Men's Basketball |
Oct. 21, 2009
NEW YORK – For the first time since joining the BIG EAST Conference in 2005-06, the University of Cincinnati was picked to finish in the upper division of the league in the preseason poll being selected to finish seventh by the coaches. The Bearcats also earned individual preseason honors as senior guard Deonta Vaughn earned first-team all-BIG EAST plaudits and freshman Lance Stephenson was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.
Villanova was the coaches’ top choice for the first time since 2005-06, the year the league first expanded to 16 teams. The Wildcats were followed by West Virginia, Connecticut, and Louisville to round out the Top 4. Villanova captured 10 of the 16 first place votes, while WVU and UConn received five and one, respectively.
Cincinnati, which has watched its win total increase in each of head coach Mick Cronin first three seasons, is looking to take its next step in the rebuilding process and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005.
A two-time first-team all-BIG EAST performer (first team in 2007-08, third team in 2008-09), Vaughn has led the Bearcats in scoring and assists in each of his first three seasons – the first player in school history to do so. The Indianapolis, Ind., native is primed for his best season as a Bearcat thanks to the return of BIG EAST All-Rookie selection Yancy Gates, who averaged 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in 2008-09, and seven other letterwinners.
Last season, Vaughn became just the 45th player is school history to score 1,000 or more points for his career and he is just 524 points away from possibly joining Oscar Robertson as the school’s only 2,000-point scorers.
Preseason BIG EAST Rookie of the Year Lance Stephenson, a 2009 McDonald’s All-American and Class AA New York State Player of the Year, headlines a talented group of newcomers that also includes redshirt freshman point guard Cashmere Wright and true freshmen Jaquon Parker (Virginia AAA State High School Player of the Year) and New York prep star Sean Kilpatrick.
After starting the season with a pair of exhibition games on Nov. 5 and Nov. 12, the Bearcats open the regular season at home on Nov. 16 vs. Prairie View A&M at 7:30 p.m.
2009-10 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll
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. Pittsburgh 119
10. Seton Hall 110
11. St. John’s 82
12. Marquette 78
13. Providence 52
14. USF 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., 6-8, 255, Schererville, Ind.
Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati, G, Sr., 6-1, 190, Indianapolis, Ind.
Greg Monroe, Georgetown, C, So., 6-11, 247, New Orleans, La.
Lazar Hayward, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-6, 225, Buffalo, N.Y.
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova, G, Sr., 6-2, 195, Herndon, Va.
Da'Sean Butler, West Virginia, F, Sr., 6-7, 225, Newark, N.J.
2009-10 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Jerome Dyson, Connecticut, G, Sr., 6-3, 190, Potomac, Md.
Kemba Walker, Connecticut, G, So., 6-1, 172, Bronx, N.Y.
Samardo Samuels, Louisville, F, So., 6-9, 260, Trelawny, Jamaica
Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall, G, Jr., 6-5, 185, Bronx, N.Y.
Dominique Jones, USF, G, Jr., 6-4, 205, Lake Wales, Fla.
Devin Ebanks, West Virginia, F, So., 6-9, 210, Long Island City, N.Y.
- a tie in the balloting created six positions
2009-10 Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Stanley Robinson, Connecticut, F, Sr., 6-9, 210, Birmingham, Ala.
Arinze Onuaku, Syracuse, C, Sr., 6-9, 275, Lanham, Md.