Hello and welcome to our discussion of the Big East’s women’s basketball preseason awards!
Media Day is coming up on Tuesday, so we have to get our picks officially out there in the wilderness so we can talk about how wrong and dastardly all the Big East coaches are when they vote for something different. That’s how this works!
You’re getting a preseason Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year here, plus a five woman all-conference team, as well as a predicted order of finish for all 11 squads in the league.
Enough preamble! Let’s get to it.
Preseason Player of the Year: Maddy Siegrist, Villanova
If this attempt at preseason awards had been written and published on August 2nd, then this would have gone to Paige Bueckers. But her left ACL decided to take the year off, and so the obvious move here is to hand this year’s preseason POY to last year’s end of season POY. We don’t have to overthink these things.
Preseason Freshman of the Year: Ayanna Patterson, Connecticut
Hey, look, when ESPN’s #4 high school prospect is in your league, you pencil her in as FOY here and move on. Could it also be #5 prospect Ice Brady, who is also at UConn? Sure! Is there a chance it’s someone else at the end of the season because of how Geno Auriemma distributes minutes? Maybe, but that’s not the award we’re handing out here!
Preseason All-Big East Team
Azzi Fudd, UConn
Aneesah Morrow, DePaul
Lauren Park-Lane, Seton Hall
Emma Ronsiek, Creighton
Maddy Siegrist, Villanova
This was fairly simple to put together. I looked at last year’s all-Big East First Team from the end of the season and took everyone who was returning. Then, I realized that left this five woman squad with no one from Connecticut. After laughing at my foolishness, I noted that Seton Hall had two representatives in both Park-Lane and Sidney Cooks. Since 1) Seton Hall ain’t beating UConn for the league title and 2) LPL was a unanimous choice for the all-league team and Cooks was not, I dropped Cooks in favor of Fudd, who is UConn’s leading returning scorer.
Is the Big East going to do something silly like put out a 10 woman preseason all-conference team and include both Cooks and probably at least one more Husky, likely Aaliyah Edwards or Caroline Ducharme, and thus make all of this hoop jumping I went through unnecessary? Probably, but we have standards here at Anonymous Eagle, dammit.
Predicted Order of Finish
I’ll pick against the Huskies to finish somewhere other than first in the league when they, y’know, actually do that. Creighton returns an awful lot of the firepower that finished third and then went to the Sweet 16, so I’ll nudge them up over Villanova here just to make things spicy. As mentioned, Seton Hall was thisclose to having two all-Big East teamers, so they have to be in the top four.
I have big questions about Marquette this season as we’ll get into in our season preview stuff, but not as many as I have for DePaul. But Doug Bruno’s still in charge there, so he gets the benefit of the doubt here, as much as “I’m picking you sixth which probably means no NCAA tournament” is a benefit. After that, I’m just throwing darts. Well, other than for Butler. They went 0-18 last season, and even though they changed coaches, I’m legally obligated to pick them to finish last until they actually win a league game again.