Captained by Mike J. over at VU Hoops, the Big East blogs put their heads together and voted on the league's preseason awards in advance of the men's basketball media day tomorrow. Here's what we came up with with some anonymous comments along the way, because we demanded the comments be anonymous in our rider. It's right there in the name in the blog, for gosh sakes.
2014-15 SB Nation Big East Blogger Preseason Awards
Preseason Big East Player of the Year
Darrun Hilliard, Villanova (3)
Also Receiving Votes: D'Angelo Harrison, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, JayVaughn Pinkston each got 2
Preseason All-Big East Team
Darrun Hilliard, Villanova (8 votes)
JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova (7)
D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown (7)
D`Angelo Harrison, St. John's (7)
Matt Stainbrook, Xavier (6)
Also Receiving Votes: LaDontae Henton, Providence (3); Deonte Burton, Marquette (2); Kris Dunn, Providence (2); Tommy Hamilton IV, DePaul (1); Matt Carlino, Marquette (1); Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall (1)
- Hilliard just seems like the obvious candidate as the guy who should be the best player on the best team in the league. Anything could happen though.
- I think Hamilton will break out this season and help DePaul steal a few conference wins.
- I remain completely shocked that D`Angelo Harrison is still in school, and feel free to take that however you want to take that. Is it just me, or are most of the picks here pretty obvious?
- I struggled to pick 5 guys here - not exactly a scintillating group.
- The StainTrain is going to have to do some serious work this season for Xavier, while I expect JVP and Hilliard to be a great one-two punch for Villanova. D'Angelo Harrison should be a leader for a St. John's team that wants to fight it's way into the discussion this season. I went with Kris Dunn for the last spot because I think he is a super-talented kid who will be pushed to the forefront at Providence this season -- plus, I wanted to make sure I included a point guard.
Preseason Big East Rookie of the Year
Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall (6)
Also Receiving Votes: Trevon Bluiett (2), Isaac Copeland (1)
Preseason Big East Coach of the Year
Jay Wright, Villanova (4)
Also Receiving Votes: Chris Mack (2), John Thompson III (2), Kevin Willard (1)
- First, preseason Coach of the Year is a strange award. That's always an award for a coach who exceeds expectations. The best coach in the conference is likely Jay Wright - for his consistency. I don't know that the postseason Player of the Year or Rookie of the Year will be the same people; I think Trevon Bluiett is my darkhorse pick for rookie, but Whitehead's going to get his points...
- Did anyone else see CBS' Matt Norlander tweet that he had a surprise pick for Big East POY and then be completely underwhelmed when his "surprise" was Darrun Hilliard?
- I was tempted to list Steve Wojciechowski as Rookie of the Year.
- Jean Lenti Ponsetto would have my vote for AD of the Year if Oliver Purnell finally gets fired.
- Bold prediction: DePaul actually won't finish dead last in the Big East this year. Yep. Said it with a straight face
- Torn between Providence, Georgetown and St. John's at 3, but Providence lost a LOT from last year. And Georgetown seems to be talking about playing D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera at point guard, which raises a flag about their backcourt depth. Maybe that's just me.
- Butler might be bad for a long time.
- If venue were a factor, Butler would be 11th.
- I appreciate not having to pick the middle of the league.
- Ironically, positions 4-7 might be the most important because the conference will need those teams pushing for NCAA bids.
- Watch out for the Hoyas. Though the departure of Markel Starks leaves a big hole at point guard, junior D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera has a chance to lead the Big East in scoring. Returning seniors , Mikael Hopkins and Jabril Trawick provide plenty of leadership alongside a suddenly deep squad and loaded freshman class including top prospects Isaac Copeland and LJ Peak - both who should press for major minutes from the get go.
- Who knows how far Creighton is going to fall off this season. I have them realistically in a group with Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence that I struggle with rating. Any of them could surprise and have a great season, and none of them should be completely awful.
And there you go. What did we miss? Comments? Questions?