Oct. 19, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - It was announced today at BIG EAST Conference media day at the New York Athletic Club in New York City that UConn is the co-favorite, along with Syracuse, to win the BIG EAST regular season crown according to the Preseason Coach's Poll. UConn sophomore Jeremy Lamb was named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team. Freshman Andre Drummond was named the league's Preseason Rookie of the Year. Pittsburgh senior Ashton Gibbs was named Preseason Player of the Year.
Connecticut, the 2011 NCAA Champions, received seven first-place votes and a total of 209 points. Syracuse, the team UConn defeated in the BIG EAST Semifinals a year ago, tallied 209 points and five first-place votes. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team. UConn will host Syracuse in the ESPN College Gameday special in Gampel Pavilion on Saturday, February 25. The two teams will also play at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse on February 11.
Louisville was right behind with three first-place votes and 201 points. Pittsburgh earned one first-place vote, finishing with 188 points to place fourth.
Connecticut had four players earn preseason honors today. Along with Lamb on the First Team, junior big man Alex Oriakhi was named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team. Sophomore Shabazz Napier and Drummond were both named Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention. Drummond is the only freshman in the league this year to earn Preseason All-BIG EAST honors.
Lamb was the only underclassman on the All-BIG EAST Preseason First Team. He was joined by Preseason Player of the Year Ashton Gibbs of Pittsburgh, Notre Dame graduate student Tim Abromaitis and seniors Darius Johnson-Odom (Marquette), Kris Joseph (Syracuse) and Kevin Jones (West Virginia).
2011-12 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
2011-12 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year
Andre Drummond, Connecticut
2011-12 Preseason 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.
2011-12 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Yancy Gates, Cincinnati, F, Sr., 6-9, 260, Cincinnati, Ohio
Alex Oriakhi, Connecticut, F/C, Jr., 6-9, 240, Lowell, Mass.
Peyton Siva, Louisville, G, Jr., 5-11, 180, Seattle, Wash.
Scoop Jardine, Syracuse, G, Sr., 6-2 190, Philadelphia, Pa.
Maalik Wayns, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-2, 200, Philadelphia, Pa.
2011-12 Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Andre Drummond, Connecticut, C, Fr., 6-11, 275, Middletown, Conn.
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, G, So. 6-0, 170, Roxbury, Mass.
Cleveland Melvin, DePaul, F, So., 6-8, 208, Baltimore, Md.
Jae Crowder, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-6, 235, Villa Rica, Ga.
Augustus Gilchrist, USF, F/C, Sr., 6-10, 245, Clinton, Md.
2011-12 Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Connecticut (7) 209
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
First-place votes in parentheses