Today in New York City, it was Big East basketball Media Day for both men's and women's basketball. Three schools played the role of new kid on the block. Butler, Xavier and Creighton are all starting their first athletic seasons in the Big East conference.
This trio of newcomers to the league have been selected by the coaches to finish 3rd (Creighton), 7th (Xavier) and 9th (Butler) out of 10. Below is the full pre-season coaches poll that was revealed today before national media members in The Big Apple at Chelsea Piers.
5. St. John's
8. Seton Hall
Other pre-season predictions:
Player of the Year: Doug McDermott, 6'8 senior forward, Creighton (Ames, IA)
Rookie of the Year: Rysheed Jordan 6'4 freshmen guard, St. John's (Philadelphia, PA)
All-Big East 1st team:
- D'Angelo Harrison, 6'4 junior guard, St. John's (Missouri City, TX)
- Semaj Christon, 6'3 sophomore guard, Xavier (Cincinnati, OH)
- Markel Starks, 6'1 senior guard, Georgetown (Accokeek, MD)
- Davante Gardner, 6'8 senior forward, Marquette (Suffolk, VA)
- Bryce Cotton, 6'1 senior guard, Providence (Tucson, AZ)
All-Big East 2nd team:
- Jamil Wilson, 6'7 senior forward, Marquette (Racine, WI)
- JaKarr Sampson, 6'9 sophomore forward, St. John's (Akron, OH)
- Fuquan Edwin, 6'6 senior forward, Seton Hall (Paterson, NJ)
- Ryan Arcidiacono, 6'3 sophomore guard, Villanova (Langhorne, PA)
- JayVaughn Pinkston, 6'7 junior forward, Villanova (Brooklyn, NY)
- Cleveland Melvin, 6'8 senior forward, DePaul (Baltimore, MD)
- Kadeem Batts, 6'10 senior forward, Providence (Boston, MA)
- Chris Obekpa, 6'9 sophomore center, St. John's (Makurdi, Nigeria)
Should the Butler Bulldogs feel slighted by being predicted to finish 9th out of 10? I don't see why they shouldn't. Is Butler being underestimated because they've joined the Big East and it will be that much harder to recruit against the likes of Marquette, Georgetown, Villanova, Xavier, St. John's and four others? That's also a possibility.
2013-14 will be quite the learning experience for this rendition of Butler Bulldog basketball. New conference, first-year head coach and every game viewable by a national audience.
It's been said by some that the 2013-14 season will be a down year for Butler basketball for numerous reasons. They lost sharp-shooting three[point threat Rotnei Clarke and the tough inside presence of Andrew Smith to graduation. Returning starter Roosevelt Jones was lost for the season when he injured his left wrist during Butler's four-game Australian exhibition tour in early August, leaving a bit of a hole in the Bulldogs' offense.
Butler will have its hands full for the whole season, to say the least. The Catholic 7 (Marquette, Georgetown, Villanova, St. John's, Providence, Seton Hall and DePaul) have welcomed the Bulldogs, Xavier and Creighton with open arms to help create a new identity for the new Big East. Those seven have a great NCAA Tournament history already and bring in upswing Creighton, Xavier who's had some Sweet 16 and Elite Eight appearances and cap it off with Butler's back-to-back national runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2011.
We're in for quite a winter in this first season of the new Big East and it will be exciting to see how many teams make the NCAA Tournament. It all starts to unfold in early November!