It’s Media Day for Big East women’s basketball!
The results of the preseason poll of the league’s coaches shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone who follows the league. If you’re being objective about it, there’s no way that Marquette could possibly be picked higher than third in the league, and that’s where the coaches put them. They earned 79 points in the polling, with the coaches not being able to vote for their own teams, three points ahead of Villanova, but 11 behind second place Creighton.
Here’s the full rundown for posterity’s sake:
1 — Connecticut, 100 points, 10 first place votes
2 — Creighton, 90 points, 1 first place vote
3 — Marquette, 79 points
4 — Villanova, 76 points
5 — Seton Hall, 58 points
6 — St. John’s, 52 points
7 — DePaul, 49 points
8 — Butler, 37 points
9 — Providence, 32 points
10 — Georgetown, 20 points
11 — Xavier, 12 points
All 10 coaches that could voted for UConn, and with the Huskies getting healthy after last season, it is the only choice that you could possibly make. Creighton got the first place vote from UConn’s Geno Auriemma, and again, that’s the only choice that he should really have made himself. Marquette and Villanova fit in as teams with aspirations to make the NCAA tournament in March, and then there’s a drop off from there in the eyes of the coaches. Seton Hall, St. John’s, and DePaul all have massive question marks heading into the year after a big chunk of roster turnover, and I think there’s an argument that Butler deserves to be a little bit closer to them than closer to Providence where they are. The three teams with new head coaches are the bottom three teams in the league, which isn’t terribly surprising given the year over year continuity in operation across the rest of the league.
Onwards to the Preseason All-Big East Team! Jordan King is Marquette’s lone representative on the team, which has 10 women on it and no, I can not explain to you why that is the case instead of doing a First Team and a Second Team like the league does for men’s basketball. In any case, King is one of six unanimous choices on this list, which does not include Preseason Player of the Year Paige Bueckers. No, I don’t get why they do that, either. The other five unanimous picks: Aaliyah Edwards and Azzi Fudd from UConn, Lauren Jensen and Morgan Maly from Creighton, and Lucy Olsen from Villanova. Fudd, Jensen, and Olsen were all on my All-Big East team, so that’s no surprise that they were unanimous choices. I limited myself by intentionally mixing up the top five players list, so that’s why Edwards and Maly didn’t really have a chance to get there from my point of view.
Introducing the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team! pic.twitter.com/AN8ItuNvwn— BIG EAST WBB (@BIGEASTWBB) October 24, 2023
Here’s what the league office said about King:
Over 20 BIG EAST games, senior guard Jordan King not only led the Golden Eagles in scoring but ranked fourth among all league leaders. At 17.2 points per game, King is the BIG EAST’s top returning scorer from 2022-23, while she also averaged 3.9 assists per game to list fifth.
And here’s what was in the Marquette press release:
King was an All-BIG EAST First Team selection during the 2022-23 campaign after averaging 15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game. She led the Golden Eagles in minutes played, three-point percentage, points, assists, and steals per game.
The Rockton, Illinois, native has started in all 124 games during her collegiate career, averaging 32.5 minutes per contest. King ranked top ten in the BIG EAST in five statistical categories last season: scoring (8th, 15.9), assists (5th, 4.0), steals (5th, 2.0), assist/TO ratio (9th, 1.3), and minutes played (8th, 34.3).
In addition to King on the all-conference team, Liza Karlen was an honorable mention for the preseason honors. That likely means that she picked up some votes but not enough to make the top 10 behind Bueckers. Here’s what’s in the MU press release on her:
Liza Karlen is coming off a junior season where she averaged 11.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, all career bests. The St. Paul, Minnesota native, started in all but one of her 25 games played and her 7.4 rebounds a contest led the team and was ninth in the BIG EAST.
And the Big East release had just one sentence, but hey, honorable mention, it’s a long press release:
Karlen, who missed seven games midseason due to injury, finished with five double-doubles and eight double-digit rebounding performances.
The only thing I didn’t mention here is that UConn’s KK Arnold is the Preseason Freshman of the Year in the league. Is there something else here that I didn’t highlight? Pipe up in the comments section!