Butler Tabbed Ninth In Big East
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler faces a steep climb in the BIG EAST Conference, according to a preseason poll of the league's 10 head coaches. The Bulldogs, entering their first year in the conference, were picked to finish ninth in the poll released at the BIG EAST Basketball Media Day in New York on Wednesday (Oct. 16).
Marquette, which shared the BIG EAST regular season title a year ago, was the preseason favorite among league coaches. The Golden Eagles return nine letterwinners from last year's team, which eliminated Butler in the third round before reaching the "Elite Eight" of last year's NCAA Tournament. The Milwaukee squad is led by a pair of preseason All-BIG EAST players, forwards Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson.
Georgetown, also coming off a share of the 2012-13 BIG EAST championship, was picked second by the coaches, while new member Creighton was tabbed third. Villanova was picked fourth, followed by St. John's, Providence, Xavier, Seton Hall, Butler and DePaul.
Creighton's Doug McDermott was chosen as the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year, while Rysheed Jordan of St. John's was tabbed as the conference preseason Rookie of the Year. Gardner was joined on the Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team by Markel Starks of Georgetown, Bryce Cotton of Providence, D'Angelo Harrison of St. John's and Semaj Christon of Xavier.
The Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team was made up of Wilson, Cleveland Melvin of DePaul, JaKarr Sampson of St. John's, Fuquan Edwin of Seton Hall and Ryan Arcidiacono and JayVaughn Pinkston, both of Villanova.
Butler, under first-year head coach Brandon Miller, will begin its 2013-14 campaign on Oct. 29 with an exhibition game at home against Nova Southeastern. The Bulldogs will open the regular season at home against Lamar on Nov. 9, and Butler's first BIG EAST test will come on New Year's Eve with a nationally-televised game against Villanova at Hinkle Fieldhouse.