Nov. 5, 1997
Garrity Named Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year
NEW YORK - Notre Dame forward Pat Garrity, the 1996-97 BIG EAST Player of the Year, is the unanimous choice for 1997-98 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year. He is the first Notre Dame Player in conference history to receive Preseason Player of the Year honors. Coaches were not permitted to select their own players.
A 6-8 senior from Monument, Colo., Garrity finished second in the league last season in scoring with a 21.1 average. He had the fourth best field field goal percentage, hitting at a .484 clip. At the foul line he was seventh in the BIG EAST, shooting 77.6 percent. He also averaged 7.4 rebounds.
Garrity helped the Irish to a 16-14 overall record. Notre Dame made it to the NIT quarterfinals when it lost to eventual champion Michigan. In the conference, the Irish finished 8-10.
Garrity is joined on the All-BIG EAST First Team by one senior, two juniors and one sophomore. The senior is St. John's center Zendon Hamilton. He led the Red Storm with 16.2 points per game and finished second in the BIG EAST in rebounding with a 9.4 average.
The juniors are Miami forward Tim James and Pittsburgh guard Vonteego Cummings. James led the Hurricanes with 14.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He also averaged 2.2 blocks, fourth in the BIG EAST. Cummings topped the Panthers with an average of 16.3 points and 140 assists. His 4.2 assist average was eighth in the conference.
Seton Hall guard Shaheen Holloway is the lone sophomore on the team. Ranked fifth in the BIG EAST in scoring last season (17.3), he and Garrity are the league's top returning scorers. Holloway also placed third with 6.3 assists per game.
Garrity is the only returnee from the 1996-97 All-BIG EAST First Team. Hamilton, James, Cummings and Holloway were second team selections.
St. john's freshman forward Ron Artest was chosen BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year.
Preseason ALL BIG EAST Selections
1997-98 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team Pat Garrity Notre Dame Sr. 6-9 227 Monument, Colo. Tim James Miami Jr. 6-7 205 Miami, Fla. Vonteego Cummings Pittsburgh Jr. 6-4 185 Thomson, Ga. Zendon Hamilton St. John's Sr. 6-11 225 Floral Park, N.Y Shaheen Holloway Seton Hall So. 5-10 175 Queens, N.Y. 1997-98 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team Richard Hamilton Connecticut So. 6-6 180 Coatesville, Pa. Jamel Thomas Providence Jr. 6-6 180 Brooklyn, N.Y. Felipe Lopez St. John's Sr. 6-6 190 Bronx, N.Y. Todd Burgan Syracuse Sr. 6-7 225 Detroit, Mich. Damian Owens West Virginia Sr. 6-5 210 Seat Pleasant, Md.
Preseason Player of the Year Pat Garrity, Notre Dame
Preseason Rookie of the Year Ron Artest, St. John's