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Men's Basketball Picked to Finish Ninth in Big East Conference




NEW YORK—The Pitt men’s basketball team was selected by league coaches to finish ninth among 16 teams at the Big East Conference’s annual media day Wednesday morning at Madison Square Garden.

 

In a vote of league coaches, Pitt earned 119 points. Villanova was picked to win the league title with 218 points and 10 first place votes, while West Virginia finished second with 215 points and five first place votes and Connecticut third with one first place vote and 185 points. Following UConn, Louisville placed fourth (179 points), Georgetown fifth (161), Syracuse sixth (152), Cincinnati seventh (135) and Notre Dame eighth (132).

 

The ninth place preseason league ranking is Pitt’s lowest since it was selected to finish fifth out of six teams in the Big East West Division (approximately 10th out of 12 teams overall) prior to the 2001-02 season. That season, Pitt won the Big East West Division with a 13-3 record, finished with a 29-6 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen that year.

 

Pitt lost four of its five its five starters from a team that finished 31-5 overall, placed second in the Big East regular season with a 15-3 record, advanced to the NCAA Regional Final/Elite Eight for the first time since 1974, earned the nation’s No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history, concluded the year with a perfect 19-0 home record and garnered a No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

 

Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody was named the Big East’s preseason Player of the Year. Cincinnati’s Lance Stephenson was named the Big East’s preseason Rookie of the Year. The preseason All-Big East teams are listed below.

 

Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon, along with senior guard Jermaine Dixon represented Pitt in New York City.

 

Pitt will host its annual Blue Gold Scrimmage on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.

 

Pitt opens its season with two exhibition games at the Petersen Events Center: vs. Slippery Rock on Sunday, Nov. 1 and vs. Coker College (S.C.) on Nov. 8. Both games tipoff at 4 p.m. Pitt opens regular season play on Nov. 13 against Wofford at 7 p.m.

 

2009-10 BIG EAST PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL

 

Rk

Team (1st place votes)

Pts.

1.

Villanova (10)

218

2.

West Virginia (5)

215

3.

Connecticut (1)

185

4.

Louisville

179

5.

Georgetown

161

6.

Syracuse

152

7.

Cincinnati

135

8.

Notre Dame

132

9.

PITT

119

10.

Seton Hall

110

11.

St. John’s

82

12.

Marquette

78

13.

Providence

52

14.

South Florida

44

15.

Rutgers

43

16.

DePaul

15

 

2009-10 BIG EAST PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Luke Harangody, Notre Dame

 

2009-10 BIG EAST PRESEASON ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati

 

2009-10 PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM

Luke Harangody, Notre Dame (Player of the Year), F, Sr.

Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati, G, Sr.

Greg Monroe, Georgetown, C, So.

Lazar Hayward, Marquette, F, Sr.

Scottie Reynolds, Villanova, G, Sr.

Da’Sean Butler, West Virginia, F, Sr.

 

2009-10 PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM

Jerome Dyson, Connecticut, G, Sr.

Kemba Walker, Connecticut, G, So.

Samardo Samuels, Louisville, F, So.

Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall, G, Jr.

Dominique Jones, South Florida, G, Jr.

Devin Ebanks, West Virginia, F, So.

 

*tie in the balloting created six positions

 

2009-10 PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST HONORABLE MENTION

Stanley Robinson, Connecticut, F, Sr.

Arinze Onuaku, Syracuse, C, Sr.

 

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