On Wednesday, the Big East opened up its Media Day at Madison Square Garden by revealing its preseason award recipients.
The conference announced the preseason Big East Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and All-Big East teams.
Three different Wildcats were awarded accolades—Jalen Brunson, Omari Spellman, and Mikal Bridges.
Brunson nabbed the top honor as the preseason Big East Player of the Year. The 6-foot-3 point guard averaged 14.7 points and 4.1 assists as a sophomore last season. He also shot 54.1 percent on the floor. He was one of the key pieces in a 32-4 campaign that included Big East regular season and tournament titles.
As for Spellman, there’s plenty of excitement surrounding his much-anticipated debut this season. The Big East added to the hype by naming him the preseason Freshman of the Year. The 6-foot-9 center was forced to take a redshirt season last year, after the NCAA had ruled him ineligible. A consensus five-star prospect coming out of high school, Spellman will finally be able to hit the court this year.
Meanwhile, Bridges was tabbed a preseason All-Big East Second Team selection. As a redshirt sophomore averaged just under 10 points per game and shot 54.9 percent overall. He excelled defensively, posting one of the top steal rates in the conference (fourth-highest in Big East). For his play on that end of the court, he was named Co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year, sharing the honor with Creighton’s Khyri Thomas and teammate Josh Hart.
A complete list of Big East accolades:
Preseason Player of the Year
Jalen Brunson (Villanova) Jr., G
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Omari Spellman (Villanova) RS Fr., F/C
Preseason All-Conference First Team
Kelan Martin (Butler) Sr., F
Marcus Foster (Creighton) RS Sr., G
Khadeen Carrington (Seton Hall) Sr., G
Angel Delgado (Seton Hall) Sr., F
Trevon Bluiett (Xavier) Sr., G/F
Preseason All-Conference Second Team
Markus Howard (Marquette) So., G
Rodney Bullock (Providence) Sr., F
Kyron Cartwright (Providence) Sr., G
Marcus LoVett (St. John’s) So., G
Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s) So., G
Mikal Bridges (Villanova) RS Jr., G/F
Preseason All-Conference Honorable Mentions
Khyri Thomas (Creighton) Jr., G
Desi Rodriguez (Seton Hall) Sr., G/F
J.P. Macura (Xavier) Sr., G