SouthtownStar Athletes On Campus: DePaul’s Billy Garrett a three-time Big East award honoree
By Mike Walsh For Sun-Times Media January 17, 2014 5:02PM
Billy Garrett, of DePaul | Supplied photo
Updated: February 20, 2014 6:10AM
DePaul’s Billy Garrett Jr. certainly has acclimated quite well to Division I college basketball.
The Morgan Park graduate has been chosen the Big East’s Rookie of the Week on three occasions through the first half of the season.
The 6-foot-5 freshman guard earned his first accolade for the period ending Dec. 2 after he notched his first double-double and averaged 10.7 points and 4.3 assists per game in three games.
In a 93-81 win over visiting Oregon State, Garrett made his second collegiate start, finishing with 10 assists and making all six of his free-throw attempts.
Earlier in the week, in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo., Garrett scored 11 points in his first college start in a 77-59 loss to Texas. He had six points in a 90-72 loss to Wichita State.
Garrett was awarded the Big East Rookie of the Week for his efforts in the period ending Dec. 16.
In a 77-70 overtime win over visiting Chicago State, the Chicago native scored eight of DePaul’s first 10 points in overtime. He finished the game with 17 points, five rebounds, four steals and two assists.
On Dec. 12, Garrett helped the Blue Demons to an 81-70 victory over visiting Florida Atlantic at Allstate Arena as he totaled 14 points, four rebounds and three assists while making 6-of-10 shots from the field.
Garrett was 10-of-18 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line in the two victories.
Garrett earned his most recent honors when he was named the Big East’s Rookie of the Week for the period ending Dec. 30. Garrett guided DePaul to a 57-56 victory over host Northwestern as his short jumper as the buzzer sounded provided the winning margin. Garrett finished the game with nine points, two rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal to go along with a team-high four assists.
Michelle did well
Augustana College’s Michelle Johnson was named the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin’s Women’s Swimmer of the Week for the period ending Nov. 19.
In a 171-69 loss Nov. 16 to Luther, the Homer Glen resident won the 1,650-meter freestyle with a time of 18 minutes, 47.17 seconds. This marked the freshman’s first competition in the 1,650 free this season.
Johnson, a Lockport graduate, also won the 500 free (5:29.80).
Five Southland residents earned postseason recognition from the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin for their performances on the football field.
Chosen to the All-CCIW First Team on defense was Illinois Wesleyan senior linebacker Chris Simms (St. Rita). In 2013, Simms had 107 tackles, with 9½ tackles for 45 yards in losses. He also added 3½ sacks and two passes defended.
Named to the First Team on offense was North Central quarterback Spencer Stanek (Lincoln-Way East). The Mokena native completed 264-of-372 passes for 3,495 yards, 43 touchdowns. He had a .710 completion percentage.
Making the Second Team defense was Carthage junior defensive back Marcus Harnett. The Dolton native was fourth on his team in tackles with 40. Harnett (Thornridge) was first in passes defended (5) and interceptions (4), while recording five tackles for 11 yards in losses.
Illinois Wesleyan quarterback Rob Gallik (St. Rita) was named to the Second Team on offense. Gallik, a senior, was 204-of-326 passing for 2,349 yards and 25 TDs. He completed 62.6 percent of his passing attempts.
Joining Gallik on the Second Team was North Central sophomore offensive lineman Eric Knaperek (Lincoln-Way North). The blocking of Knaperek, the Cardinals’ right guard, enabled North Central to rush for 3,401 yards and 39 touchdowns as a team. In the air, the Cardinals passed for 3,557 yards and 44 touchdowns.
Simms also was named the Titans’ MVP on defense as well as the winner of the Best Big Skill Award. He had a school-record 70 solo tackles.
Gallik concluded his career with 6,622 passing yards to become IWU’s all-time leader. His 204 completions are a single-season record, topping his old mark of 188, set in 2011. Gallik also finished as the all-time leader in completions (544) and was second with 59 passing TDs.