It’s Media Day for Basketball in the Big East, and that means for the women just as much as it does for the men. After announcing the men’s preseason awards on Thursday, the league office went ahead and announced the same awards for the women’s side of the aisle.
Here’s the big items for you, a very smart Marquette Golden Eagles fan (but I repeat myself):
- Jordan King has been named the Preseason Freshman of the Year in the Big East.
- Selena Lott has been named to the Preseason All-Big East team.
- The Golden Eagles have been picked to finish ninth in the league this year, earning just one more point than 10th place Georgetown.
The reigning champs are the preseason favorites in #BIGEASTwbb!@DePaulWBBHoops takes the top spot in the coaches poll, followed by @StJohnsWBB and @SHUWBB to round out the top spots. pic.twitter.com/dz1RYEYdGl— BIG EAST Conference (@BIGEAST) October 10, 2019
Okay, let’s dive into the good news before we get to the shouting. Here’s the league’s writeup on King’s honor:
From Rockton, Ill., King attended Hononegah High School where she scored 2,505 career points to set a NIC-10 Conference record, while also establishing the single-game standard of 39 points. Among her accolades are IBCA First Team All-State for class 3A/4A, AP First Team All-State and News-Gazette First Team All-State. King is one of six freshmen on this year’s young Marquette squad.
Marquette lists King as a 5’11” guard. Her official MU bio says that she’s the #111 prospect in the country according to Blue Star, and she led Hononegah to two conference titles, three regional titles, a sectional title, and a third place state finish during her prep career. As a junior, King averaged 21.1 points per game, which was best in her conference by a full five points, along with 7.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and conference highs in both steals (4.0) and blocked shots (1.3). Obviously, not all of that is going to translate to the Division 1 level, but the fact that the do-it-all skills are there is what’s important.
As for Lott and her inclusion in the 11 woman all-conference team (my goodness is that ridiculous, separate it into First Team and Second Team like the men’s awards, for Gavitt’s sake), here’s what the league office wrote about her:
Marquette’s top returning scorer, Selena Lott, earned a spot on the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team after starting 15 league contests a year ago and averaging 9.0 points. The junior guard is Marquette’s most experienced returner, seeing action in 35 games a year ago and scoring in double figures on 10 occasions.
Onwards to the preseason poll.....
Okay, look. Yes, I’m very aware that Marquette is losing five senior starters and returning only five players, two of which did not log serious rotation minutes last season. Yes, I’m very aware that Marquette has a brand new head coach in Megan Duffy, so it’s a brand new system for even the five returning players, much less the six freshmen that will be called on to play significant minutes this year purely by default.
The Big East is also totally wide open this year, and that’s largely due to the fact that almost every single major contributor in the league was a senior last year. But to clearly clean out Marquette from the mish-mash collection of teams between third and seventh place in the preseason poll — just 15 points in the polling separates the five teams there — well, that just seems rude. I mean, Marquette is slotted behind Xavier, who went 11-19 overall and 2-16 in league play last year, and they have a new head coach, too.
Let’s look at this this way: All this does is open the door for Megan Duffy to win Big East Coach of the Year in her first season, because my goodness, won’t everyone be impressed when Duffy has the Golden Eagles as an NCAA tournament contender in early March?
Shadeen Samuels was named Big East Preseason Player of the Year, and the shock here is that it was apparently not a unanimous vote from the nine Big East coaches who aren’t Seton Hall’s Tony Bozzella. She led the league in scoring a year ago and finished fourth in rebounding. Who did at least one other coach vote for here?
There are four unanimous choices on the all-league team: Tiana England from St. John’s, Mary Gedaka from Villanova, A’riana Gray from Xavier, and Mary Baskerville from Providence. England, Gedaka, and Gray, I get. They were on my all-league team. Baskerville was the Freshman of the Year last year, so that makes sense, but I didn’t have her on my list, so I’m surprised by the unanimous vote. I’m also shocked that DePaul’s Chante Stonewall didn’t get a unanimous vote, as the senior is the Blue Demons’ leading returning scorer, and DePaul is the unanimous favorite to win the league. Heck, if Kelly Campbell had gotten a unanimous pick, I wouldn’t have blinked. The wild part is that DePaul is the unanimous favorite to win. Did Campbell and Stonewall split the Blue Demon vote on the all-league team and that’s why neither is unanimous?