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Villanova ranked No. 3 in 2022-23 Big East preseason poll

The Big East coaches have spoken.

Villanova University vs University of Kansas, 2022 NCAA National Semifinals Set Number: X164001 TK1

There are plenty of changes and new faces around the Big East, but a vast majority agreed on the No. 1 team, which went to the Creighton Bluejays.

After the Bluejays, though, are the Xavier Musketeers, then the Villanova Wildcats, who enter the 2022-23 season ranked No. 3 in the annual Big East preseason done by coaches.

The Wildcats are coming off of a 30-8 season, which included a Big East Tournament championship and a run to the NCAA Tournament Final Four. It was Jay Wright’s last ride, and a new era dawns under Kyle Neptune.

The ‘Cats have some key returners from last season, but also notable injuries to start this year, with Justin Moore (achilles) and Cam Whitmore (thumb) in recovery mode.

They’ll also have to figure out a way to replace the production left behind by Collin Gillespie, last season’s Bob Cousy Award winner, and another multi-year starter Jermaine Samuels, who was also the regional Most Outstanding Player in last season’s NCAA Tournament.

The ‘Cats do bring back Caleb Daniels, Brandon Slater and Eric Dixon — all of whom are coming off of their best seasons yet at Villanova, plus young talent looking to break out.

Here’s a look at the preseason poll:

  1. Creighton (8 first-place votes)
  2. Xavier (2)
  3. Villanova (1)
  4. UConn
  5. Providence
  6. St. John’s
  7. Seton Hall
  8. Butler
  9. Marquette
  10. Georgetown
  11. DePaul