remains in limbo. Orr, believed to have two years remaining on his contract after this season, has yet to receive a contract extension from first-year athletic director Joe Quinlan, who has maintained he will evaluate all aspects of the program after the season.
Orr received some good news when Whitney and Copeland earned second-team Big East honors yesterday in a vote by the league’s coaches. The senior duo helped the Hall (18-10; 9-7) — picked 15th in the preseason coaches’ poll — to finish seventh in the powerhouse conference.
“Without them, our season wouldn’t be as prosperous as it has been,” Orr said. “They’re first-teamers in my book.”