It was the annual Media Day for Villanova and the entire Big East conference on Tuesday. The coaches of the conference participated in voting for the league’s best team and player most likely to have the best season.
The Wildcats were slotted as the 12th best team in the conference when all the votes were gathered. The only three teams they are expected to finish ahead of in the standings are DePaul, Seton Hall and Providence. DePaul and Providence were the only teams they finished ahead of in the 2011-12 standings.
Last season, Jay Wright‘s squad actually started the year off well, but slumped tremendously down the stretch when it came time for the conference games. Villanova posted a record of 5-13 against the Big East, the fewest conference wins since 1992-93, when they went 3-15. Against ranked conference teams they were 0-6.
This year, the team brings in a roster that features some resemblance of a turnover. Five freshmen and two transfers have been added to the team as Wright looks to get the program back in the right direction.
As for the rest of the Big East, the Louisville Cardinals, the 2012 Big East champions and a Final Four team, were identified as the best in the conference, and most the favorites to win it. They received 14 of 15 first-place votes. Syracuse came in a distant second, and Notre Dame, the only other team to get a first-place vote, finished third. Here’s the complete list of rankings, based on the votes:
1. Louisville 196
2. Syracuse 175
3. Notre Dame 166
4. Cincinnati 152
5. Georgetown 136
6. Pittsburgh 132
7. Marquette 121
8. USF 96
9. Connecticut 83
10. St. John’s 73
11. Rutgers 63
12. Villanova 61
13. DePaul 48
14. Seton Hall 42
15. Providence 31
Also announced at Media Day were the preseason picks for Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and All-Big East teams. Villanova did not have a player appear on the first or second team, nor receive honorable mentions.
Here are the All-Big East First and Second teams, and the Honorable Mentions:
2012-13 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati, G, Jr., 6-4, 221, White Plains, N.Y.
Otto Porter, Georgetown, F, So., 6-8, 205, Sikeston, Mo.
Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, C, Jr., 6-10, 225, Dakar, Senegal
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame, F, Sr., 6-9, 244, Glenview, Ill.
Vincent Council, Providence, G, Sr., 6-2, 180, Brooklyn, N.Y.
2012-13 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, G, Jr., 6-1, 171, Roxbury, Mass.
Cleveland Melvin, DePaul, F, Jr., 6-8, 208, Baltimore, Md.
D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s, G, So., 6-3, 202, Missouri City, Texas
Anthony Collins, USF, So., G, 6-1, 175, Houston, Texas
Brandon Triche, Syracuse, G, Sr., 6-4, 205, Jamesville, N.Y.
2012-13 Preseason BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Chane Behanan, Louisville, F, So., 6-7, 250, Cincinnati, Ohio
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame, G, Jr., 6-5, 185, Bowie, Md.
Tray Woodall, Pittsburgh, G, Sr., 5-11, 190, Brooklyn, N.Y.
C.J. Fair, Syracuse, F, Jr., 6-8, 212, Baltimore, Md.
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