Oct. 22, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. --- Notre Dame, which returns four starters from a squad that finished 25-8 overall and tied for second in the final BIG EAST regular-season standings with a program-best 14-4 record, was picked to finish fourth in the 2008-09 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll, while junior forward Luke Harangody (Schererville, Ind.), the reigning conference player of the year, was tabbed to repeat as the league's player of the year this season.
Harangody also was a unanimous first-team all-BIG EAST selection. Also earning a spot on the preseason all-conference first team was senior guard Kyle McAlarney (Staten Island, N.Y.), a first-team all-BIG EAST selection a year ago. The league's 16 head coaches chose both the preseason poll and all-conference first team with coaches not permitted to vote for their teams or players.
Notre Dame finished with 195 points and earned one first-place vote. Connecticut was chosen to finish first and totaled 214 points, while receiving nine first-place votes. Louisville received three first-place votes and was second with 205 points. Pittsburgh was chosen third with 200 points and also earned three first-place votes.
Villanova was chosen fifth (153 points), followed by Marquette (146), Georgetown (141), Syracuse (139), West Virginia (121), Providence (99), Cincinnati (91), Rutgers (53), Seton Hall (50), St. John's (44), DePaul (43) and USF (26).
Last season, Harangody became the second player in BIG EAST history to lead the league in both scoring and rebounding as he averaged 23.3 points and 11.3 rebounds in 16 conference outings. Overall, he averaged 20.4 points and 10.6 boards.
Harangody is the first reigning BIG EAST Player of the Year to forego an immediate professional basketball career and have the chance to repeat as the player of the year since Pittsburgh's Brandin Knight shared the honor with Connecticut's Caron Butler in 2001-02 and came back to play in 2002-03.
Joining Harangody and McAlarney on the preseason all-BIG EAST first team were Deonta Vaughan (Cincinnati), A.J. Price (Connecticut), Hasheem Thabeet (Connecticut), DaJuan Summer (Georgetown), Terrence Williams (Louisville), Jerel McNeal (Marquette), Sam Young (Pittsburgh), Jonny Flynn (Syracuse) and Scottie Reynolds (Villanova).
Jeff Adrien (Connecticut), Earl Clark (Louisville) and Dominic James (Marquette) were selected to the Preseason Honorable Mention Team.
Greg Monroe (Georgetown) and Samardo Samuels (Louisville) were tabbed as the Preseason Co-Rookies of the Year.
2008-09 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll
|1. Connecticut (9)||214|
|2. Louisville (3)||205|
|3. Pittsburgh (3)||200|
|4. Notre Dame (1)||195|
|9. West Virginia||121|
|13. Seton Hall||50|
|14. St. John's||44|
First-place votes in parentheses
2008-09 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
2008-09 BIG EAST Preseason Co-Rookies of the Year
Greg Monroe, Georgetown
Samardo Samuels, Louisville
2008-09 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
*Luke Harangody, Notre Dame (Player of the Year), F, Jr., 6-8, Schererville, Ind.
Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati, G, Jr., 6-1, 195, Indianapolis, Ind.
A.J. Price, Connecticut, G, Sr., 6-2, 181, Amityville, N.Y.
Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut, C, Jr., 7-3, 263, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
DaJuan Summers, Georgetown, F, Jr., 6-8, 241, Baltimore, Md.
Terrence Williams, Louisville, F, Sr., 6-6, 210, Seattle, Wash.
Jerel McNeal, Marquette, G, Sr., 6-3, 200, Country Club Hills, Ill.
Kyle McAlarney, Notre Dame, G, Sr., 6-0, 196, Staten Island, N.Y.
*Sam Young, Pittsburgh, F, Jr., 6-6, 215, Clinton, Md.
Jonny Flynn, Syracuse, G, So., 6-0, 185, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-2, 195, Herndon, Va.
2008-09 Preseason BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Jeff Adrien, Connecticut, F, Sr., 6-7, 243, Brookline, Mass.
Earl Clark, Louisville, G/F, Jr., 6-8, 220, Rahway, N.J.
Dominic James, Marquette, G, Sr., 5-11, 185, Richmond, Ind.