According to the coaches of the Big East, all roads to the league’s regular season crown this season lead to Milwaukee.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that Marquette, which shared the Big East regular season crown a season ago and returns nine players, was tabbed to claim the Big East title in the preseason coaches’ poll, which was released at the league’s media day.
Receiving five first-place and 74 total votes, MU, who has reached the Sweet 16 (headlined by a berth in the Elite Eight this past season) the past three years, edged out the Hoyas of Georgetown, who garnered two first-place and 70 total votes, respectively.
Outside of the Golden Eagles and Hoyas, Creighton (1)—who saw its star player, senior forward Doug McDermott, a two-time consensus All American, lay claim to preseason Big East Player of the Year accolades—and St. John’s (2) were the lone programs to secure a first-place vote.
From an individual standpoint, the blue and gold, who have won at least 20 contests in eight consecutive seasons, had two student athletes, Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson, secure spots on the All-Big East preseason rosters.
Davante Gardner, the reigning Big East Sixth Man of the Year, was voted to the league’s first team, where the 6’9”, 290-pound senior was joined by Georgetown’s Markel Starks; Bryce Cotton of Providence; D’Angelo Harrison of St. John’s; and Xavier guard Semaj Christon.
This past season, Gardner, a Suffolk, Va. native, averaged 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per outing, while shooting 58.5 percent from the field and 83.5 percent from the charity stripe.
Wilson, a 6’7”, 230-pound senior forward entering his third season in the Brew City, was one of six players named to the league’s second team roster.
Wilson, MU’s third-leading scorer during the 2012-13 campaign (9.7 ppg), net double figures in all but two of the Golden Eagles’ final 15 affairs, headlined by a 16-point effort in Marquette’s Sweet 16 triumph over the Miami (Fl.) Hurricanes on March 28.
Marquette kicks off its 2013-14 schedule on Friday, Nov. 8, when Buzz Williams club plays host to Southern University at 7:00 p.m. CT.
Listed below are the results of the 2013-14 Big East preseason coaches’ poll (first-place votes are in parentheses), as well as the first, second and honorable mention All-Big East squads:
2013-14 Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Marquette (5) 74
2. Georgetown (2) 70
3. Creighton (1) 61
4. Villanova 58
5. St. John's (2) 56
6. Providence 41
7. Xavier 38
8. Seton Hall 20
9. Butler 19
10. DePaul 13
2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Doug McDermott, Creighton
2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year
Rysheed Jordan, St. John's
2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason All-Big East First Team
Markel Starks, Georgetown, G, Sr., 6-1, 175
Davante Gardner, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-8, 290
Bryce Cotton, Providence, G, Sr., 6-1, 165
D'Angelo Harrison, St. John's, G, Jr., 6-4, 204
Semaj Christon, Xavier, G, So., 6-3, 190
*2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Cleveland Melvin, DePaul, F, Sr., 6-8, 208
Jamil Wilson, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-7, 230
JaKarr Sampson, St. John's, F, So., 6-9, 214
Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall, G/F, Sr., 6-6, 215.
Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova, G, So., 6-3, 195
JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova, F, Jr., 6-7, 240
*a tie in the balloting created an extra position
2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Kadeem Batts, Providence, F, 6-10, 245
Chris Obekpa, St. John's, C, So., 6-9, 240