Opposing Big East coaches were unanimous in picking Villanova to win the conference in preseason balloting announced Tuesday, with Wildcats point guard Collin Gillespie chosen as the league’s preseason player of the year.
Other honorees for Villanova were guard Justin Moore and forward Jermaine Samuels, picked for second team all-conference.
Connecticut was chosen second in the league, picking up the other first-place vote, obviously from Jay Wright. Xavier was third, followed by St. John’s, Seton Hall, Butler, Providence, Creighton, Marquette, Georgetown, and DePaul.
Other first-team honorees are Nate Watson of Providence. Julian Champagnie of St. John’s, Jared Rhoden of Seton Hall, and two Xavier players, Paul Scruggs and Zach Freemantle. Aminu Mohammed of Georgetown was chosen as preseason freshman of the year.
Villanova was picked fifth by coaches in the Big East women’s poll. Connecticut was the unanimous top choice by opposing coaches. Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist was named to the 10-player all-league team.