This morning at the New York Athletic Club, the Big East Conference held their annual Media Day gathering for Men's College Basketball. The coaches and players of the various teams took turns answering questions from reporters throughout the day, but one of the highlights of media day was the announcement of the preseason poll, as well as all-conference selections and player of the year announcements.
After losing three starters from last season’s 27-7 squad, the Irish received a pre-season ranking of #9, which was not much of a surprise, and Tim Abromaitis was chosen to the Preseason Big East First Team. Abromaitis averaged 15.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last season. The 6'8" forward also is one of the conference’s best long-range shooters. He completed an impressive 42.9 percent from the 3-point territory.
Follow this link to see complete Big East Media Day interviews from both Tim Abromaitis and Coach Brey.
Connecticut and Syracuse were named co-favorites to win the 2011-12 regular-season crown in the Big East Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Huskies, who won the 2011 NCAA National Championship, received seven first-place votes and a total of 209 points.
The Orange, who finished the 2010-11 season with a record of 27-8, collected five first-place votes. It is the third tie for first place in the history of the Big East, with the last one coming in 2007-08. The league’s head coaches do not place their own teams on their ballots.
Behind Louisville, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Marquette, West Virginia and Villanova, Notre Dame was chosen ninth. The Irish recorded the second highest win total in school history last year when they finished 27-7 overall and were 14-4 in the Big East. Notre Dame will miss their three key seniors who graduated in the spring, including guard Ben Hansbrough, last year’s Big East Player of the Year; but will transfer leadership responsibilities to Tim Abromaitis who made the 2011-12 Preseason All-Big East First Team. Georgetown, Rutgers, St. John’s, Seton Hall, South Florida, Providence and DePaul round out the preseason conference rankings.
Here is the official list, and their corresponding number of votes:
2011-12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
T1. Connecticut (7) 209
T1. Syracuse (5) 209
3. Louisville (3) 201
4. Pittsburgh (1) 188
5. Cincinnati 169
6. Marquette 155
7. West Virginia 132
8. Villanova 127
9. Notre Dame 114
10. Georgetown 104
11. Rutgers 75
12. St. John’s 71
13. Seton Hall 56
14. USF 43
15. Providence 40
16. DePaul 27
All-Big East First Team
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh (Player of the Year), G, Sr., 6-2, 190, Scotch Plains, N.J.
Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut, G/F, So., 6-5, 185, Norcross, Ga.
Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette, G, Sr., 6-2, 215, Raleigh, N.C.
Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame, F, Gr., 6-8, 235, Unionville, Conn.
Kris Joseph, Syracuse, F, Sr., 6-7, 210, Montreal, Quebec
Kevin Jones, West Virginia, F, Sr., 6-8, 260, Mount Vernon, N.Y.
I had the pleasure of listening to Head Coach Mike Brey speak this morning at Big East Media Day, and here are a few of the talking points that he went over with the media today (most of which he already covered at Notre Dame Media Day last week … but more specifically he spent time elaborating on all of the changes currently occurring in the Big East Conference).
We truly feel that our place is in the Big East Conference, and that
(I’ve told Abromaitis) … this is your "time" ... so go do it. Don't take a day off, and make every day count.
We are very happy about starting in the #9 spot. We’ve started in the 7-8-9-10 range before, and see no problems with finishing in the top of the Big East Conference and making another NCAA run.
We are very excited about some early neutral site games this season including facing the University of Missouri in Kansas City, Indiana University in Indianapolis, and Maryland in Washington DC
I feel blessed in recruiting that kids are excited to come to Notre Dame regardless of our conference affiliation.
I love coming to the East Coast & playing at Madison Square Garden.
What an amazing 24 hours in the city that never sleeps. (I still think that someone needs to pinch me to prove that this trip actually happened!!) Thank you again to the Big East Conference and Volvo Cars for sending me to New York City for Big East Media Day! What an incredible way to begin my journey towards being named the Biggest Fan of the Big East!