by Dan Gardella


New York, NY – The Big East Conference held its annual Media Day Thursday morning at the World’s Most Famous Arena. Prior to the event, the preseason All-Big East teams and preseason polls were released for the upcoming season.


All-Big East First Team


Kamar Baldwin, Butler, Jr, G

Jessie Govan, Georgetown, Sr, F

Markus Howard, Marquette, Jr, G

Alpha Diallo, Providence, Jr, G

Eric Paschall, Villanova, R-Sr, F

Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s, Jr, G


All-Big East Second Team


Max Strus, DePaul, Sr, F

Sam Hauser, Marquette, Jr, G/F

Justin Simon, St. John’s, R-Jr, G/F

Myles Powell, Seton Hall, Jr, G

Phil Booth, Villanova, R-Sr, G


Preseason Player of the Year: Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s


Preseason Rookies of the Year: David Duke, Providence & Jahvon Quinerly, Villanova


Preseason Big East Coach’s Poll


  1. Villanova
  2. Marquette
  3. Providence
  4. St. John’s
  5. Butler
  6. Xavier
  7. Georgetown
  8. Seton Hall
  9. Creighton
  10. DePaul


Takeaways from Teams:


Dan Gardella got to talk to several teams and got their thoughts and opinions on the poll along with their team’s thoughts on the season ahead.


Villanova head coach Jay Wright on the wide openness of the conference:


“I think you got a lot of teams who were young last year that are now the experienced teams, and a lot of the experienced teams last year are now the young teams. You’re going to have a chance for a lot of volatility. This would probably be the most unpredictable season since we’ve had the new Big East.”


Villanova Senior Phil Booth on the young leaders on the team:


“I think Colin Gillespie has taken a big role as a sophomore. He’s very vocal now, plays hard, competes at a high level. He’s a very scrappy guard that we love. Same with (Dhamir) Cosby-Roundtree. He’s done a great job to be more vocal. He’s gotten stronger in the weight room this summer and he’s be doing a great job as well.”


Xavier head coach Travis Steele on the pressure of inheriting a program fresh off of a record setting season:


“I don’t think there is any pressure. You want to have high expectations. If you don’t want to be at a place that has them, you’re not at the right spot. Xavier has always won. They have won for a long time. We embrace the expectations. We create our own expectations every single day in practice and before the season we know what we want to go out and accomplish. We’re a mission-driven program.”


Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski on opening the season in their new arena: The Fiserv Forum:


“The new arena is spectacular. I know our fans are very excited about it. Internally, our players, our coaches are very excited about it. As nice a home as the Bradley Center was for our program, Fiserv Forum is as nice a place to play in the country for basketball as anywhere. When that’s in front of you, I think it only generates more excitement.”


Marquette Junior Sam Hauser on the added pressure of being picked to finish second in the conference:


“We just have to take it day by day. Obviously we know the expectations are high but that is where we want them. Pressure is a privilege as one of our coaches say. It’s pretty cool to be mentioned at the top. Now we have to go out and prove it.”


Marquette Junior Markus Howard on how to deal with target on his back of being a preseason All-Big East First Team selection:


“It’s nothing new. I feel that there has always been a target on my back along with also on our team’s back. I’m not going to change anything I do along with continue to be aggressive with everything that I do on the court. I know at the end of the day if our team is winning, that’s all that matters. If we win, I know things will take care of themselves.


Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing on the biggest takeaway from his first season as head coach:


“As a coach, you’re the one calling the plays while as a player, you are going out there trying to execute it and get it done. I’m the one who is trying to motivate these guys to play to the best of their abilities. As a player, someone else was doing that to me.”


Georgetown Senior Jesse Govan on what factor led him to return to school:


“A big thing was trying to get to the NCAA Tournament. That is something I haven’t done yet in my career. I wanted to put myself in a better position to get picked this year. I feel like another year with coach Ewing and learning what I can do to get myself even better and keep improving to put myself in a better position to get drafted higher.”


Georgetown Senior Jesse Govan on what it will take from this year’s team to make it to the NCAA Tournament:


“We just have to all be hungry and close out games. It was a big thing for us last year where we weren’t closing out games. They came down to a few possessions that we lost by three to five points. Certain things we can do like not turning the ball over and not letting them get offensive rebounds will help us.”


Creighton Junior Martin Krampelj on being the leader with Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas gone:


“They taught me last year on how to do it. How to interact with players and keeping them positive and confident. I don’t think I will have any problems with it.”


Butler Junior Kamar Baldwin on makeup on the team following the losses of Kelan Martin and Tyler Wideman:


“Even with losing those two guys, we still have a lot of guys coming back. So some young guys have to step up this year and play some roles. I think they are capable of it. They have been showing it in practice over the last month so I think we will be just fine.”