With Big East Media Day coming next week (the 19th for those interested), USA Today has released their preseason poll for the Big East and the guys over at Card Chronicle managed to get a copy of it. The Panthers were picked to finish 2nd behind Syracuse. Here is the expected order of finish.
1st and 2nd team members after the jump
Ashton Gibbs (Preseason POY), Pitt
Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette
Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame
Kris Joseph, Syracuse
Kevin Jones, West Virginia
Scoop Jardine, Syracuse
Jason Clark, Georgetown
Cleveland Melvin, DePaul
Herb Pope, Seton Hall
Augustus Gilchrist, South Florida
I'm a little surprised with how high the media thinks Pitt will finish. I fully believe Pitt will challenge for a double-round bye in the Big East Tournament. I think 2nd is a little high, though. UConn, despite losing Kemba Walker, should be loaded again with Jeremy Lamb, Alex Oriakhi, and Shabazz Napier to go along with stud recruits Andre Drummond, DeAndre Daniels, and Ryan Boatwright. Louisville also brings in a loaded recruiting class. I'm shocked people are that high on Villanova. Do they not remember their epic collapses the past two seasons? The two teams to watch in my opinion are Rutgers and St. John's. Both bring in great recruiting classes and have the right coaches to lead their teams to top half finish in the league. Also don't sleep on league punching bag DePaul. They might actually win games in the Big East this season. That's right, GAMES. Oliver Purnell has done a good job in Chicago trying to restore DePaul's program back to respectability.
As for the 1st and 2nd teams, no surprise here, although the absence of Jeremy Lamb is a little shocking.
Also something to note. Note the top three teams (Syracuse, Pitt, UConn). Cuse and Pitt are going to the ACC while UConn was one of the schools the ACC wanted before BC intervened. Yet the move was all football?
"It had nothing to do with basketball,’’ said DeFilippo. "It was football money which drove expansion. It was football money and securing our future.’’
Yeah, not buying that for a second.