Big East Basketball Media Day was on Tuesday, and that means that we got the results of the preseason poll of the league’s coaches as to how they think things are going to go in 2022-23. Let’s just get right to it: The Big East coaches voted YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles to finish sixth in the Big East this season. MU secured 56 points in the polling, putting them in between DePaul and Seton Hall in a tie for fourth at 68 points and St. John’s in seventh at 47.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, UConn is the preseason favorite to win the league this season, and they picked up all 10 possible first place votes since coaches can’t vote for their own teams. Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma sent his first place vote to Villanova, which makes sense since the Wildcats knocked off the Huskies last season. However, that wasn’t enough to boost VU into second place, as that spot went to Creighton fresh off the program’s first ever Elite Eight appearance. Can’t really argue with the collective thoughts of the coaches on that one, that’s for sure.
There is a drop off in the point totals from the top three to the two teams tied for fourth place, and then another drop off from that tie to MU in sixth. At least, it looks like a drop off. If you wanted to make a tier in the league poll with DePaul, Seton Hall, Marquette, and St. John’s all together, that makes sense as well. You could probably put Providence into that tier as well, as there’s just three points separating a tie for ninth place between Butler and Georgetown from Xavier in last place.
Much like men’s basketball, I have a major problem with the voting here. Butler went 0-18 in Big East play and 1-27 overall. Yet somehow I’m expected to believe that new head coach Austin Parkinson is going to somehow steer the Bulldogs out of last place because..... reasons? Sure, it’s a roster with a lot of new faces, but that doesn’t automatically make them better, and potentially automatically better than two teams? C’mon. You don’t need to give Parkinson a warm fuzzy in his first year in the league.
Onwards to individual awards where we will talk about the preseason All-Big East team first since Marquette guard Jordan King is one of the 11 players honored.
King is coming off the strongest statistical season of her career in her junior campaign, where she led the squad and ranked fourth in the BIG EAST with 4.4 assists per game. She was also the third-leading scorer for the Golden Eagles as she averaged 11.5 points, while also pulling down 4.5 rebounds per contest. She also had her most efficient shooting season, finishing the year shooting 41.0 percent (161-of-393) from the floor.
The Rockton, Illinois, native has started all 92 games that she’s played during her collegiate career, averaging at least 30 minutes per contest each season.
Do I have an explanation as to why there’s an 11 woman all-conference team which does not include the preseason Player of the Year? No, I do not. 10 women, that makes sense. Nine women, because the POY is #10, that makes sense. Five women, including the POY, that makes the most sense. Did they do any of these things? No.
Anyway, as for the POY award, it went to Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist. All due respect to Siegrist who was a shoo-in for a unanimous vote to the all-conference team if the POY vote went another way, but Siegrist is only getting this award because UConn’s Paige Bueckers is done for the year with a summer ACL injury. I’ll let the Big East lay out Siegrist’s credentials, which includes being named the 2021-22 Big East Player of the Year:
Siegrist shattered the BIG EAST record for scoring in 2021-22, averaging 27.9 points per game over 17 league contests, besting the previous mark of 26.6 which had been on the books since 1991-92. Additionally, she finished second in rebounding at 9.9 boards per game, and 10th in both steals (1.6) and blocks (0.9). Siegrist’s overall scoring average of 25.3 points per game ranked second nationally last season. She reached the 30-point mark a BIG EAST-best nine times, the 20-point threshold 21 times and notched 12 double-doubles.
The Preseason Freshman of the Year award went to UConn’s Ayanna Patterson. This should not be surprising to you because when it comes to this award every year, you can pretty much just assign it to UConn’s best ranked freshman and keep it moving. Here’s the league writeup:
Patterson is a five-star recruit from Fort Wayne, Ind. She is ranked fourth in the class of 2022, as listed by ESPN. She averaged 25.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks as a senior at Homestead High and was named a McDonald’s All American and Indiana Miss Basketball. She is the third straight UConn rookie to be named BIG EAST Preseason Freshman of the Year following Azzi Fudd in 2021 and Paige Bueckers in 2020.
Marquette opens the season on November 7th against Fairleigh Dickinson, with tipoff on FloHoops scheduled for Noon Central time.