On Wednesday morning, before the start of the yearly Media Day, the Big East announced the results of the preseason polling of the league's coaches.
As far as Marquette goes, the Golden Eagles were picked to finish sixth by the coaches. MU got 44 points by way of the coaches' votes, finishing just one point behind fifth place Providence, and a long stretch in front of the 27 points earned by seventh place Seton Hall. On an individual front, two Marquette players earned individual honors from the league. Henry Ellenson is one of the five players on the all-Big East Second Team, while Luke Fischer got enough votes from the coaches to end up on the Honorable Mention list.
Let's turn our attention to how the voting shook out across the league.
Preseason Player of the Year: Kris Dunn, Providence
Yeah, that's not a surprise, as we outlined in our predictions post.
Preseason Rookie of the Year: Jalen Brunson, Villanova
Now that IS a surprise. I'm going to get to that in a moment, as you're going to need to see the all-conference teams to understand my point.
All-Big East First Team
Kellen Dunham, Butler
Roosevelt Jones, Butler
D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown
Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova
Jalen Reynolds, Xavier
All-Big East Second Team
Billy Garrett, Jr., DePaul
Henry Ellenson, Marquette
Angel Delgado, Seton Hall
Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall
Daniel Ochefu, Villanova
All-Big East Honorable Mention
Isaac Copeland, Georgetown
Luke Fischer, Marquette
Jalen Brunson, Villanova
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier
Ok, there's the all-BE teams. Here's why I have a problem with Brunson as Rookie of the Year over Marquette's Henry Ellenson: The league's coaches were asked to construct a list of what they considered to be the best players in the league. Whatever the format was on how they constructed that, more of the league's coaches had Ellenson on the OVERALL list of best players than Brunson, yet somehow Brunson is a better ROOKIE than Ellenson. I dare you to iron out the logic in that concept.
The big surprise on the all-league teams is Jalen Reynolds making the First Team. Yes, he's the third best rebounder returning to the league, but the two guys in front of him - Delgado and Ochefu - are on the Second Team. On top of that, two of the guys on the Second Team - Garrett and Ochefu - were Honorable Mention all-Big East a year ago, but somehow Reynolds has passed them since March? I don't get it.
The big shocker on the list of the 15 best players in the league (counting Dunn) is that Villanova's Josh Hart isn't in there. He was the Big East's Sixth Man of the Year last season as a sophomore, and with the departure of Darrun Hilliard and Dylan Ennis from The Main Line, VU's going to need big things from Hart this season.
Here's the rundown of the predicted order of finish this season:
1. Villanova, 81 points (9)
2. Georgetown, 70 points (1)
3. Butler, 67 points
4. Xavier, 55 points
5. Providence, 45 points
6. Marquette, 44 points
7. Seton Hall, 27 points
8. DePaul, 25 points
9. Creighton, 23 points
10. St. John's, 13 points
The Wildcats are the obvious choice to win the league after double dipping on league trophies a year ago. Jay Wright isn't allowed to vote for his own team, so his vote went to Georgetown. I completely disagree with that, given how much Butler is bringing back this season, but the Bulldogs aren't that far behind the Hoyas. Xavier, Providence, and Marquette all fit into the spots that I foresaw for them in our predictions post, so that seems about right.
There's a MAJOR drop off after Marquette, though. I'm kind of surprised by the nearly 20 point gap, as I expected more coaches to not really have a full idea of what to make of Marquette heading into the season. If I were Creighton, I would consider finishing behind DePaul to be a massive slap in the face, though.