Penn's Zack Rosen wins Big 5 Player of the Year

Zack Rosen is the first Penn player since 2007 to be named the Big 5 Player of the Year.. (Charles Fox/Staff file photo)

When Zack Rosen got to Penn four years ago, his potential as a program leader became clear almost right away.

But few people, if anyone, could have forseen at that point just how extraordinary Rosen's career on 33rd Street would be.

Rosen never made it to college basketball's version of the promised land, the NCAA Tournament. But he will graduate from Penn with as big an individual honor as any Quakers player can receive: Big 5 Player of the Year.

It is no stretch to say that Rosen almost singlehandedly lifted the Quakers back to prominence. He had help, but few players in program history - if not city history - have had the kind of impact on a team over four years that Rosen has had.

He was the first three-time captain in program history, and finished his career as Penn's all-time leader in assists (588), games started (115) and minutes played (4,198). Rosen's career point total of 1,723 is third behind only Ernie Beck and Ugonna Onyekwe.

Not for nothing did Rob Belcore say after the regular season-ending loss at Princeton that Rosen would "need a month off for how tired his back has got to be," from carrying the team throughout his career.

Rosen is the first Quaker to win the Geasey Award since Ibrahim Jaaber in 2007. Prior to Jaaber, no Penn player had received the honor since Tony Price in 1979 - the year the Quakers made the Final Four.

Fran Dunphy was named Big 5 coach of the year and La Salle's Jerrell Wright was named Rookie of the Year.

Here's the full list of this season's Big 5 honorees:

Robert V. Geasey Trophy (Player of the Year): Zack Rosen, Penn

George Paul Award (Most Improved Player): Earl Pettis, La Salle

Dave Zinkoff Award (Rookie of the Year): Jerrell Wright, La Salle

Harry Litwack Award (Coach of the Year): Fran Dunphy, Temple

Palumbo Trophy (Best points per game): Zack Rosen, Penn

Cy Kaselman Award (Best Free Throw Percentage): Maalik Wayns, Villanova

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Zack Rosen, Penn

Team of the Year: Temple

All-Big 5 Teams

First Team

Zack Rosen, Penn
Ramone Moore, Temple
Maalik Wayns, Villanova
Khalif Wyatt, Temple
Langston Galloway, Saint Joseph’s

Second Team

Tyreek Duren, La Salle
Earl Pettis, La Salle
Carl Jones, Saint Joseph’s
Ramon Galloway, La Salle
C.J. Aiken, Saint Joseph’s
Juan Fernandez, Temple

In case you were wondering, here are Penn's past Big 5 Player of the Year winners:

2007: Ibrahim Jaaber
1979: Tony Price
1977: Keven McDonald
1975: Ron Haigler
1974: Ron Haigler
1972: Corky Calhoun

And here are this year's honorees on the women's side:

Player of the Year: Shey Peddy, Temple

Most Improved Player: Victoria Macaulay, Temple

Rookie of the Year: Kara Bonenberger, Penn

Coach of the Year: Harry Perretta, Villanova

Sportsmanship Award: Jess Knapp, Penn

All-Big 5 Teams

First Team

Shey Peddy, Temple
Alyssa Baron, Penn
Laura Sweeney, Villanova
Brittany Wilson, La Salle
Michelle Baker, Saint Joseph's

Second Team

Victoria Macaulay, Temple
Alexis Scott, La Salle
Lauren Burford, Villanova
Kelly Cavallo, Saint Joseph's
Kristen McCarthy, Temple

All-Academic Team

Kristen McCarthy, Temple
Jess Knapp, Penn
Jess Koci, La Salle
Emily Suhey, Villanova
Shelby Smith, Saint Joseph’s