One of the first things announced at any Big East media day are the preseason awards. Whether the predictions of the coaches actually pans out has been historically hit-or-miss, but it is always interesting to know who is expected to have a great season, and conversely, who is not. Without further adieu:
Pre-season Media Poll
- Syracuse (6 first place votes)
- UConn (8)
- Louisville (2)
- West Virginia
- Notre Dame
- St. John's
- Seton Hall
- South Florida
2011-12 Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. UConn (7)1. Syracuse (5)3. Louisville (3)4. Pittsburgh5. Cincy6. Marquette7. WVU8. Villanova9. Notre Dame10. Georgetown11. Rutgers12. St. Johns13. Seton Hall14. USF15. Providence16. DePaul
That second quartile is about where Villanova will land in anyone's estimation this pre-season. They have enough talent to stay in the top half of the league, but can the 'Cats outperform expectations?
Its a little surprising to see Providence voted lower than DePaul in the Media poll. PC may not have been a power player in the conference recently, and losing Marshon Brooks is a massive hit, but their program has usually been at the top of that bottom quartile or better recently.
Media's Pre-season Player of the Year: Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
Media's Pre-season Rookie of the Year: Andre Drummond, UConn
Last year's winner was Georgetown's Austin Freeman, who gave a solid speech to the assembled journalists at media day. He had a solid season, making the season-ending All-Big East First Team, but the Player of the Year honors went to Ben Hansbrough of Notre Dame. Hansbrough did not appear among the pre-season honors.
Drummond, meanwhile is an easy pick for rookie. He is a potential number-one-overall NBA draft pick after this season and will surely contribute immediately for the Huskies. Last year's pick, Fab Melo, was a bit of a bust at Syracuse and did not make the post-season All-Rookie Team at all.
Pre-Season All-Big East First Team
- Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh (POY)
- Jeremy Lamb, UConn
- Kris Joseph, Syracuse
- Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame
- Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette
The official Big East team included Kevin Jones of WVU. Maalik Wayns was selected as a second-team player by the conference. No other Villanova player was honored.
No Villanova players selected to the first team, but did any of them earn that honor last season? If Villanova's stars want to be recognized at the end of the season, they will have to be stand-out performers during it.
Brian was able to grab these quotes on Villanova Basketball first hand. Follow Brian on Twitter.
- Joe Juliano called Jay Wright the "shadow AD" at Villanova. Jay didn't disagree.
- Jay on last year's offense: "he hopes they don't have to do that again."
- Jay Wright every time someone mentioned Temple: "We want in the Big East for Football!"
- Jay Wright: "After we get Villanova football in, we don't have any objections to any schools." When asked about TU
- Wright on Temple being blocked: "I feel bad that the media is being given information that is wrong. It is schools in the BE posturing..."
This post will be updated with the coaches poll and player selections when available. Check back!