Big East Media Day is October 11th at Madison Square Garden in New York. We’ve already entered the month of October, so it’s time to get some predictions down in cold hard pixels before the official announcements are released.
Preseason Player of the Year: Allazia Blockton, Marquette
Ok, I’m being a littttttle bit of a homer, but only a very little. If you made me bet money on who is going to be named Preseason POY by the coaches, I’d actually put my money on DePaul’s Jessica January. Even with the Blue Demons losing Chanise Jenkins and Megan Podkowa, they’re probably going to be the preseason favorites to win the league, so why not going with the player on their team who finished leading the Big East in assists as a junior?
Well, here’s why: Blockton is the best returning scorer in the Big East. She’s the best returning rebounder in the Big East. All five of the BE First Teamers from the end of last season were seniors, so POY before the season starts has to be one of the four returning Second Teamers, and Blockton’s one of them. January is too, so just watch the coaches vote for the senior over the sophomore. But they’re wrong.
Preseason Freshman of the Year: Kelly Jekot, Villanova
The 6-foot guard from Enola, Pennsylvania, is the highest ranked Big East freshman according to Prospects Nation at #31 in the country. I’m not going to overcomplicate this. There’s always a chance it could end up being DePaul’s Kelly Campbell (#72) or Georgetown’s Morgan Smith (#84).
All-Big East Team:
Dorothy Adomako, Georgetown
Allazia Blockton, Marquette
Jessica January, DePaul
Dionna White, Georgetown
Alex Louin, Villanova
Like I said, no returning First Team players from last season, so Adomako, Blockton, January, and White are shoo-ins as Second Team honorees last year. There were just two non-senior players included in the Honorable Mention list after the 2015-16 season, so I went with Louin, now a junior, over Creighton’s Audrey Faber, now a sophomore. Seniority has its privileges.
Top 5 Teams:
1 - DePaul
2 - Marquette
3 - Villanova
4 - Georgetown
5 - St. John’s
As mentioned above, DePaul is probably still the favorite to win the league. Yes, they lost Jenkins and Podkowa, but they return the other four of their top six scorers and Doug Bruno is still Doug Bruno. Villanova loses the Coyer twins, but returns Louin and Adrianna Hahn who stepped into the lineup in a big way last year when Caroline Coyer was injured. I can’t not put the Hoyas in there when I’ve got two of them in the All-Big East team. St. John’s is a total guess, but I’m not all that excited about anyone else in the league either due to losses of personnel or being bad last season.
That leaves Marquette in the #2 slot. Yep. I’m picking the Golden Eagles to make a run at the Big East regular season title. They return everyone, they add depth in the way of size, allowing everyone who you remember from last year to have to worry about interior defense and rebounding just a little bit less. I’d be picking them to make a major run in the league even if there weren’t 10 or so major impact seniors from last year that have now left the league. The Big East is primed for a blue and gold takeover this season, and it is in your best interest to get a quality seat on the bandwagon as soon as possible.