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Preseason Polling

With Big East Media Day starting at 10am tomorrow (check out my post about it), it is about time for some preseason conference polls to be released. Villanova had a very strong showing in the speculative polls.

The Syracuse Post-Standard conducts the annual preseason poll of writers covering the Big East conference. This season the writers picked Pittsburgh as their pre-season favorites, but the Wildcats weren't far behind:

1. Pittsburgh (10 first-place votes)
2. Villanova (3)
3. Syracuse (2)
4. Georgetown
5. West Virginia (1)
6. Marquette
7. St. John's
8. Louisville
9. Notre Dame
10. Connecticut
11. Seton Hall
12. Cincinnati
13. South Florida
14. (Tie) Rutgers
14. (Tie) Providence
16. DePaul

Any of those top-5 schools probably have a legitimate chance to win the conference this year. The writers also picked their pre-season All-Conference team:

All-conference team:
Corey Fisher, Villanova
Austin Freeman, Georgetown
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
Kris Joseph, Syracuse
Kemba Walker, Connecticut

Player of the Year:
Austin Freeman, Georgetown

Rookie of the Year:
Fab Melo, Syracuse

Also out today is the East Coast Bias Blog Poll (click for more data):

1. Villanova (Avg Pick 1.7)
2. Pittsburgh (1.9)
3. Georgetown (3.3)
4. Syracuse (3.5)
5. West Virginia (5.0)
6. UConn (7.5)
7. Marquette (7.6)
8. St. John's (8.3)
9. Louisville (8.8)
10. Seton Hall (9.2)
11. Notre Dame (9.8)
12. Cincinnati (11.9)
13. South Florida (12.8)
14. Providence (14.6)
15. Rutgers (14.8)
16. DePaul (15.4)

Neither poll showed much love for DePaul, I suppose that is a sign. Keep in mind also that the blog poll included votes from three Villanova blogs, so the 'Cats rating may be slightly inflated by rampant homerism and good feelings.

Speaking of rampant homerism and good feelings the blogger vote for pre-season player of the year ended in a tie between Georgetown's Austin Freeman and Villanova's Corey Fisher. Ashton Gibbs (2), Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Tim Abromaitis also received votes. JayVaughn Pinkston received one vote for Freshman of the Year (and it didn't come from VUhoops), with Fab Melo winning the vote.

There's a lot more content over at East Coast Bias, including some notes and explanations from the voters and a second iteration of the poll, listed in quartiles, because at least one or two voters preferred that method.

Finally, since it's only fair, I'll post my poll ballot here as well:

1. Pittsburgh
2. Villanova
3. Syracuse
4. Georgetown
5. West Virginia
6. St. John's
7. Seton Hall
8. Marquette
9. UConn
10. Louisville
11. Notre Dame
12. Cincinnati
13. Providence
14. South Florida
15. Rutgers
16. DePaul